With a view to uplift rural India, the government is set to launch a new programme — the Unnat Bharat Abhiyan. The programme is being launched in collaboration with the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) and the National Institutes of Technology (NITs) across the country.
Although the programme is an initiative of the Ministry of Human Resource Development, it will be coordinated and steered by IIT Delhi. According to IIT Delhi Director R K Shevgaonkar, the programme will involve engaging with communities around each institute and for their upliftment. “Each IIT will identify 10 villages in its neighbourhood and work out technologies to solve the most pressing issues of the region,” Shevgaonkar said.
He also said that different teams from these institutes will visit the villages, identify problems and then aim to find financially-viable schemes. Once the solution is identified, “We will then involve the industry to scale it up.”
The programme, with the help of IITs, NITs and other “leading technical institutions” will prepare a roadmap for holistic rural development. Along with the HRD ministry and the institutes, some other ministries such as rural development and NGOs working in villages are also likely to be involved in the programme. Some of the problems that the institutes could be looking at are, supply of potable water, sanitation, energy and low cost housing.
The main idea for launching the programme is to provide definitive research that can be aligned with national development. A date for the launch is yet to be finalised but the institute has begun preparations and IIT Delhi has already begun identifying villages in its vicinity.
However, even as the modalities have been worked out, what remains unclear is source of funding for the programme. “It is still not clear where the funding will come from but, it should come from the government,” Shevgaonkar noted.