Centre plans to link higher educational institutes to rural development processes

Central Government is planning to link all Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) with rural development processes under Unnat Bharat Abhiyan (UBA). The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Ministry of Rural Development and Ministry of Panchayati Raj have already signed a tripartite agreement earlier this year in this regard. Through the agreement, the three ministries will try improve the formulation and delivery of developmental schemes in the rural areas.

Replying to a question in the Parliament, Dr Mahendra Nath Pandey, Minister of State (HRD) said that the representatives from Higher Education Institutions will interact with local bodies and community in selected village clusters to provide inputs and knowledge about the Gram Panchayat Development Plans, reported NDTV.

The scheme has been formulated by the Department of Higher Education, MHRD and the first phase of it is under implementation in several parts of the country. Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi has been designated as the Coordinating Institute.

All the institutions, including Central/State Government funded technical institutions, are advised by the MHRD to adopt clusters of backward Gram Panchayats/villages in their vicinity. The ministry has also asked institutions to apply their knowledge and expertise to improve the infrastructure in the Gram Panchayats.

Along with the Rural Development and Gram Panchayat, higher educational institutions are expected to carry out detailed field study. The institutes are also likely to participate in conceptualising and preparing the community-level development plans by providing technical, managerial inputs and by suggesting innovative solutions.

The institutions have been advised to continue their engagement with chosen Panchayats and offer assistance to the Rural Development and Panchayat Raj personnel. The programme is to be implemented over the next two years, with additional clusters.

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