IITs told to adopt 10 villages each
The Union human resource development ministry has asked each of the eight older IITs to adopt 10 villages and the eight new IITs to adopt about five each.
Under the Unnat Bharat Abhiyan scheme, IIT teachers and students will visit the villages, study their problems first-hand and work out solutions.
In order to implement the solutions in the adopted villages, industries may be drafted in to manufacture products based on the technologies devised. It isn’t clear whether the government will extend the implementation to other villages across India.
IIT Delhi director R.K. Shevgaonkar told a news conference that all the IITs had identified the villages they would adopt and the scheme might be launched next week.
Shevgaonkar said that each IIT already has a rural development wing, focusing on problems and development issues such as contaminated water, poor sanitation, solar power, food processing and preservation, and personal equipment to lessen labourers’ burden.
“We have been working in the villages. Now we shall expand our work and focus on more villages. We will ensure a better standard of life for the villagers,” he said.
All the IITs will sit together to categorise the problems faced by the adopted villages and jointly develop the required technology.
Asked whether the tech schools would open separate dining halls for vegetarian and non-vegetarian students, as demanded by a BJP sympathiser whose petition has been forwarded by the Centre, Shevgaonkar said IIT Delhi would examine the proposal.
The Union human resource development ministry has written a fresh letter to all the IITs saying that S.K. Jain’s letter was forwarded with “no view of ministry taken there on”. Jain had said the sight of non-vegetarian food was luring vegetarian students off “the Indian value system”.
Delhi IIT will hold its convocation on Saturday, where 2006 Physics Nobel laureate George F. Smoot will be the chief guest. The IIT will give away 178 PhD degrees.
The government had recently launched the Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana, under which each MP has to adopt a gram panchayat and help its development. Each MP has been asked to select a gram panchayat by November 11.
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