Centre to invest Rs 83 crore to support rural development research projects

Centre to invest Rs 83 crore to support rural development research projects

The Centre will invest Rs 83 crore to support innovative research projects of students and faculties of technical institutes for development of cheap and affordable technical solutions for rural development under the Unnat Bharat Abhiyan (UBA).

The decision was taken at a meeting here on Friday.

The meeting, chaired by HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar, also approved a plan of action to scale up the UBA to a total of 8,250 institutions in three years.

Eminent scientist and Chancellor of Nalanda University Vijay Bhatkar, who is credited with leading the development of Param supercomputers at CDAC, Pune, attended the meeting along with some "select non-Government organisations."    

The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), which is the nodal agency for implementation of the programme, recently approved 21 research proposals under the scheme.

"Approved a plan of action to scale up the UBA to 8,250 institutions in three year period. These 8,250 institutions would adopt 40,000 villages and would involve more than 20 lakh students in the effort," HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar said in a series of tweets.

He said that the research projects of the higher educational institutions will be selected through "a challenge method," which means only best of the research proposals will be cleared under the scheme.

"The institutions for Unnat Bharat Abhiyaan would be selected through a Challenge method. An amount of Rs 83 crore would be spent in training, orienting and monitoring the programme," the HRD Minister said.

Many of the Centrally funded technical institutes including the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) have been working on various rural development projects and have also adopted villages in their vicinity under the scheme since it was launched last year. The IIT-Delhi has been designated as the coordinator for the implementation of the research projects.

The HRD Ministry, the Ministry of Rural Development and Ministry of Panchayati Raj joined hands to implement the scheme together to bring about "substantial improvements" in the formulation and delivery of developmental schemes in the rural areas.

As per a tripartite agreement signed by the three Union ministries, the role of the HRD Ministry is to oversee that the higher educational institutions, selected under the scheme, adopt at least five panchayats in consultation with the respective district collectors and use their knowledge base to find solutions for the issues of basic amenities and livelihood opportunities in rural India.

"The programme seeks to help in bringing about a qualitative change in the economic and living standards of the people living in rural areas," a Ministry official said.  

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