Prof. Mahabir Panda (Regional Chairman – UBA Odisha) welcomed the gathering and requested Prof. Animesh Biswas (Director, NIT Rourkela) to light the lamp and enlighten the representatives of Participating Institutes (PIs) with an inaugural speech. Prof. S. N. Naik, (Co-Coordinator of UBA from the National Coordinating Institute (NCI), IIT Delhi) was the chief guest. Prof. Raj Kishore Patel (Regional Coordinator) stressed the importance of integration of various stakeholders for attaining rural development. Prof. P. Balasubramanian (Convener, 2nd ROW on UBA Odisha) thanked everyone for their support and inspiring participation of 32 representatives from PIs in the workshop.
Prof. S.N. Naik from the Center for Rural Technology & Development of Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (National Coordinating Institute, UBA) introduced the scope and importance of UBA activities to the representatives of PIs. Further, he emphasized the prominence of the technology demonstration at grass root levels, which would receive priority in implementing those technological interventions at all possible levels. He addressed the gathering with the role of NCI in collaborating with the PIs to facilitate planning, monitoring and executing developmental activities in rural India, with the highlight of win-win options to deal with rural development by promoting the various schemes available from both central and state governments.
The Regional Chairman (Prof. Mahabir Panda) detailed the works carried out by the UBA team of NIT Rourkela. The Regional Coordinator (Prof. Raj Kishore Patel) appraised the UBA activities carried out by PIs in their adopted villages. Prof. P. Balasubramanian demonstrated the key features of UBA website of IIT Delhi and then explained the salient features of NIT Rourkela webpage. Further, he added up on model projects sanctioned under UBA. Ms. Sriyanka Aprajitha, (UBA office assistant, RCI Odisha) demonstrated a live session on how to do village survey and to upload the survey data through the UBA Survey App. This live demonstration session provoked various queries from the representatives of PIs and provided insights on the UBA activities. The UBA team also arranged a field visit to the Jhirpani village, which is one of the adopted villages of NIT Rourkela, where organic farms and vermicomposting were implemented earlier by Prof. Angana Sarkar and Prof. Kasturi Dutta. Mr. Abhijeet Pathy (a third year student of B.Tech Biotechnology) demonstrated the importance of using organic compost for reducing the environmental implications associated with the use of commercial fertilizers. Mr. Prem Deepak Xess, (UBA office assistant, RCI Odisha) coordinated the field visit to organic farms and vermicomposting site in the Jhirpani village.
The one-day workshop witnessed a healthy discussion on how the PIs could promote the sustainable development in their adopted villages to transform the rural livelihoods. The role of RCI in promoting the UBA activities of PIs were also deliberated. The UBA activities carried out by the PIs, the problems encountered, and the ways to overcome were discussed. Sharing the experience of UBA activities by student volunteers and villagers inspired the PIs. The deliberations of Panel Discussion session with the PIs and student volunteers (from third-year B.Tech Biotechnology batch) sowed the belief that together we are making measured progress towards meeting the objectives of the UBA programme.
The UBA team at NIT Rourkela in capacity of the RCI assured the extension of all kinds of technical and social support for the upcoming programs to be organized by the Participating Institutions of UBA Odisha in near future. Yet, the journey has to be taken further ahead where the core strength of each of the PIs could be converged towards the unwavering mission of establishing a better country.