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MOU between Centre For Sustainable Technologies (CST), Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and CAPART

Centre for Sustainable Technology CST), the successor to ASTRA which was a pioneer in the field of rural technology and a body affiliated to Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore has proposed to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding(MOU) -with CAPART and has also submitted a proposal for establishing laboratory facility for field testing and demonstration facilities, creation of database, capacity building of NGOs, dissemination of technologies and networking with NGOs, entrepreneurs etc. selected by CAPART for this purpose. The proposed area of cooperation involves technology development and promotion related to water and sanitation, household energy and alternate energy technologies, sustainable building technologies, development of Village Knowledge Centre, agro processing etc. The current activities of the Centre also include development of medicinal plant technologies, household bio-gas and bio-mass utilization technologies and dissemination of information and communication technologies in the rural area.

The expenditure that will be incurred for activities mentioned in the MOU will work out to Rs. 34.10 lakhs per annum out of which Rs. 25.30 lakhs will be on recurring and Rs.8.80 lakhs on non-recurring component i.e. for laboratory equipments, chemicals, glassware, development of workstations, publication of materials, setting up of training infrastructure, organisation of portable presentation and video conferencing equipments etc. In respect of the non recurring components, the Centre will have to follow the prescribed project implementation procedure as prevalent in the organization. The amount, proposed is budgetary estimates and the fund released on this account will be based on actuals. The Institute has proposed the duration of the project period as three years. .

The Indian Institute of Science (Centre of Sustainable Technology earlier known as ASTRA) is a Centre of Excellence in the field of research, development and promotion of technology applicable in the rural areas. It has a world class faculty (F/A). It is already undertaking pioneer research in the development of technologies in the farm and off farm sector which can reduce drudgery, improve efficiency and marketability of rural products. The Centre has brand equity, which is recognized not only nationally but also internationally. The faculty is already engaged in conducting scientific research in the gap areas i.e. the areas in respect of which sufficient research, documentation and dissemination of technology has not taken place relating to the rural sector. CAPART with its mandate of improving the human development index and the income generating skills of the rural poor needs to tap this expertise for fulfilling its mandate. While Indian Institute of Science(CST) has the technical capabilities and potential for developing need based location specific technologies for the rural areas, CAP ART has the potential for dissemination of this technology in the rural sector through networking with its partner NGOs. Moreover, CAPART has a requirement to access the latest findings in research on technologies applicable in the rural areas and Indian Institute of Science(CST) has the need to tap into CAPART's strength of reaching out to rural masses through its partner NGOs.

The objectives and mandates of both the organization are therefore similar and complementary to each other. The proposed MOU between CAPART & I.I.Sc(CST) will accordingly introduce synergy in the opportunities and advantages of both these institutions thereby bring about a significant transformation in the standard of life in the rural areas. Indian Institute of Science(CST) has standardized a number of technologies applicable in rural areas. CAPART with its strong background of marketing of rural products through Gram Shree Melas, fairs and exhibitions needs strong technological backup, standardization by a marketable brand to improve the quality and marketability of its rural products.

The association with Indian Institute of Science will lend a brand equity to large scale commercial production by private industry to rural technologies and rural marketing. Hence, the proposed MOU will help CAPART access this particular expertise of I.I.Sc.(CST) for fulfilling its mandate of increasing the marketability of the products of rural artisans and craft persons. The MOU as envisaged between CAPART and Indian Institute of Science(Centre for Sustainable Technology, a body affiliated to Indian Institute of Science) is not covered by the Rural Technology Scheme as envisaged in CAPART Guidelines (March,2006) which applies only to projects and not to partnerships or MOUs. Presently CAPART does not have any guidelines that govern such MOUs. A monitoring committee will be constituted for overseeing the implementation of the activities proposed under the MOU will be headed by DG, CAPART and will comprise of the following members:-

  • Director, Centre for Sustainable Technologies,(CST,IISc, Bangalore )
  • Representative of the Department of Rural Development (MoRD)
  • Representative of the Department of Drinking Water Supply(MoRD)
  • 4-6 NGOs / RCs of CAPART
  • DDG. CAPART (Member Convenor)

The selection of NGOs / RCs will be made by DG,CAPART in consultation with Director, CST. This Committee will meet once in a quarter. The committee comprising of the above members will meet regularly to structure and approve the Plan of Action, work out detailed performance indicators, review and monitor the progress of the progranune and the quality of implementation at the field level. This committee will also quantify the outcome expected from this project to review its performance at regular intervals. A format for reporting and monitoring of output and outcome will be devised separately.

On approval of the project, the fund flow can be on 6th monthly basis and further funds' release will be based on the prevailing CAPART norms on satisfactory performance of the project and submission of necessary financial documents and progress reports. The CST will also act as the Chief Technical Adviser of CAPART for the establishment and administration of the proposed Centre for Poverty Alleviation and Rural Technology(CPART).

The MOU has received an 'in principle' approval by the competent authority. The MOU and the financial proposal is submitted before the National Standing Committee on Rural Technology for approval.

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