KCC to focus on strengthening knowledge resources in rural areas

Strengthening knowledge resources in rural areas will be one of the prime focuses of the reconstituted Karnataka Knowledge Commission (KKC) under the chairmanship of K Kasturirangan, member of the Planning Commission of India.

The commission recently held its first meeting wherein several recommendations were made by the members to bridge knowledge gaps in the rural parts of the State. Opening resource centres, building discovery parks and strengthening sports are among the suggestions.

KKC executive director and former vice chancellor of Karnataka State Open University, K Sudha Rao, told Deccan Herald that the commission had invited written recommendations from the members. As on date, they have received at least twelve recommendations.

Rural resource centres will function with an initiative to inform the community of the latest developments in different fields. Resource persons will be deputed in each of these centres to guide the public.
“Discovery parks in rural areas will help students to get hands-on experience understanding concepts in science and other subjects,” Rao said.

KKC will soon hold a review meeting on the recommendations, after which mission groups will be constituted for each area of focus to take the programmes ahead.

She said the commission would function with the core principle of contextualising solutions instead of recommending a uniform solution to all institutions or geographical areas.

Towards this, the needs of the institutions in rural areas would be considered separately. In fact, there ought to be different measures for Tier I, II and III cities, said the executive director.

Some of the other highlights of the recommendations include Prakash Padukone’s call for strengthening sports resources in rural Karnataka. He is among the 26 members of the commission. Dr Devi Prasad Shetty, eminent cardiologist, who is also part of KKC, has proposed strengthening the paramedical staff by designing a simulated training facility.

Finishing schools

In order to bridge the industry-academic gap, Prof G Padmanabhan, former director of the Indian Institute of Science, has proposed a finishing school concept of engineering graduates along the lines of Biotechnology Finishing Schools.

“The problem persists when it comes to industries dealing with core engineering areas. There are not many engineers available for these subjects and the industries find that graduates not ready for jobs,” he explained.

He has proposed a module of one-year finishing school. In the first six months, students will be taught by industry representatives, and in the latter part of the programme, they would get to work in companies.
Kasturirangan said KKC would forward each reviewed recommendation to the government department concerned.

Earlier, the commission used to consolidate all the recommendations and submit it to the government. This has been proposed as a measure to speed up implementation.

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