Monday, November 01, 2010

IIMs, IITs asked to encourage students to opt for rural sector

In an effort to bring in professional hands in rural development sector, the government has suggested IIMs (Indian Institutes of Management), IITs (Indian Institutes of Technology) and other select institutes to design a matching curriculum in their courses to encourage young talents towards the emerging opportunities in the field.

The suggestion was made to the select professional institutions by the Ministry for Rural Development at a workshop organized by it in Rajasthan on October 20. Union minister for rural development C.P. Joshi suggested the professional institutes that the students can undertake internship to associate themselves with the process, said a ministry official. This will be mutually beneficial as the youth of the country will get exposure to issues related to rural development and grassroot development process will be strengthened through professional support, the official said.

A month ago, the ministry suggested to the states to create a "panchayat" (village council) service cadre and appoint at least four persons one with a degree in MBA and another in engineering in each panchayat for the implementation of various rural development schemes, promising that it will provide them funds to meet initial expenditure on salaries for eight years.

The ministry proposed that 80% of the salaries of these staff will be given by the Centre in first year and it will gradually be reduced and finally the responsibility for payment will totally be left on the states after eight years. The proposed scheme, in its first phase of implementation, will be applicable to the districts where over Rs. 100 crore (Rs. 1 billion) funds of NREGA (National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) is being spent or to the "panchayats" where population is between 4,000 to 5,000.

We need dedicated and professional hands in rural areas for better implementation of government schemes. There is huge shortage of dedicated staff in "panchayts". The proposal made to states with respect to creation of "panchayat" service cadre is worked out to give it a final shape after we received views and inputs from the states, the official said.
The ministry has also asked the states to appoint dedicated staff in each "panchayat" for effective implementation of rural development schemes.
For this too, the ministry wants that candidates to be appointed should have a degree in MBA or engineering, the official said.

Source: The Economic Times, November 1, 2010
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