The scheme is envisaged that representatives of Higher Education Institutions interact with local bodies and community in selected village clusters and provide knowledge inputs into the Gram Panchayat Development Plans, the Minister of State (HRD), Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey today informed the Parliament in a written reply to a question.
MHRD, Department of Higher Education has formulated this scheme and first phase is under implementation in several parts of the country. Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi has been designated as the Coordinating Institute.
The MHRD has advised all the HEIs which are funded by the Central /State Government and all institutions approved by the regulatory bodies, to adopt clusters of backward Gram Panchayats / villages in their vicinity and apply their knowledge and expertise to improve the infrastructure in the Gram Panchayats (GPs).
HEIs in the districts are expected to carry out detailed field study, participate in conceptualising and preparation of community-level development plans along with the Rural Development and Panchayat Raj personnel by providing technical, managerial inputs and by suggesting innovative solutions to the issues faced in the day-to-day lives of the households therein, in the areas of livelihoods, energy security, environment and basic living amenities.
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. No time frame can be assigned for coverage of all districts in the country, at present. Funds (Budget Estimate) allocated to the UBA during 2016-17 is 10 Crore, said the minister.
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