Sustainable Development in Rural India through Government–Industry–Academia–Society Collaboration Model

By Maninder Pal Singh Thind and Vinay Kumar Nangia.

Published by The International Journal of Sustainability in Economic, Social and Cultural Context

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Sustainable development in rural India has been in force in Indian planning and developmental strategies all along. So far development in rural India has been the domain of policy-makers and government agencies in collaboration with civil society. However the sincere and ideological contribution of a strong student community has not been considered a tool in this process. Students’ Initiative for Integrated Rural Development (SIIRD), a body comprising of students with different engineering backgrounds and supported by a Government of India project called “National Competitiveness in Knowledge Economy” evolved a new collaborative concept for bringing sustainable development in rural India. It developed a “Government, Industry, Academia and Society” Collaboration model which formed the basis of its various demand-driven initiatives—Information & Communication Technology based education (ICT-E), Health, Agriculture, renewable energy initiative, etc.—undertaken in the targeted village “Charba.” The paper brings out a new dimension in Indian policy making for sustainable rural development. The concerted efforts of Government, Industry, Academia and Society can bring this change much more efficiently than working independently. Here the student body plays the role of a facilitator, linking the above stakeholders to the village. The model is so developed in the village “Charba” that it can be replicated in the whole country.

Keywords: Sustainable Development, Collaboration, Government, Industry, Academia, Rural India

The International Journal of Social Sustainability in Economic, Social and Cultural Context, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp.107-119. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 366.695KB).

Maninder Pal Singh Thind

Student, Bachelor of Technology in Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, Roorkee, Uttarakhand, India

Mr. Maninder Pal Singh Thind is currently a final year student studying Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech) in Civil Engineering from a premier institution of India, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee. He has worked in project, “National Competitiveness in Knowledge Economy”, awarded by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Government of India under the supervision of Prof. V.K. Nangia. Under the project he is working as a part of a student team called Students’ Initiative for Integrated Rural Development (SIIRD) for the development of an Indian village, Charba in the state of Uttarakhand. He is a recipient of Acara Corps Fellowship awarded by Acara Institute, Institute on the Environment, University of Minnesota. He has presented his research works at various international platforms- University of Cambridge, UK, University of British Columbia, Canada and most recently was invited as a ‘Speaker’ by Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany to present his research work in ‘5th International Conference on CSR-The Future of CSR. He was among the selected students from IIT Roorkee, invited by Vice Chairman of TATA Industries, India to represent the opinion of talented and upcoming youth leadership of India at the Global platform of AIESEC International Congress, 2010 held at Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad. Being appointed as Acara University Program Manager at IIT Roorkee for organizing Acara Challenge Social Entrepreneurship Competition he has worked with various US Universities. He has served the position of ‘Convener’ for Technopreneur Promotion Programme (TePP), IIT Roorkee and ‘Co-Convener’ for Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Cell, IIT Roorkee. He is passionate about working for social causes and developed a deep interest in understanding dynamics of CSR in Indian firms. Apart from being a brilliant academic performer; he possesses excellent leadership and managerial capabilities. Mr. Thind has interest in the fields of Sustainable Development Practices, Environmental Engineering, CSR and International Relations.

Vinay Kumar Nangia

Professor, Department of Management Studies, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, Roorkee, Uttarakhand, India

Dr. Vinay K. Nangia is currently Professor and Head, Department of Management Studies & Coordinator, Uttarakhand Development Cell. Dr. Vinay Kumar Nangia, a Distinguished Alumnus of Banaras Hindu University, has over 35 years of managerial experience, including at senior and top levels in India and overseas, in banking, industry and education. He has multi-functional expertise in Banking, Finance, General Management, Education and Institution Building. This includes experience of raising and deploying financial resources in India and overseas and setting up of new ventures in India and a new industrial project overseas. Banking experience includes exposure in commercial banking, merchant banking, investment banking, trade finance, project finance and training. Experience in education includes active participation in formulation and setting up MBA and MCA programmes in IIT Roorkee. He has widely travelled across all the five continents for business, training, pleasure and cultural familiarisation. He has worked in rural, semi urban and metropolitan areas in government, public and private sectors during his career including having worked in three countries. Amongst others he has held the position of Head of the Department in IIT Roorkee thrice, Managing Director and CEO of an investment and finance company in Mumbai, Senior Vice President at Essar group at Mumbai, Group Director of a large business and industrial house at Lagos, Nigeria and as an international banker at Singapore. Professor Nangia is member on various bodies and boards of several academic and other institutions. To name a few, he has been a member of the governing council of DOEACC, and a senior expert with International Telecommunication Union, Switzerland, a United Nations Agency, working on international consultancy projects, the last being in Sri Lanka. He is an invited member of the Expert Group on Knowledge Management of Asian Productivity Organisation, Tokyo and he is a panelist on the Knowledge Management Panel and Corporate Governance Panel of the Bureau of Indian Standards. During the last seven years, Professor Nangia has been actively engaged in large scale ICT projects relating to e-governance. He was the Principal Investigator of a Rs. 5 crore project “National Competitiveness in Knowledge Economy”, awarded by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Government of India.