The Unnat Bharat Abhiyan aims to help build self-sufficient 'village republics' in line with Gandhi Ji's vision. Currently, 70% of India resides rurally, and 51% of our work force engages in agrarian economy albeit with 17% contribution to India's GDP. The inequities prevalent between rural and urban India in terms of health, education, incomes and basic amenities not only cause discontent and large scale migration to urban areas but also may be affecting climate change due to rapid ecological degradation.
The Abhiyan intends to engage professional higher education institutions that have hitherto been catering to the mainstream industrial sector, in contributing directly to the development of the rural sector.
UBA was launched by the Ministry of Education, in 2014, to cover two major domains - human development and material (economic) development - for holistic development of villages in an integrated way. The Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IIT, Delhi) has been designated as the National Coordinating Institute (NCI) for the UBA scheme, whose goals are:
- To build an understanding of the development agenda within institutes of Higher Education and an institutional capacity and training relevant to national needs, especially those of rural India.
- To re-emphasize the need for field work, stake-holder interactions and design for societal objectives as the basis of higher education.
- To stress on rigorous reporting and useful outputs as central to developing new professions.
- To provide rural India and regional agencies with access to the professional resources of the institutes of higher education, especially those that have acquired academic excellence in the field of science, engineering and technology, and management.
- To improve development outcomes as a consequence of this research. To develop new professions and new processes to sustain and absorb the outcomes of research.
- To foster a new dialogue within the larger community on science, society
Unnat Bharat Abhiyan 2.0
An upgraded version of UBA 1.0 was launched in 2018 to link the Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) with a set of at least (5) villages, with areas of intervention illustrated herewith:
Figure: Areas of Interventions