Science and technology for rural development

Amalendu Upadhyaya
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New Delhi, April 18: The nationwide “Panchayati Raj Diwas” celebrations coming up on April 24 would have a significant scientific touch to them.

The office of Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India and the various science and technology organisations working under the Department of Science & Technology, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Department of Biotechnology, Department of Space, Department of Atomic Energy, and Ministry of Earth Sciences would put up about 30 stalls at the exhibition to be held up as part of the function where Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, would inaugurate the programme. They will display the latest technologies and innovations beneficial for rural areas and farming.

Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh informed that the themes identified for the expo include `poverty and enhanced village livelihood’, `healthy village’, `child-friendly village’, `water sufficient village’, `clean and green village’, `self-sufficient infrastructure in village’. Regeneration of agriculture and rural areas through modern technological interventions will be the key highlight of the exhibition.

The stalls are being put in a theme-wise sequence, with the 30 Stalls from the science ministries/departments, placed in sequence with the stalls set up by Ministries of Rural Development and the Union Territory Government of Jammu and Kashmir. For instance, stalls demonstrating best practices developed by science organisations in agriculture will be supplemented by information on innovative initiatives of other organisations of the Central and UT Governments in that area for the welfare of farmers.

The Minister said that instead of having conventional stalls at the event, extra efforts are being made to showcase the latest technology that can add value to farmers’ income and science-based demonstration with Panchayati Raj features.

Among other things, a 12-member high-level Central team led by Dr Jitendra Singh had visited the venue of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally, which will be held at Palli Panchayat in Samba district of Jammu and Kashmir. Even though the main event will be held in Jammu, lakhs of Gram Panchayats across the country will be able to connect and watch it virtually.

The prominent among those who accompanied the Union Minister on the visit included experts from Central Electronics Limited, a PSE under the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, which is in the process of setting up a solar plant in the Palli Panchayat in a record time of 20 days. The 500 KV Solar Plant is being installed on a total area of 6,408 square metres and will provide clean electricity and light to 340 houses in the Panchayat, thus making it the first `Carbon Neutral Panchayat’ under the Government of India’s “Gram Urja Swaraj Programme”.

(India Science Wire)

Topics: Panchayati Raj Diwas, Principal Scientific Advisor, science, technology, innovation, rural, agriculture, Jammu and Kashmir.

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