Dr. Harsh Vardhan launches CSIR Technologies for rural development under the joint initiative of IIT Delhi, Unnat Bharat Abhiyan,Vijnana Bharti and CSIR

The Minister of Science & Technology, Earth Sciences and Health & Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhantoday launched CSIR Technologies for rural development under a joint initiative of Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), Unnat Bharat Abhiyan (UBA), Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IITD) and Vijnana Bharti (VIBHA).  The event was organized through online platform on the occasion of CSIR-NISTADS 40th Foundation Day, here.The technologies released included:

  1. Improved bee hive for quality and hygienic extraction of honey,  CSIR-IHBT, Palampur
  2. Technology for manufacturing of Ginger paste,  CSIR-CFTRI, Mysore
  3. Dehumidified drier for food and agri products,  CSIR-NIIST, Thiruvananthapuram; and
  4. Technology for agricultural waste (wheat bran, sugarcane bagasse and fruit peels) based biodegradable plates, cups and cutleries,  CSIR-NIIST, Thiruvananthapuram

The Minister also released CSIR-NISTADS e-Compendium and e-Coffee Table Book, on the occasion.

   Dr. Shekhar C Mande (DG-CSIR, Secretary, DSIR, GOI), Padma Bhushan Shri Vijay P. Bhatkar (Chairman-National Steering Committee, UBA), ProfRam Gopal Rao (Director, IIT Delhi), Prof. Virendra K. Vijay (National Coordinator, UBA), Dr. Ranjana Aggarwal (Director, CSIR-NISTADS) were among the speakers throwing light on the synergy among science and technology interventions and rural upliftment. Various stakeholders including famous dignitaries, science experts, field experts, all Regional Coordinating Institutes and Participating Institutes of UBA, non-profit organisations, UBA volunteers, villagers and farmers of the adopted villages also participated in this programme organized with a purpose to enable the outreach of CSIR rural technologies to society.

A tripartite MoU to this effect was signed by the three parties on 28th July 2020 at CSIR to work jointly for post-COVID fast track action plan to create livelihood opportunities in rural areas, particularly for the people who have returned to their native villages in the lockdown period.  

Over the years CSIR has developed several appropriate technologies which could be deployed in rural areas for development and livelihood generation and achieving sustainable development goals. These technologies will now be disseminated to society through the Higher Education Institutional network of UBA and local chapters of VIBHA. CSIR- National Institute of Science, Technology and Development Studies (CSIR-NISTADS) is acting as a nodal CSIR Lab to establish linkages between CSIR laboratories, UBA, VIBHA, and stakeholders.

 In his keynote address, Dr Harsh Vardhan congratulated CSIR-NISTADS on their 40th Foundation Day, and said, “they have been involved in exploring continuously the interface between Science, Technology and Society and have played an important role in science policy research in CSIR and at National Level also”.  Stating that “appropriate intervention of Science & Technology can play a crucial catalytic role in bringing equity and equality in the process of development”, Dr Harsh Vardhan said that “Corporates, Research agencies, Organizations working with medium, small, and cottage level entrepreneurs, voluntary social organizations, NGOs, and socially cognizant citizens need to partner on a common platform to address various problems affecting the lives of millions”.  He said, “the challenges that we would be facing need actions at several levels, and we need to explore and reinvent innovative approaches for actions from different stakeholders that include not just Government agencies but also voluntary social organizations, NGOs, Corporates, Entrepreneurs, academicians & Scientists and constructively supplement these efforts”.

He highlighted that “Unnat Bharat Abhiyan” is a flagship programme of Ministry of Education conceptualised and launched in IIT Delhi, with a vision of transformational change in rural development processes by leveraging knowledge institutions to help build the architecture of an Inclusive India.“Unnat Bharat Abhiyan now constitutes 45 Regional Coordinating Institutions (RCIs) and 2,614 Participating Institutions (PIs). Till date, a total of 13,760 villages have been adopted under Unnat Bharat Abhiyan”, he added.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan expressed his confidence that “the agencies known for its knowledge, grassroot presence and technical competency, like IIT Delhi, VIBHA and their joining hands with CSIR can prove to be very useful for deployment of indigenously developed technologies by CSIR in rural areas”.  He called for “greater synergy among innovative scientific solutions and tradition knowledge systems so that the fruits of this combination reaches to the every person, every village to for betterment of their lives and development of the country.”

CSIR, UBA, Vijnana Bharti have planned to work jointly on a framework for scientific intervention to create sustainable livelihood opportunities in the rural clusters under synergy of S&T Organizations (CSIR/DST/DBT/DRDO etc), VIBHA and UBA. It began with strengthening the network, where R&D organizations and institutions to take the role of nodal agencies who provide solutions to the felt need of the communities in the country. UBA nodal centers- RCIs are the solution facilitators and are the link that build capacities and connect to the solution seekers (community, farmer etc.) and solution disseminators such as Development agencies, Institutes, NGOs, and Panchayati Raj Institutions etc.

CSIR-National Institute of Science, Technology and Development Studies(NISTADS), New Delhi is one of the constituent laboratory of CSIR. It is devoted to a study of various aspects of interaction among science, society and state and exploring continuously the interface between Science, Technology and Society. Currently, the faculty comprises of highly qualified faculty members drawn from a variety of academic disciplines. This intellectual diversity is the mainstay of the institute. The Institute has core competence in Science and Technology policy Research mainly addressing the concerns and problems of developing countries. The institute’s strength mainly lies in Interdisciplinary research teams, multi-discipline in faculty, long experience of field research.

Vijnana Bharti(Vibha): VIBHA, a science movement with swadeshi spirit, has a greater role to play. Swadeshi Science Movement was started in Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru by some eminent scientists under the guidance of Prof. K. I. Vasu. One of the founding principles of VIBHA is – Swadeshi Movement with modern sciences adapted to national needs.

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