Thursday, 29 October 2015


1. Vision: Unnat Bharat Abhiyan is inspired by the vision of transformational change in rural development processes by leveraging knowledge institutions to help build the architecture of an Inclusive India.

2. Mission: The Mission of Unnat Bharat Abhiyan is to enable higher educational institutions to work with the people of rural India in identifying development challenges and evolving appropriate solutions for accelerating sustainable growth. It also aims to create a virtuous cycle between society and an inclusive academic system by providing knowledge and practices for emerging professions and to upgrade the capabilities of both the public and the private sectors in responding to the development needs of rural India. 

3. Rationale:

India in the twenty first century is an interesting mosaic of new and old challenges and opportunities. Huge development disconnects such as inequity in health, education, incomes, co-exist with a society getting connected through communication technologies prompting an increasingly vocal democracy to demand greater public services and assets, opportunities for growth and access to resources.

70 % of the population in India lives in rural areas, engaged in agrarian economy with agriculture and allied sectors employing 51% of the total workforce but accounting for only 17% of the GDP. Without rural development, India cannot optimally realise its growth potential and claim its place in the world.

In today’s Knowledge Economy, it is not enough to mobilise financial resources. Professional and technical know-how, evolved through innovative experimentation and adapted to the social context is equally important. The implication is that rural development needs to be informed by a formal professional knowledge framework encompassing engineering, planning, management and applied social sciences as a holistic design approach. At the same time such professional inputs need to be sensitive to the local context and community. The critical design parameters for rural development can be seen as a triadic unity of people’s participation, inter-disciplinary professionalism and convergence of resources. Moreover, the outcomes need to be measured not just in terms of quantitative gains, but by social equity, technical soundness, economic efficiency, and sustainability.

4. Current Policy Context

Honourable Prime Minister in his Independence Day speech etched the contours of his development vision for the country highlighting the need to channelise the talent of the youth and ensuring a better developed rural India. Honourable PM also urged all MPs to develop a model village in their constituencies by 2016. One village for a constituency should be developed as a model. Two more can be developed by 2019. If each MP decides to develop three villages over five years, many villages in the country would see progress and serve as examples. Accordingly, the Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojna was launched on 11 October 2014. Honourable PM also in the conference with Directors and Chairpersons of IITs on August 22nd, 2014, exhorted them to adopt a village and develop appropriate technologies. Each student should have such a project, individually or collectively to be pursued over 4 years of the educational course so as to contribute to society a substantial product/service, upon his/her graduation.

5. Goals: Unnat Bharat Abhiyan (UBA) aims at transformational change with the following Goals:

To build an understanding of the development agenda within institutes of Higher Education and an institutional capacity and training relevant to national needs, specially those of rural India.
To re-emphasize the need for field work, stake-holder interactions and design for societal objectives as the basis of higher education. To stress on rigorous reporting and useful outputs as central to developing new professions.
Provide rural India and regional agencies with access to the professional resources of the institutes of higher education, specially those that have acquired academic excellence in the field of science, engineering and technology, and management. 

To improve development outcomes as a consequence of this research. To develop new professions and new processes to sustain and absorb the outcomes of research.

To foster a new dialogue within the larger community on science, society and the environment and to develop a sense of dignity and collective destiny.

6. Objective: The Objectives of the Unnat Bharat Abhiyan are broadly two-fold.

Build institutional capacity in institutes of Higher Education in research and training relevant to national needs, specially those of rural India, which includes inter alia the following objectives:
Encourage Indian higher education Institutions to engage with problems of rural India and to provide solutions for them.
Develop an academic framework for working on societal problems, their solution, delivery, reporting and assessment.
Re-visit where necessary the curriculum in technical education in educational and research institutions to incorporate inclusive technologies for rural India.
Promote inter-disciplinary approach in higher education guided by live contexts.
Develop over time, research areas which have developmental significance, such as drinking water, education, health, agricultural practices, electrification, agricultural and rural industries cooking energy, watershed analysis.
Develop collaborations of academic institutions with key government flagship programs and develop formal course-ware for supporting the knowledge needs for the same.
Promote networking and coordination among various science and technology based voluntary organizations and developmental agencies.
Foster collaborations between governance, knowledge institutions and local communities.
Provide rural India with professional resource support from institutes of higher education, specially those that have acquired academic excellence in the field of science, engineering and technology, and management.
To identify the basic developmental and productive needs of a village and find ways and means to meet these needs.
Strengthen the technical design of interventions in key sectoral areas of natural resource management such as water and soil, economic activities such as agriculture and related production, or related to crafts and artisans, infrastructure such as housing, roads, energy.
Identify efficient, cost effective and sustainable development practices in the field.
Help grassroots organizations in innovating new products, and support rural entrepreneurs to develop neighborhood solutions.
Empower communities to dialogue with knowledge institutions in order to evolve technically sound and locally feasible development strategies that promote self-reliance.
Facilitate convergence of development schemes, resources, various planning and implementation initiatives, and coordination of agencies for successful interventions and measurable outcomes.

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