Unnat Bharat Abhiyan, a flagship national program of Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India and IIT Delhi has been designated to function as lead and coordinating organization for UBA activities in the country. 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.
The first meeting of Regional Coordinating Institutions (RCIs) was called by National Coordinating Institute, IIT Delhi on behalf of MHRD, GOI at Senate Room, IIT Delhi on 6th March, 2019. Representatives from all the 40 Regional Coordinating Institutions (RCIs) like IITs, NITs, NITTTRs, Central Universities and Agriculture Universities from all over the country have attended the program and signed the MoUs with national coordinating Institute IIT Delhi, in order to facilitate, guide and monitor the activities of the participating institutions (PIs).
The Regional Coordinating Institutions (RCIs) are identified on the basis of their earlier experience and infrastructural competence etc. These institutions will act as nodal centers for promoting & facilitate UBA network in their region. These will be responsible for grooming the other participating institutions in their region in addition to carrying out their own village cluster activities. These are the institutions identified by the NSC for the purpose of better coordination of the programme in specified areas/States. The RCI will have their own login credential to view and review the work of PIs in their region. Additionally, the RCIs have a strategic role to play, they have to identify a challenge relevant in their region / states in collaboration with PIs and State government.
The Chairman of the National Steering Committee Dr. Vijay P. Bhatkar, in his address requested all the RCIs representatives to join hands to realise the dream of Mahatma Gandhi to make our villages self-sufficient and developed. He further emphasized on the dream of Ex-President Hon’ble Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam to become a Developed Nation.
Dr. V Ramgopal Rao, Director, IIT Delhi, praised the effort of IIT Delhi and its effort to engage with the community through UBA.
Prof. V.K. Vijay, National Coordinator of UBA addressed to all the representatives with details of achievements made so far as under UBA- 1.0 through which about 2500 institutions and over 10 thousand villages have been identified for the interventions under UBA.
The Secretary, MHRD- Shri R. Subrahmanyam addressed all the participants through video message and he highlighted the purpose of selecting RCIs to give a momentum to UBA (Mission Developed Nation) so that the benefits of the programme reach to all corners of the country through active involvement, participation and technological intervention of RCIs.
Dr. Savarana Kumar, IAS, Joint Secretary, MHRD, Govt. of India, got connected through video conferencing from Paris and he addressed all the audience from there. In his address, he emphasized the role of premier institutions in development of rural India.
Dr. NS Rathore, DDG, ICAR emphasized on the role of Agriculture Universities, Research Institutes and Krishi Vigyan Kendras for the promotion of agriculture based development. According to him, there are 12 crores farmers and 14 crores farming labourers in the country. He highlighted the challenges, problems of agriculture sector and particularly the problems of the small farmers and because of which many of them are very poor and under debt and thousands of them are bound to leave this occupation every year.
Dr. Pankaj from UGC described how UGC has also joined hands under UBA. Under the institutional Social Responsibility, UGC has floated a two credit course for all the graduate students on Fostering Social Responsibilities in educational institutions. This credit course is optional for all the students at graduate level. This is a flexible programme may be covered through 50% classroom teaching and 50% fieldwork on a selected topic related to community participation and rural development. Under this course, various small projects of rural development may be taken by the students for experience as Self-Help Group, Water Resource Management and Integrated Village Development.