The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) along with the Ministries of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj has agreed to link all Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) with rural development processes under Unnat Bharat Abhiyan (UBA). In this regard, a Tripartite Agreement between MHRD, Ministry of Rural Development and Ministry of Panchayati Raj was also signed on 12th January, 2017 as an attempt to bring about substantial improvements in the formulation and delivery of developmental schemes in the rural areas. It 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.
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 & 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.
The role of the three Ministries are as follows:
Ministry of Human Resource Development to oversee that selected Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) adopt (5) panchayats each in consultation with the District Collectors and use their knowledge base to find solutions for the issues of basic amenities & livelihood opportunities faced by the rural communities and thereby help in bringing about a qualitative change in the economic change in the economic and living standards of the people. As per the Tripartite Agreement, the role of the Ministry of Rural Development is to facilitate effective participation of District Collectors, DRDAs and other authorities to assist the institutions in preparation of the Gram Panchayat Development Plan (GPDP) and convergence of plan resources wherever possible. The role of the Ministry of Panchayati Raj is to issue instructions to all State Governments and local bodies regarding the involvement of knowledge institutions in the GPDP process to operationalise the tie up between the organizations in the interest of quality GPDP preparation in the selected clusters.
Few leading Private Educational Institutions and deemed Universities are involved in the programme.
This information was given by the Minister of State (HRD), Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey in a written reply to a Lok Sabha question.