SCHEME OF COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT THROUGH POLYTECHNICS BACKGROUND
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India is a vast country with a population of approximately 115 crores. 75% of India’s population lives in about six lac villages. There is a visible difference in rural and urban, rich and poor, highly educated and lesser educated, forward and backward areas. While resourceful people, particularly those living in urban areas, have has access to better education and professional training, but vast majority of those who live in rural areas and slums are lesser educated and hardly undergo any technical, professional and vocational training. In fact, for most of such people, quality education and higher technical and professional education is unaffordable. In terms of career options, such lesser educated and not so fortunate people tend to work in low paid unorganized sector. Per person productivity of such persons workout to be a small fraction of productivity of those who work in organized sector and Indian economy. In an increasingly competitive economic environment of our country, the unorganized sector, which is so important for the country, needs to increase the productivity of its manpower for its survival and growth. Yet another paradox before the Indian informal sector is that it cannot afford employing highly challenging, rewarding and satisfying career. The only option available before the Indian informal sector is to depend upon relatively low paid manpower trained through non-formal system of skill development. There is, an urgent need to train millions of persons every year through a countrywide network of non-formal skill development. Such non-formal skill special emphasis on SCs/STs, OBCs, women, school dropouts, minorities, physically disabled, economically weaker sections of the society and other under-privileged persons.
Technology divide is clearly visible in Indian urban and rural society. Vast majority of Indian urban population and small fraction of those who live in rural areas and slums enjoy the benefits of modern technologies. Vast majority of rural people and those living in slums require assistance in adopting appropriate technology for benefiting from investment in science and technology and enhancing their productivity and standard of living. There is, therefore, an immediate need to evolve a vast network which can help in adoption of appropriate technologies among the rural people and slum dwellers. Sustainable use of technology by such people would involve technology demonstration, repair and maintenance services, counseling and consultancy services and free service camps from time to time.
OBJECTIVES OF THE SCHEMES
The main objectives of the scheme are:
1. To carry out Need Assessment Surveys to assess the technology and training needs;
2. To impart Skill Development Training to the intended target groups;
3. To disseminate Appropriate Technologies for productivity enhancements;
4. To provide Technical and Support Services to rural masses and slums dwellers;
5. To create Awareness among the target groups about technological advancement and contemporary issues of importance.
ACTIVITIES UNDER THE SCHEME OF COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
Following are the major activities identified under the Scheme of Community Development through Polytechnics:
1 Need Assessment Surveys;
2 Skill Development Training Programmes;
3 Disseminate and Application of Appropriate Technologies;
4 Technical and Support Services;
5 Awareness Programmes;
A. Need Assessment Survey:
i.) The identified Polytechnics shall conduct the Need Assessment Surveys of the selected for activities. Such survey should lead to determination of the felt need and identification of the direction in which the rural development efforts and likely to bring quicker results. Participatory Rural Appraisal/Rapid Rural Appraisal (PRA/RRA) exercises can be conducted to understand socio-economic and ecological condition of people and area to develop a Micro-plan for selected villages. The identified institutions shall also make judicious use of comprehensive statistics already available from Directorate of Econimics and Statistics, census Office functioning in each State/UT, credit plans of the Banks, studies conducted by NGOs etc.
ii.) Based on the outcomes of these surveys, the identified polytechnics should prepare detailed time bound “Annual Operational Plan” indicating therein, objectives, targets to be accomplished in measurable terms, resource needs, implementation processes, complete time schedule for each activity to attain the set objectives and monitoring and evaluation mechanism. The detailed plan (Micro-plan) should also identify clearly the responsibilities and functions of all such governmental, non governmental agencies, and grasssroot agencies like village cooperatives, SHGs, etc, whose involvement is considered necessary.
B. Skill Development Training Programmes:
In order that the human resource is developed for gainful employment/self-employment, the training must be need based, and should provide employable/self employable skills. The purpose of the skill development is to create skilled and knowledge based manpower by empowering them technically so that they can earn their sustainable livelihood. All training programs should be well-designed through graded exercises, keeping in view the market requirements for various trades. Short term non-formal, modular courses of 3-6 months duration, depending on the local needs and commensurate with the available local resources with proper structures, yet having the desired flexibility to pave the way for s elf-paced open learning mode (OLM), should be offered. Depending upon local circumstances in some cases Multi-skill training may be offered to make self-employment viable in the rural economy. In some of the trades, advance skill course for 3 to 6 months duration may be designed and offered as per the interest of trainees or as per the demands of locl companies/industries/market. Preferences may be given to the training courses with technical bias.
B.a. The objectives of Skill Development Training Programmes are broadly as follows:
i.) Providing basic skills, knowledge and attitudes for self/wage employment to intended beneficiaries in their own villages/communities or nearby areas.
ii.) Imparting entrepreneurial skills for initiating micro/tiny enterprises especially for the rural youth and community.
iii) Offering skill up-gradation programs in their own fields, or for adoption of appropriate technologies for enhancing their employment prospects e.g. masons may trained for construction of bio-gas plants, low cost latrines, water storage tanks, ferro-cement articles; blacksmith may be trained in welding, fabrication, etc.
iv.) Identifying and conducting special skill training programs for Women, SCs/STs, OBCs, minorities, school dropouts, street children, physically handicapped, economically weaker sections of the society and other under-privileges persons.
v.) Special training programs on health and hygiene, sanitation and mechanization of sanitary services and skill programs pertaining to liberation and rehabilitation of scavengers may be organized.
B.b. Salient features desirable under Skill Development and Training to be achieved in future:
i.) The skill development programmes chosen for training shall be based on need assessment survey and felt need of the locality. A lot more emphasis need to be given to meet the growing demands of the service sector.
ii.) Each identified Polytechnic should conduct a survey for identification of priority needs for skill training programs of a cluster of 10 to 20 villages every year. DRDA, NGOs, Voluntary Agencies, Village Panchayats and retired teachers, engineers and other reputed persons should be involved in the process.
iii.) The skill programs offered should be flexible and non-formal with open access to all, without any precondition of age, sex and educational qualification.
iv.) The identified polytechnics should target the poor and deprived sections of society in both urban and rural areas specifically women, SCs/STs, OBCs, minorities, school dropouts, street children, physically handicapped, economically weaker sections of the society and other under-privileged persons.
v.) To facilitate self-employment in service sector, emphasis should be on multi-skill training, while for employment in production centres, training may be given either on specialized designated skills or multi-trade skills depending on needs and requirements.
vi.) Possibility of sharing of financial/infrastructural/skill resources available with different institutions/ organizations/agencies may be explored.
vii.) Infrastructure facilities available in the Polytechnics should be utilized in conducting various training programmes.
viii.) The infrastructures available in I.T.Is / Vocational Schools/ Colleges/ Technical Institutions wherever available may be utilized for the skill development training programs.
ix) Achievements of the trainees in terms of competencies developed may be done by way of issuing certificates, indication the level of proficiency the beneficiary has attain through participation in the skill programs. Such certificates issued by the Polytechnic will help the employing agencies in making recruitment.
x.) The identified polytechnics may collaborate with potential employers in their vicinity to awarding certificates to the participants of skill programmes jointly.
xii.) The identified Polytechnics should develop a proper feedback mechanism to know the post-training status of the trainees specifically with regard to their getting self/wage employment.
xiii.) The major criteria for judging the effectiveness of the training imparted are the rate of employability and the skills attained by the trainees. The Polytechnics should start only the need based skill training programs.
C. Dessemination and Application of Appropriate Technologies:
A large number of technologies have been developed by various research institutions and laboratories in the form of appropriate technologies. But, the benefits of these technologies have failed to reach the rural population. The villagers could not adopt these modern technologies and implements to improve productivity, and, in turn, their quality of life, since the process of transfer of technologies was not undertaken in a planned manner. It is in this context that the identified Polytechnics need to play a very significant role in this important task. This may be done systematically by:
i.) Collecting details of all available appropriate technologies from various agencies and organizations engaged in research and development of appropriate technologies through NITTRs and by other mean, adopting them to suit local conditions with regular and relevant feedback from Extension Centers and disseminating, through field demonstrations, these technologies in villages and thus helping villagers to appreciate and adopt technologies innovations.
ii.) Creating awareness among the villagers about the advancements made in the field of Science and technologies and educating, training and motivating them in acquiring skills required to use these techniques and also technologies in the field of Rural Water Supply, Sanitation, Shelter, Habitat, Communication, Transportation, Agriculture, Agro-based food technology and Non-conventional Sources of Energy for the rural areas, Construction and Service Sector, etc.
iii.) helping the villagers through the technical support services maintain and sustain appropriate technologies like agriculture energy devices, rural water and sanitation based technologies harvesting structures, rural housing, suitable local transportable sustainable agriculture.
iv.) Developing innovative strategies for mass involvement of running technology transfer and to sustain technologies.
v.) Introducing modern gadgets and machinery for generating energy. Rural areas.
D.) Technical and Support Service:
In rural areas, a large number of equipment are being used in farm and non-farm sector. For their sustained working, proper repair and maintenance services are to be provided. The identified Polytechnic should help the villagers and other agencies to take up this work by organizing:
Minor repairs of the equipment through Extension Centres and also at site.
Service centres to serve a cluster of villages.
Promotion of service centres and repair shops to be set up by villagers themselves.
Technical service camps in villages at regular intervals.
Extending consultancy services at village level through trained manpower.
E. Creating awareness among the target groups about technological advancement and contemporary issues of importance.
Assimilation and dissemination of information on rural development is important activity. The information, Education and Communication ( plays vital role in changing the attitudes of villagers for adopting new technologies. This can be done through publication and distribution of Literatures containing information useful to the rural people. For this the communication media such as leaflets, brochures, filmstrips, video and other audio visual aids are to be used. To promote these activities some approaches, which are to be adopted are as follows:-
1.) Dissemination of Information to end-uses and others man through various media. The modern as well as folk media film show, nukkad-natak and nautanki etc.) should be effective means to awareness among masses.
2.) Providing information through exhibitions at village Extension.
3.) Organizing Youth Clubs, Mahila Mandal, Farmers’ Clubs etc.
4.) Organising special exhibitions, community workshops, group discussions, seminars, etc. in villages.
5.) Using mass media like video films, films, radio and television etc.
6.) Organizing technical camps, demonstration camps, mobile exhibision.
7.) Putting up hoardings and display boards at appropriate publicity.
8.) Releasing advertisements on regular basis.
In order to impart skill training and accomplish ground level physical delivery of new technologies at the doorsteps of the rural people, each identified Polytechnic shall establish 05 to 10 Extension Centres in the nodal villages so that each centre covers at least a cluster of 10-20 villages in the vicinity. Extension Centres shall be set up after obtaining approval from concerned NITTTR. These centres will act as an extension arm of the polytechnic and will provide skill training, repair and maintenance services and common facility for group enterprises, information sharing and hiring technical facilities of the Polytechnics under the scheme. NGOs, voluntary organizations, professional experts, village agencies, village panchayats/panchayat samities, ITI’s and Senior Secondary School, Vocational Schools etc. should be involved in the establishment of Extension Centres.