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Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur Launches ML Course for Agriculture

The Indian Institute of Technology in Kharagpur (IIT-Kharagpur) is accepting applications for a 12-week free online course called “Machine Learning for Soil and Crop Management”. The course is for undergraduate students in agricultural engineering, agriculture, and environmental science. It will help them understand and apply their knowledge of machine learning (ML), deep learning, digital soil mapping, image processing, and portable sensors to develop an integrated and advanced soil and crop management system.

The IIT-Kharagpur said it is essential to upgrade traditional farming practices and prepare for a technological revolution to develop eco-friendly systems to enhance crop productivity. The course aims to cover the various applications of machine learning and deep learning methods for better soil and crop management. It will be conducted by an Assistant Professor (Soil Science) in the Agricultural and Food Engineering Department at IIT-Kharagpur. Participants can also obtain certificates by paying for and clearing an examination. To pass, students need an average assignment score of 10 out of 25 and an average exam score of 30 out of 75. The course will be conducted on the National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL) platform. It is scheduled for 24 January to 15 April 2022, and enrolment is free. According to a news report, the course will cover:

  • The general overview of machine learning and deep learning applications in agriculture.
  • The basics of multivariate data analytics.
  • Principal component analysis and regression applications in agriculture.
  • The applications of classification and clustering methods in agriculture.
  • Diffuse reflectance spectroscopy: the basics and applications for crop and soil.
  • The use of machine learning for portable proximal soil and crop sensors.
  • Machine learning and deep learning for soil and crop image processing.
  • UAV and machine learning applications in agriculture.
  • Hyperspectral remote sensing and machine learning applications in agriculture.
  • Digital soil mapping.

Earlier this month, IIT-Kharagpur invited applications for another 12-week free online course on an Introduction to the Internet of Things (IoT). The course will be offered through the NPTEL platform. It will provide different aspects, principles, and tools to help build IoT products. Students will learn the fundamentals of the technology through IoT-based applications like innovative shopping systems, infrastructure management in urban and rural areas, remote health monitoring and emergency notification systems, and transportation systems.

As per a news report, the course will cover an introduction to IoT: sensing, actuation, and the basics of networking, communication protocols, sensor networks, and machine-to-machine communications. Students will learn interoperability in IoT and Python programming and Raspberry Pi and the implementation of IoT with Raspberry Pi. The course will also explore data handling and analytics, and cloud computing, sensor-cloud, and fog computing, smart cities, and smart homes. Also, connected vehicles, smart grids, and industrial IoT.

India has been heavily investing in developing AI/ML courses and solutions. In September, the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore (IISc) unveiled a state-of-the-art artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML) centre at the IISc campus. Spread across approximately 140,000 square feet, the centre will offer bachelor’s, master’s, and short-term courses in areas like AI/ML, deep learning, fintech, reinforcement learning, image processing, and computer vision. The centre will also promote research and innovation in AI/ML and develop the talent pool from across the country to provide cutting-edge solutions to meet the industry’s emerging and future requirements.


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