Dr. Narendra N. Dalei has bagged funding worth USD 15000 from NSG and Microsoft for his project to design a model that can predict extreme climatic events, thereby helping farmers plan their cropping pattern

A faculty member at UPES has added yet another feather to its cap. Dr. Narendra N. Dalei, Assistant Professor (SS), Department of Economics and International Business, School of Business, has received funding worth USD 15000 from NGS and Microsoft for his Abhigyat project in Avra Systems Ltd., Bhubaneswar.

Project Abhigyat is an annual internship program, started in 2015 at UPES with the objective of giving faculty members some industry exposure. The objective of this exposure is to help the faculty present to their students a realistic picture of what industry needs, latest developments and what it takes to be effective in the new roles necessitated by these developments.

Speaking about his project, an elated Dr. Dalei says, “Research is not all about publishing papers in indexed journals; it is also about how your research will contribute to the society. Extreme cyclonic events due to climate change are regularly damaging the agricultural crop of farmers of Odisha. Therefore, I wanted to design a model that will predict weather pattern, including extreme climatic events, and based upon that will guide the farmers to plan for land use practices accordingly.”

The model will be based upon Econometric tools with application of Artificial Intelligence. “Through the Abhigyat Training (2019) I collaborated with Mr. Rajat Dash, Executive Director, Avra Systems Ltd., Bhubaneswar, and submitted a project proposal to National Geographic Society (NGS) and Microsoft Corporation for funding. Finally, NGS and Microsoft approved our proposal and agreed to support funding worth USD 15000,” explains Dr. Dalei. 

The first step in the project would be to collect agriculture and climatic data. Thereafter, a data scientist from Microsoft will help them in designing the model and implementing the technology. Once the process is complete, model will be available to farmers for use and to students and researchers for learning purposes.

Project Abhigyat at UPES has been successful in equipping the faculty with current industry knowledge and experiences. The faculty can intern for 15 days at any of the companies that UPES has collaborated with in the past. This helps them to design a curriculum that is more relevant to industry needs. Academic council, that reviews the syllabus every year, incorporates their learnings.

These learnings, supplemented by interactions with international professors and world-renowned domain experts, provide opportunities for professional development and upskilling through faculty development programs, R&D projects, seminars, workshops and conferences.