- Rural Technology Action Group (RuTAG) at Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IITD) was established in January 2009.
- It is located in eight IITs (Bombay, Delhi, Guwahati, Kanpur, Kharagpur, Madras, Roorkee, Ropar).
- The RuTAG cells are coordinated by the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser (PSA) to the Govt. of India, New Delhi.
Why is the Rural Technology Action Group (RuTAG) Concept needed?
- Though many entities such as Central and State governmental agencies, S&T NGOs, voluntary agencies, Public Service Units (PSUs), Corporate Industrial Houses in Private Sector and other agencies are engaged in development and dissemination of technologies for rural development, the spread of rural technology has been diffused, uneven, and slow.
- Its full potential for generating a rapid multiplier effect in the rural economy has remained unrealized.
- The main constraint preventing advances in technologies for rural application from reaching most villages in India in full measure seems to be the lack of local technology action groups.
- Rural technology support is critical for realizing the vast potential of the rural farm and non-farm sectors.
- Keeping the above aspects in view, the Office of Principal Scientific Advisor (PSA) to the Government of India conceptualised a mission called Rural Technology Action Group (RuTAG).
- The RuTAG was conceived as a mechanism to provide a higher level of S&T intervention and support.
- This intervention, which is essentially demand-driven, could be for technology up-gradation, hi-tech delivery, technology training and demonstration or through any other innovative method.
Entities brought together by RuTAG are:
- S&T Institutions, S&T NGOs, and voluntary agencies
- PSUs and Corporate Industrial houses in the private sector committed to rural developments (may be as a part of their Corporate Social Responsibilities or CSRs).
- State and Central Government organizations already working for rural development in an area.
RuTAG could provide the mechanism and the support needed for this synergy. Thus, RuTAG is a synergizing and catalysing mechanism, and not a major funding mechanism.
The Objectives of RuTAG
- To identify technologies ongoing in the villages or have potential to reach the rural areas.
- To help to provide higher income and employment or reduce drudgery of the people in rural areas.
- If the technologies have some technical problems and pinches to adopt in the target region, could be taken up for further adaption or improvement or value addition through the application of S&T by the relevant R&D institutions in the country.
- The RuTAG IIT Delhi will bring together some of the technical institutions from the abovementioned states involved in implementing technological programs at the grassroots.
Role of RuTAG
- Identify technology needs of the region
- Available technology solutions
- Problems encountered in adopting the existing technology at the grassroots.
- Identify R&D institutions which can improve the technology to suit the local conditions
- Assessment of the existing technology by relevant R&D institutions with reference to the problems identified, and find out a solution to overcome the technological problem.
- Formulation of project proposals for testing the existing technology and undertaking R&D in the existing technology.
- Improve/upgrade/adapt the existing technology, conducting R&D/ modifications/re-designing/downsizing/fine-tuning/standardization/scientific validation for adoption of the technology by the users at the grassroots.
- Conduct demonstration and training on the improved technology to the trainers for large scale adoption of the technology by the target groups.
- Manufacturing and commercialization of the improved technology.
- Creating awareness of rural problems to the students and faculty of the university system, and offering them guidance and financial support to come up with solutions to the grass root problems