Smart Agriculture for India

Smart Agriculture for India:

From Poverty to Prosperity for Small & Marginal Farmers

Saturday 4 June 2022 

 CET 14.00 hrs – 17.00 hrs (IST  17.30-20.30 hrs)

Venue: Van der Valk A4, A4 3, 2132 MA Hoofddorp, NL

Registration link: 

The Agriculture Census for 2015-16 placed the total “Operational Holdings” in India at 146.45
million. Most land holdings in India, 86% are small (1-2 hectors) and marginal (less than 1 hectare). Ironically
in many cases their households’ incomes are already below what they spend on consumption
expenditure. Therefore, before offering any possible solution it is important to look at these farmers as the
central point. Additionally, we must see the complete picture from Seed, Soil, Weather, Technology, Smart
tools, Finance and Market etc.

Globally, several smart tools (digital technologies) have been making their ways for productive and profitable
agriculture. India has one of the highest penetrations of smart phone and internet, making it suitable to
explore this opportunity. Thus, this timely seminar (hybrid event) on Smart Agriculture for India will try to find
out “how smart technologies can transform the Indian agriculture sector, especially for the marginal and small
farmers?” Some of the potential Smart technologies on the horizon are Agricultural drones, Satellite
photography and sensors, IoT based sensor networks, weather forecasting, AI-Artificial intelligence, Livestock
Genetics, Blockchain, Financial Inclusion, etc. With suitable implementation strategy, it is anticipated that
Smart Agriculture has potential to improve the farmers income, reduce losses, and create financial inclusion.

Programme, speakers and Moderators:

Time Program
13.30-14.00 Registration/ Meet & Greet
14.00-14.02 Specific instructions by Dr. Yamini J. Singh, Secretary General FCCI
14.02-14.07 Welcome by Mr. Jasbir Singh, President, FCCI.
14.07-14.10 Introducing FCCI, Dr. Pramod Agrawal, Vice President, FCCI.
14.10-14.20 Opening remarks by H.E. Mrs. Reenat Sandhu, Indian Ambassador to the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
14.20-14.35 Theme presentation “Smart Agriculture for India: From Poverty to Prosperity for Small & Marginal Farmers”, Dr. Ajay Sharma, FCCI trustee, NL
14.35-14.50 Presentation on “Opportunities for Indo-Dutch co-operation in Smart Agriculture”, Mr. Frederik Vossenaar, Directorate-General Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture, Nature & Food Quality, Den Haag, NL
14.50-15.05 Presentation on “Smart Agriculture Strategy – Learnings from WUR”, Mr. Kalyan Chakravarthy Guntuboyina, Account Manager - Asia, at Wageningen University & Research (WUR), NL.
15.05-15.20 Presentation on “Role of Farmer Producer Organisation (FPO) for technology implementation in India”, Prof. Dr. Ramandeep Singh, Director, School of Business Studies, Punjab Agricultural University, India.
15.25-16.25 Open panel discussion and Q&A session (facilitated by the moderators Ms. Satarupa Bose Roy, & Mr. Harjit Sandhu, FCCI), The panellists are,
• Speakers, and
• Dr. Shital Dixit, Director Business Development Asia at KeyGene NV/ WUR, NL
• Mr. Thierry Tartarin, PhD candidate on Drones for Circular Economy, Delft University, NL
16.25-16.30 Closing remarks & vote of thanks by Mr. Ram Lakhina (President-Emeritus FCCI)
16.30-17.30 Networking / Refreshments

Seminar Reporter: Ms. Satarupa Bose Roy, Director of Publication FCCI.







Webinar- Indian press & news media

Webinar & Interactive Discussion on

Indian press and news media: Is the 4th pillar of democracy losing its credibility?

Sunday 27th September 2020

14.00 hrs – 16.30 hrs

Venue: Online via Zoom and Facebook Live


Media is like a mirror in a democracy. In recent years, however, the obsession with TRPs and paid news has reduced the trust in media drastically. Being the for-profit entity and the outreach of crony-capitalism in the media is destroying the profession and ethics of journalism. The biggest victim here, are the citizens. Ironically, they are also the culprits!

Within the scope of this webinar, we will investigate the various aspects related to journalism & news media (excluding social media) and their effect on Indian democracy. Multi-dimensional aspects such as biased news, breaking news, fake news, paid news, ethics in journalism, freedom of expression, for-profit activity, governing laws/guidelines will be discussed. For the first time, FCCI is going to hold a webinar in a completely different style. Instead of presentations, there will be a conversation, and opinion polls have thrown in for a good measure of fun and interaction.


- Ms. Satarupa Bose Roy (Founder & Editor, Indyana Magazine)
- Mr. Rajkumar Shinkar (Textile Engineer & Trustee FCCI)
- Dr. Pramod Agrawal (Technopreneur & Vice president programs, FCCI)


- Dr. Yamini J. Singh (Secretary-General, FCCI)
- Mr. Manas Manohar (Director Digital platform, FCCI)


 Complete Agenda: Click here 

 Video:  Click here for a complete video of the event.


Hybrid Seminar - COVID-19 Pandemic

Hybrid Seminar: COVID-19 Pandemic

Saturday 19 March 2022 

 CET 13.15 hrs - 16.00 hrs (IST  17.45 hrs - 20.30 hrs)

Physical venue: Van der Valk A4, 2132 MA Hoofddorp. 

Free registration via:

Digital streaming:

The SARS-CoV-2 virus has led to the COVID-19 pandemic causing suffering and death, the like of which one has not seen for over a century. The health, economic and social impact on humanity is already enormous and rising. But, there is now certainly light at the end of the tunnel. In this hybrid Seminar, we will discuss crucial experiments that led to synthetic mRNAs, which defy body's defences and yet direct cells to produce a desired protein. This enabled pharmaceutical companies to design and manufacture safe and effective novel vaccines against the corona virus in a short time-frame. The vaccine powerhouse India provided more than a million doses to 95 countries under ''Vaccine Maitri' program. However, a vast misery of pandemic tragically unfolded in India in April-June 2021. Since then, India has manufactured more (doses of) effective vaccines, some of which are to be administered by nasal or intradermal route without injection. Also, there is progress in COVID-19 treatment; emergency use authorization has been granted to synthetic drugs as well as antibodies neutralising SARS-CoV-2 virus. We shall detail India's fight against this pandemic. Finally, from epidemiology viewpoint the seminar will discuss if we have arrived from pandemic to endemic stage. In any case, one should know that other far worse and deadly pandemics (e.g. plague and small pox) were successfully eliminated. This COVID-19 pandemic will be defeated too.

Programme, speakers and Moderators:

13:15-14:05 Meet & Greet
14:00-14:05 Welcome: Dr. Pramod Agrawal, Vice-President Program, FCCI
14:05-14:20 Quick advent of mRNA vaccines: Prof. Pramod Saxena, Founding Trustee and Past-President, FCCI and Retired Professor & Head                                   of Pharmacology, ErasmusMC, Rotterdam
14:20-14:45 Emergency use Authorization of COVID-19 vaccines and drugs: Dr. Venugopal Somani, Drugs Controller General of India, New Del
14:45-15:10 India’s fight against COVID-19: Prof. Balram Bhargava, Director General, Indian Council of Medical Research, New Delhi, India
15:10-15:25 From pandemic to endemic - past, present, and future epidemiology of COVID-19: Dr. Eveline van Dorp, Anaesthesiologist                                            and epidemiologist, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden
15:25-15:55 General discussion
15:55-16:00 Thanks: Mr. Jasbir Singh, President, FCCI

Moderators: Dr. Vimal Chopra, Director of trusteeship, FCCI and Dr. Sachin Soni, Trustee, FCCI







Speakers CV

Balram Bhargava is Director-General of the Indian Council of Medical Research, New Delhi and Secretary, Department of Health Research, a division under Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. He graduated in medicine (MBBS), followed by MD and DM with specialization in Cardiology from King George's Medical College, Lucknow. Prior to his appointment at the ICMR, he was a Professor of cardiology at the All India Medical Sciences, New Delhi. He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, India, Fellow of the American Heart Association, Fellow of Indian Academy of Medical Sciences and Fellow of American College of Cardiology. Prof. Bhargava received the Gujar Mal Science Award (2018), S.N. Bose Centenary Award of the Indian Science Congress, Platinum Jubilee Award of the National Academy of Sciences, Tata Innovation Fellowship for facilitating Biodesign Innovation and UNESCO - Equatorial Guinea International prize. In 2014, the Government of India honoured him in with Padma Shri for his contributions in the field Cardiology. His latest book “Going Viral - Making of Covaxin: The Inside Story” published in November 2021 is very well recognised.

Eveline L.A. van Dorp has worked as a Consultant Anaesthesiologist at the Leiden University Medical Center for the past 8 years, after completing her anaesthesia training there. She obtained her PhD in 2009 on the pharmacological effects of opioid analgesics. She also trained as an Epidemiologist at the Rotterdam NIHES institute and graduated there in 2014. She has collaborated on several large epidemiological studies with the department of Clinical Epidemiology of the Leiden University Medical Center. Her main focus of research is pharmaco-epidemiology, and most specifically the epidemiology of opioid use. She is a member of the board of the research consortium TAPTOE (tackling and preventing the opioid epidemic), which is funded by a grant from the NWO Nationale Wetenschapsagenda.


Pramod Saxena studied medicine (MBBS, 1962) and obtained doctorate under Late Prof. K.P. Bhargava in Pharmacology (MD, 1965 cum laude) from King George's Medical College, Lucknow, India. He became a Pharmacology Lecturer (1965-66) and also worked as a General Practitioner (1962-1966) before joining Organon, Oss. At Organon, he contributed to the development of the muscle relaxant Pavulon® and the antidepressant Tovlon®). Pramod Saxena returned to academia in 1970 joining the then newly established Medical Faculty Rotterdam (now ErasmusMC), where he was professor and Head (1990-2004) of the Department of Pharmacology and vice-dean (1988-1991). He continued his research in serotonin and migraine and contributed to the development of triptans. Prof. Saxena headed the Dutch Pharmacology Society (Chairman), the European Headache Federation (President) and the International Society for Serotonin Research (President). He is widely recognized: Harold G. Wolff Prize (1973) and John Graham Senior Clinician Award (1996) by American Headache Association, Honorary Life Memberships by the Dutch (2004) and International Headache (2021) Societies and Fellow of National Academy of Sciences, India. Upon retirement, the Dutch Headache Association instituted a “Prof. dr. PR Saxena Prize” that is awarded annually to author of best scientific paper in the headache field.

Dr. Venugopal G. Somani is the Drugs Controller General of India Drugs Controller General of India at the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. He did his MPharm and PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the Nagpur University. Earlier he worked as a Joint Drugs Controller in CDSCO, heading the Divisions of Regulation of Medical Devices and in vitro Diagnostics, Stem cells & Blood Products, New Drugs. Dr. Somani has also worked as Joint Drugs Controller heading the divisions of Biologicals, Clinical Trial, New Drugs and Cosmetics for several years. He was primarily involved in dossier assessment, monitoring, and framing of proposals for amendments in Rules, policies, and guidelines. Dr. Somani officiated as Drugs Controller General (India) Nov 2011 to Feb 2012 and also worked as 'Deputy Drugs Controller (I), Assistant Drugs Controller (I) and Drugs Inspector at CDSCO in various zonal offices like West Zone Mumbai, Ahmadabad, East Zone Kolkata, HQ New Delhi while conducting and monitoring GMP, GCP, and GLP inspection. Dr. Somani has been actively involved in the National and International forum for policy making, training, selections, providing expert opinion for better regulatory processes.

Round table debate - Fundamental Duties and Constitution of India

Round table debate on "Fundamental Duties and Constitution of India"

 In collaboration with the Embassy of India in The Hague, Netherlands

Wednesday 18th February 2020

17.00 hrs – 19.00 hrs

Venue: Gandhi Center, Parkstraat 99, 2514 JH, The Hague, NL


This event was held as part of the Government of India’s celebration of ‘Constitution Day and Campaign on Citizen’s Duties from November 26, 2019, to November 26, 2020, in the context of 70 years since the creation and subsequent implementation of the Constitution of India.
The Constitution of India has been a subject of focus in FCCI at several moments in the 40 years since FCCI was founded;  Since its inception in 1980, FCCI has held seminars, conferenced, written papers and published opinions on the Constitution of India. In fact, the first paper that FCCI published in June 1980 was entitled ‘Constitutional Framework in India – a Framework for the Future – a case for a new constitution for India’.


Event Report: Coming Soon

Presentations (Click on the title):  

 Photos:  Click here for the complete album 

 Video:  Click here for a complete video of the event.


Seminar- Regime Change in Afghanistan - Challenges and Opportunities for India/ the Netherlands

Seminar on 

Regime Change in Afghanistan: Challenges and Opportunities for India/the Netherlands 

Saturday 6th November 2021

13.30 hrs – 17.00 hrs

Venue: Van der Valk A4, 2132 MA Hoofddorp

Event Report: Click Here


According to available records, New Delhi has invested US$ 3 billion in development projects, offered scholarships to Afghan students, and helped construct the parliament building at a cost of US$ 90 million, earning huge goodwill in the country of 38 million. Last year, during the 2020 Afghanistan Conference, India’s External Affairs Minister Mr. S. Jaishankar said no part of Afghanistan was “untouched” by the “400-plus projects” that India had undertaken in all 34 provinces of the country. Bilateral trade between the two countries had also increased significantly over the years and reached US$ 1.5 billion in 2019-2020. The sudden collapse of the government in Kabul on 15th August this year precipitated an unprecedented exodus of diplomats, foreign aid workers, and Afghans who worked for Western countries and feared reprisals from the Taliban. India was among the nations that closed their missions in Afghanistan and brought back their staff and citizens. This change is likely to cause a significant shift in the geopolitics of South Asia and could be a testing time for India-Afghan relations. Additionally, South Asia continues to be the most impacted region by terrorism in the world. Not to forget, terrorist incidents negatively influence investment and thus the economy. This seminar will explore the challenges and opportunities for India in relation to this geopolitical shift, and possible solutions for better Indo-Afghan relations for peace and prosperity in the region.

Panelists & Speakers:

  • Mr. Harjit Sandhu- FCCI Trustee and former Chief of Investigations, UN-World Food Programme, Rome, Italy
  • Mr. Rabin Baldewsingh - National Coordinator against racism and discrimination, The Netherlands.
  • Lt. Gen. KJ Singh- Former General Officer Commanding-in-chief of Western command, India.


  • Mr. Ram Lakhina - President-Emeritus FCCI.
  • Dr. Pramod Agrawal - Vice President- Programs FCCI.


Event Report: Click Here

 Video:   Facebook Live

Exploring the possibilities of addressing the pollution challenges in India

Seminar and Interactive discussion

Exploring the possibilities of addressing the pollution challenges in India

Sunday 1st December 2019

14.00 hrs – 17.30 hrs

Venue: Van der Valk Hotel, Schiphol, Rijksweg-A4 4, 2132MA, Hoofddorp (Google Maps)


In the month of November 2019, pollution surged so high in capital city New Delhi that Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), under the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Govt. India (via reported an Air Quality Index of 999, way above the upper limit of the worst category, Hazardous. Unfortunately, India is home to 15 of the 20 most polluted cities in the world with some studies indicating nearly 700 million Indians are exposed to unhealthy air. An analysis of the CPCB data showed that almost all cities from north to south indicated deteriorating air quality. There are several types of pollutions and each are connected to the larger picture of climate change, industrialization, rapid urbanization, population growth, number of vehicles and so on. The proposed seminar will explore the various dimension of this complex issue and explore together to address it. After the presentations, the discussion will be placed on the stated topic.  

Event Circular and Schedule: Click here

Participation:  Entry to the event is Free. Registration is required.   

Registration Link: Click here 

Webinar on PPP Opportunities for Sustainable Farming in India

 Webinar & Interactive Discussion

PPP Opportunities for Sustainable Farming in India: The Future of Food Now

Sunday 28th February 2021

14.00 hrs – 16.00 hrs

Venue: Online via Zoom and Facebook Live

Video: Click here to watch on Youtube

Agenda: Click Here


Farming is a primary source of livelihood for about 58% of India’s population. Indian agriculture is multifaceted and accounts for around 16% of the GDP. Despite this, the Indian agriculture sector faces several challenges, such as low effective yield, underinvestment in Agri-infrastructure, fragmented land holding, lack of technical skills, lack of crop diversification, poor storage capacity, etc. As a result, the economic contribution of agriculture to India’s GDP is steadily declining; still, this sector is playing a significant role in the overall socio-economic fabric of India. The core of this is an Indian farmer, whose income is way below the national average. Certainly, the Indian agriculture sector needs to witness a paradigm shift from a labor-intensive (low-tech) to a knowledge-intensive (high-tech) sector. Therefore, huge investments and active involvement of the young-educated workforce are required. The objectives of this webinar organized by the Foundation for Critical Choices for India (FCCI), in co-operation with NICCT (, are to discuss:

1) Possibility of introducing PPP (public-private partnerships) in the agriculture sector to pump much-needed resources in this sector. India has a good record on PPPs in the development of secondary sectors such as the development of transportation infrastructure. However, the PPP model has not yet been effectively implemented for the Agriculture sector.

2) How India can focus on crop diversification and still ensure a stable income for the farmers. Currently, India is importing several essential commodities such as oil and oil seeds and at the same time, India is producing surplus amounts of grains such as rice and wheat.

3) Other important issues such as ensuring minimum income for farmers, building storage capacity, and the role of digital technologies (including smartphones) in information sharing about the weather and market situation, etc.

Panelists & Speakers:

  • Mr. Harjit Sandhu- FCCI Trustee and Ex-principal advisor, UN-World Food Programme, Rome, Italy.
  • Mr. Michiel van Erkel - Counsellor, Dutch Embassy, New Delhi, India.
  • Mr. Rajiv Mehra - Vice-President, NICCT.
  • Mrs. Geetu Verma, Global VP Marketing, Foods & Refreshments, Uniliver, The Netherlands.
  • Dr. Pramod Agrawal - Vice President- Programs FCCI.


  • Ms. Satarupa Bose Roy - Trustee FCCI.
  • Mr. Jasbir Singh, President FCCI.



 1.  Mr. Harjit Sandhu - Making India's Agriculture Sustainable 

 2.  Ms. Geetu Verma - Rising Food Trends in India: and its impact on the ecosystem 

 3. Mr. Eric Egberts - Dutch Greenhouse Delta

 Video:  Click here for a complete video of the event.


Kashmir policy of India especially in the context of articles 370 & 35a

Brainstorming session on Kashmir Policy

 Kashmir policy of India especially in the context of articles 370 & 35a

Sunday 30th June 2019

14.00 hrs – 16.30 hrs

Venue: Van der Valk de Bilt (De Holle Bilt 1, 3732 HM De Bilt) near Utrecht, NL


Year 2019 witnessed a huge victory for BJP lead NDA government for the second time. The new Government could use this strong mandate to resolve several long pending challenges India facing. One of such challenge is the state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). BJP has clearly mentioned in their election manifesto to remove article 370 and 35a from the state of J&K. At the same time many thinks that removing these articles is not easy and may not be the right step. There are many opinions on this complex topic. Therefore, a close group brainstorm session is organised by the FCCI to discuss the possible way forward for the long-term peace and stability in the state of Jammu & Kashmir. An educational presentation highlighting key aspects will be delivered by dr. Pramod Agrawal (VP-FCCI) at the beginning of the brainstorm session, followed by open discussion on the topic.

Event Report: Will be updated soon

Presentations (Click on the title): 

Kashmir policy in the context of articles 370 and 35a, by dr. Pramod Agarwal, VP-Programs, FCCI  (coming soon)


Webinar- New World Order

Jubilee Webinar & Interactive Discussion on

New World Order- Role of Emerging Powers

Sunday 18th October 2020

14.00 hrs – 16.30 hrs

Venue: Online via Zoom and Facebook Live


The current framework of the Global Governance order was visualized and structured during the decade immediately following the Second World War. A prominent example is the set-up of the United Nations post World War II in 1945. The balance of power has changed greatly since then. In simpler words, the change is visible but not reflected in the current world order. This calls for the new world in order to match the current situation in the world. The objective of this international webinar organized by the Foundation for Critical Choices for India (FCCI), is to address this issue of vital importance for the continuing peace and prosperity of the world. This year the UN is celebrating its 75th anniversary and it is an appropriate time for an evaluation and to chalk out a way forward.

Panelists & Speakers:

  • Hon'ble Dr. Shashi Tharoor - MP-Lok Sabha India, former Under-Secretary-General of the UN.
  • Dr. Samir Saran - President of Observer Research Foundation (ORF).
  • H.E. Mr. Venu Rajamony - Indian Ambassador to the The Netherlands.
  • Prof.Dr. Sharda Nandram - Academic & Consultant, Integrative Intelligence, Vrije Universiteit (VU) Amsterdam.
  • Dr Pramod Agrawal - Vice President- Programs, FCCI.


  • Dr. Yamini J. Singh - Secretary General, FCCI.
  • Ms. Suman Korenhof - Director PR, FCCI.


Detailed Theme Report: Click here 

 Video:  Click here for a complete video of the event.


Reservation policy in India- time to revisit it?


 Reservation policy poster

Seminar and Interactive discussion

Reservation Policy in India- time to revisit it?

Saturday 28th September 2019

14.00 hrs – 17.30 hrs

Venue: Van der Valk Hotel, Schiphol, Rijksweg-A4 4, 2132MA, Hoofddorp (Google Maps)


The reservation is undertaken to address the historic oppression, inequality, and discrimination faced by some backward communities. It is intended to realize the promise of equality enshrined in the constitution. At the same time, the reservation was also meant to be a temporary measure, but due to political compulsions of our political leaders, it has become a permanent feature of our society and it seems nobody dares to touch this. While the rest of the world takes pride in becoming ‘forward’ in our country people are agitating and fighting to be labeled ‘backward’. On one hand, we want to get rid of the disgusting caste system, on the other hand, we may be reinforcing it with the help of reservation on basis of caste. Probably this is the best time in history to look again systematically various aspects of reservation policy and its effectiveness. After detailed presentations, the discussion will be placed on the sustainability of such a reservation policy. Since the topic is sensitive and emotionally attached to many, the work presented will be fact/ data-driven.

Event Circular and Schedule: Click here

Participation:  Entry to the event is Free. Registration is required.   

Registration Link: Click here 


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Contact us

FCCI Secretary General:
Dr. Yamini J. Singh

  • Tel: +31 (0) 6 19 35 70 11


Marktplein 23
2132 DA Hoofddorp
The Netherlands