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Graduate students specialising in Cooperative Management at Gandhigram Rural Institute (GRI) visited the office of the ICA-AP on February 20th. The GRI, established in 1956, is a deemed University, controlled and funded by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India. GRI, now has eight schools, 16 departments and 12 centres offering 126 academic programmes ranging from certificate courses to post-graduate programmes. The Institute has +3,500 students and 148 teaching staff.  The Department of Cooperation, also started in 1956, is one of the oldest departments in the country, offering B.Com (Cooperation), M.Com (Cooperative Management), Doctoral and Post-Doctoral Programmes.


Discussion with the students


As part of the graduate program, students are taken on an exposure visit to State and National level cooperative federations. The visit to ICA-AP by the 14 graduate students was part of the study visit.  Dr. C. Pitchai, Professor of Cooperation and Coordinator of the Institutional visit, started the meeting by providing an overview of the GRI programmes and the purpose of the visit. Dr. S. V. Akilandeeswari, ICSSR, Post-Doctoral Fellow explained the curriculum of the M. Com (Cooperative Management) programme. Mr. Mohit Dave, from ICA-AP welcomed the group and spoke about ICA, its structure and functions, and recent development in the world of co-operatives. He enquired of the students about the subjects in their programme, in particular, the trends in co-operatives and legal framework.  Mr. Ivjyot Singh, from ICA-AP, explained the Cooperative Principles and their application in the field.


Screening of the video from Coopathon 1.0


The presentations were followed by the screening of videos from the two Coopathons - The Cooperative Hackathon,’ held at Kozhikode (2018) and New Delhi (2019). Following this, there was a lively and interactive question and answer session which covered trends in co-operatives, role of ICA, involvement of youth in co-operatives, and start-up co-operatives. 


Selfie with the students