Minutes of the Core Group on Rural Technology held on 2.6.99

in the Conference Room of CAPART, New Delhi.

 

 

 

  1. The list of participants is at Annex I.

 

  1. The Director General CAPART welcomed the members of the Core Group to its first meeting. He specially thanked the Secretary, Ministry of Rural Development, Shri P R Dasgupta and Shri Bhaskar Barua, Ministry of Agriculture for finding time to attend the meeting and requested Shri.Dasgupta to chair the session and guide its deliberation. Thereafter Shri Arun Shah, Deputy Director In charge of Rural Technology Division of CAPART, made a PowerPoint presentation high lightning the various activities of CAPART in the field of Rural Technology.

 

  1. While giving an overview of the scenario in rural technology and the need for the core group, DG stated that the Ministry of Rural Development was in the process of reviewing activities of CAPART and accordingly a review of CAPART guidelines was also underway. He said that several formal and informal brain-storming sessions had also taken place with many expert organizations, which included UNDP, Deptt of Science and Technology and Centre for Technology and Development as well as NGOs and activists. He added that there was some kind of broad agreement regarding what could be done by CAPART through the various Technology Resource Centre (TRCs) spread over the country. He also mentioned that well established organization like the Society for Rural Industrailisation, Ranchi, M.S.Swaminathan Research Foundation, Madras and Murugappa Chettiar Research Centre, Madras are associated with CAPART as Technology Resource Centres which, he felt, CAPART should be proud of.

 

  1. While taking about Rural Technology, DG mentioned that there seemed to be a consensus on the definition that any technology suitable for use in rural areas could be called Rural Technology. He further stated that only limited success had been achieved in creation of a system based on People’s participation in the area of development and dissemination of rural technology. Moreover there were sectors like sanitation, drinking water etc. Where the success rate had been low not because of lack of technology or resources but because of lack of awareness and absence of a scientific temper. One of the main causes of continuing poverty in the rural areas was lack of technological empowerment of the rural poor. TRCs though limited in number could play a very important role in dissemination of appropriate technological innovations as inputs in the upliftment of rural poor. What is needed is effective machinery for the process of technology development and transfer integrating work of various agencies. There exists a real systematic deficiency in the sense that efforts on the ground for development and dissemination of appropriate technology are diffused and unorganized, there being no nodal agency at the village Block Level or even Sub-Division and District Level for    

co-coordinating the work of various Govt.and non-Govt agencies to produce/provide need based S&T package to the people. Lack of a focal point in the field has resulted in a very limited flow of field technical problems to the R&D institutions and consequently the latter’s work in technology development suffered in as much as some of the technologies develop continued to be unrelated to the rural and indeed the user’s needs. He further mentioned that as CAPART is not fully equipped technically due to its inadequate staff strength and hoped that the core group of eminent persons would be able to guide CAPART in the broad area of rural technology so that an action plan could be prepared for implementation in a time frame of about 4-5 years.

 

  1. While reacting to the agenda, Dr. A.K Basu recalled his association with CAPART since its inception and added that there are two points on the agenda (i) Social empowerment and (ii) Scientific empowerment. This in fact largely was the basis for merging the two organizations, namely, CART and PADI to create CAPART. The task of empowerment of rural poor could be best undertaken by the voluntary sector because of its close interaction and proximity to the rural poor. Taking about Rural Technology he mentioned the following critical areas which need immediate attention.

 

                                                               i.            Quality of technology and mechanism of its transfer

                                                             ii.            The relevance of technology

                                                            iii.            The benefit accured, acceptability, and empowerment.

 

6. He further mentioned that a critical element in science and technology is the quantification of efforts/work. Reacting to the Views expressed by Dr.Basu, DG stated that proper place of appropriate technology depends on the socio-economic conditions prevalent in the area, quality of technology and the mind set of people receiving these technologies. The focus should be on technology oriented quantification. While intervening at this stage Dr.Anil Joshi stated that CAPART should develop participatory technology with the feedback from people and assistance form technical institutions. Dr.Basu suggested that well developed TRC’s could function as Zonal TRC’s coordinating and supporting g the work of the TRC’s. He envisaged such a role for SRI,Ranchi. Dr.Basu also presented a chart outlining the strategy for development and dissemination of rural technology for CAPART(Annexture-2) in support of his suggestions.

 

7.DG mentioned that ideally there should be at least a technology resource centre in every district but to begin with CAPART would try to establish at least one TRC in every state and further emphasized that TRC’s must do justice to their jobs by functioning as a voluntary organizations and promoting S&T oriented Vo’s.

 

8. Dr.C.J.Johny stressed on the need based  technologies. He added that while Scientists were involved in Technology development they often forget the relevance of technology. Technology need not only be excellent but also relevant and according to Dr.Jhony 10 to 12 TRCs in a country of this size are inadequate and the core group should invite more proposals for setting up of TRC’s to minimize regional imbalance. He also appreciated that concept of Nodal Agency for Rural Technology of CAPART. While intervening in the discussion DG felt that the role of CAPART-DST Collaboration programme could be wider. At this stage, Dr.K S Jagdish said that CAPART should ensure that Technology developed by other agencies also could be transferred by CAPART. He further mentioned that people working in Research Institutions are not inter-acting with the people and as such they are not aware of the real technological need of the people. Therefore, there was a need for close interaction between the scientists and the community for developing relevant and cost-effective technologies and CAPART should continue playing its lead role in transferring need based technologies.

 

9.Shri Bhaskar Barua, Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, felt that CAPART should play equally important role both for technology development and dissemination and should not emphasize on one at the expense of the other. He also stated that youth are an important part of rural India and dissemination of rural technology can change their very lives and TRCs could play an important role in this area by involving agencies like The Nehru Yuval Kedras. He also stated that there is some confusion regarding the role being played by the various TRC’s. According to him, four kinds of TRC’s were required:-(I) Zonal level, (II) Block level, (III) People’s Institutions (IV) Specialized Technology Resource Centres which are not area specific. He agreed with the suggestion that the Ministry of Agriculture should be associated with the Core Group on regular basis.

 

10. Dr. D. Raghunandan stated that in terms of its overall objectives the technology transfer has failed to achieve its purpose in the sense that it had not resulted in the desired level of reduction of poverty. The scope of Rural Technology needs to be increased. He further added that in addition to increasing technologies, we need to increase our capability of reaching the target groups. The transfer of Technology requires certain capacity on the part of technology transferring agency and CAPART being such an agency at present should play a pro-active role to improve the delivery mechanism. CAPART needs to formulate programmes to develop contact with the people through voluntary organization and involve them in this work while steps should be taken to build the capacity of the grass root level VOs. At this stage it was clarified by the DG that the proactive role for CAPART and Technology empowerment have long been on CAPART’s agenda and CAPART would like to try to achieve a greater outreach on  experimental basis in Andhra Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh by making an intensive effort. While justifying the selection, DG stated that these states were identified as they have different kinds of climatic and geographical regions where different type of efforts could be experimented and also foresee base VO’s interested in S &T.

 

 

11. Coming to the decentralization of Rural Technology in CAPART DDG, Shri. Ashok Thakur, CAPART felt that the decentralization by a stroke of pen was not the solution for reaching out to people. Decentralization would be meaningful if the CAPART headquarters and Regional Committee offices acquire the necessary capacity and maintain a close liaison with TRCs in their respective areas. He also emphasized the human resource development aspects both of CAPART and that of VOs. In this connection, DG emphasized the need to have a technology cell at headquarters of CAPART and to make available assistance of experts at RC level also. However, certain member of the Core Group expressed the need for such a Group at RC level though not now but in due course as CAPART was planning, to further decentralize its function.

 

 

12. According to Dr. Jagdish, the print media is inadequate to reach out to people and referred to a recent exhibition organized by KVIC in Bangalore. According to him similar Melas with special reference to technologies should be organized all over the country to reach out to VOs as well as people.

 

 

13. Shri. K.K. Bangar, DDG felt that a pro-active role from CAPART would not be possible without a series of training programmes for HRD both for CAPART and for the VO’s to equip them to achieve the objectives of creating scientific temper and to develop and disseminate appropriate technology in the rural areas.

 

 

14. Elaborating on the role of core group and its function the DG stated that the main task of the core group could be to (i) consider schemes and procedures for expansion of TRCs (II) to emphasize development and dissemination of technologies for coastal and desert areas (III) to intensify S&T work in two states for creating a client driven system for dissemination of appropriate rural technology.  He suggested that CAPART, DST and other organizations interested in the field should work together. For example, in earthquake prone areas, Earthquake Risk Evaluation Centers could be established with the support of scientific institutions, with a voluntary organization like HESCO as the main actor in social mobilization in vulnerable areas and diffusion of earthquake resistant technology.

 

 

15. Shri. P.R. Dasgupta, Secretary, Rural Development said that development and dissemination of rural technology should receive top most priority  and we must involve other departments as well to expose them to such technologies. At the same time, the Council should involve experts in upgrading existing technologies.

 

CAPART should develop its own methodology for taking up the right person for the right job. He agreed that the Rural Technology of CAPART needs strengthening.

 

 

16. Dr. Raghunandan said that if the TRCs are expected to help in dissemination of technologies they must also be given adequate funds for the purpose. Similarly, Shri. V.S. Oberoi also mentioned that CAPART needed budget for each of the programmes.

 

 

17. There was also discussion on the role and periodicity of its meetings of the core group. While Dr. Johny felt that though primarily it has to work as a think tank, the core group should also have some authority. It should not be merely an advisory body. The core group should meet at least once in three months. Secretary (RD) was of the opinion, that the participation of DG would give the body adequate authority and the DG should keep the core group updated in various initiatives taken and apprise the core group of the progress of implementation of its recommendations whenever it meets.

 

 

18. While thanking Shree Dasgupta, Secretary (RD) and the members at the close of the meeting DG suggested that the next meeting could be held after about 3 months, when TRC evaluation reports would be presented for discussion.

 

                                The meeting ended with vote of thanks to the chair.

                                                          ********************

 

 

ANNEXURE-I

 

List of Participants in the meetings

 

  • Shri. P.R. Dasgupta, Secretary, Rural Development
  • Shri. Bhaskar Barua, Secretary, Agriculture & Cooperation
  • Shri. Rangan  Dutta, Director General, CAPART
  • Shri. Ashok Thakur, DDG, CAPART
  • Shri. K.K. Bangar, DDG, CAPART
  • Dr. D. Raghunandan, CTD, New Delhi
  • Dr. Anil. P. Joshi, Hesco, Dehradun
  • Shri. A.K. Basu, SRI, Ranchi
  • Prof. K.S. Jagdish, ASTRA, Karnataka
  • Dr. C.J. Johny, DST, New Delhi
  • Shri. V.S. Oberoi, UNDP, New Delhi
  • Shri. S.G. Rawat, Dy. Advisor, Planning Commission
  • Shri. Arun Shah, Dy. Director, CAPART
  • Shri. Vijoy Kumar, Assistant Director, CAPART

 

 

 

ANNEXURE-II

 

Terms of Reference of Rural Technology Core Group

 

Formulate Strategy guidelines ( with reference to poverty alleviation only)

 

  1. To improve Technology Component in programme
  2. To identify technologies for large scale dissemination
  3. To design System Components for effective Technology transfer
  4. To ensure Empowerment of the marginalized to participate
  5. To Converge support of Research Groups, International users and donors, Statutory and Business sector Media. 

 

 

 

 

 

Prepare Design to ensure reliability, visibility and quality

 

 (a).Of Grassroots, Block Level and Zonal VO’s as change agents

 (b).Of Entrepreneurisation of skilled training for the marginalized people.

 (c.)Of Support from Local Development and Credit Agencies.

 

Plan an effective platform for advocacy and influencing

 

(a)    Through own and external media based information dissemination

(b)   Through international, national, state and district level interactions.

(c)    Through offering both challenge and opportunity to the youth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VITTAL COMMITTEE

 

 

Report on Vittal Committee for comprehensive evaluation of TRCs of CAPART.

 

 

1.            INTRODUCTION

 

            Union Ministry of Rural Development had set up the Council for Advancement of Rural Technology(CART) in February 1984.  It was given the broad mandate of coordinating all efforts towards the advancement of technology relevant to rural areas except for sectors being dealt with by ICAR, CSIR and their sister organizations.  The principal rationale for setting up of CART was that most of the efforts at development technologies for rural areas had been confined to the R & D stage and the benefits of these efforts had not reached the rural community.  Consequently, the main task assigned to CART was to promote and support efforts for the transfer of technology.  In September 1986, CART was merged with the Peoples Action for Development India (PADI) and named as the Council for Advancement of People’s Action and Rural Technology (CAPART).  After merger, CART, which was a separate institution, was made a scheme of CAPART named as the Advancement of Rural Technology Scheme (ARTS), now called Rural Technology Division (RTD).

 

            1.2 ADVANCEMENT OF RURAL TECHNOLOGY SCHEME (ARTS)

 

When CART merged with PADI to become CAPART it was converted into a scheme called Advancement of Rural Technology Scheme (ARTS).  Under this scheme CAPART supports projects aimed at the following:

 

·        Conducting need-based study, survey, adaptive Research and Development, field trials, demonstration and dissemination of appropriate technologies amongst the rural masses.

 

·        Upgrading of the technical skills of village youths, artisans, women and other target groups through demonstration and training centres set up by non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

 

·        Interaction between governmental agencies, technical institutions and NGOs working in the field of rural development through training programmes, seminars, workshop and meetings.

 

·        Strengthening of existing institutions and setting up of new institutions like Technology Resource Centres (TRCs) for the above purpose.

 

 

             

            1.3 TECHNOLOGY RESOURCE CENTRES (TRCs)

 

Dissemination of appropriate technologies to the target groups in rural areas is the prime objective of CAPART.  In order that sustainable benefits accrue to socio-economically deprived sections of rural society, the spread of proven and sustainable eco-friendly technology packages which generate employment, increase production, improve quality, reduce drudgery, raise income and improve living conditions is viewed as a process of key importance.  This can be effectively carried out by grass-root non-governmental organizations (NGOs).  However, most of these NGOs need technical assistance and guidance regarding the choice of suitable technologies, adaptation to field conditions, and appropriate methodologies for transfer including training, involvement of beneficiaries and S&T based backup.  This need is envisaged to be met by the Technology Resource Centres(TRCs), who would.

 

(i)                  Identify, motivate and networking grass-root  NGOs to take up technology dissemination programmes and catalyze Projects for them.

(ii)                Provide technical assistance to NGOs involved in dissemination.

(iii)               Provide assistance in all related functions like feasibility studies, training, documentation, market formation/promotion etc;

(iv)              Develop and absorb technologies suited to field conditions.

(v)                Undertake adaptation or optimization of technology packages

(vi)              Demonstrate these technologies in the area

(vii)             Develop/promote linkages with PRIs and local government agencies

(viii)           Link up with S&T experts/institutions to channelize their expertise for the NGOs, and finally to the people.

(ix)              Assist in Design development, quality improvement of products of rural entrepreneurs and their marketing.

(x)                Enhance and strengthen the outreach capacity of the non-governmental organizations.

 

            1.4 Therefore, a programme for setting up technology development and technology transfer institutions as Technology Resource Centres (TRCs) located in rural areas was initiated by CAPART under ARTS.  These Centres are designed to test technologies suitable for the specific geographical area, make modifications where necessary, and initiate the process of transfer of viable technologies through demonstration, training and manufacture.  The unique feature about these Centres is that they are all managed by non-governmental organizations, which have high degree of technical competence.  Under this programme, non-governmental organizations with proven track record of adaptive R&D and technology transfer are supported with one time grant for creation of necessary infrastructure and some recurring expenses.  These Centres are expected to act as focal points of referral of technology gaps in that area and generation of matching solutions to answer the technology needs. Identified by Government and non-governmental institutions.  These Centres also conduct training programmes at various levels specially trainers’ training programme.

            1.5. CAPART constituted under office order No. RTD/TRC-CE/2005 dated 03-02-2005 a Committee for Comprehensive Evaluation of Technology Resource Centres (TRCs) under the Chairmanship of Shri N.Vittal.  The composition of the committee is as follows:-

 

1.                  Prof.V.Kalyanraman, Dean, Industrial Consultancy & Sponsored Research, IIT-Madras, Chennai – 600 036.

2.                  Dr.O.P.Agrawal, Head, Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), Anusandhan Bhawan, 2, Rafi Marg, New Delhi – 110 021.

3.                  Shri S.Chatterjee, Director, Science & Society Division, Department of Science & Technology, Ministry of Science & Technology, Technology Bhawan, New Delhi – 110 015.

4.                  Dr.A.S.Ninawe, Director, Department of Biotechnology, CGO Complex, Lodhi Road, New Delhi.

5.                  Prof. P.L.Dhar, Department of Mechanical Engineering, IIT, Hauz Khas, New Delhi – 110016.

6.                  Dr.Jagpal Singh, Deputy Director, CAPART, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road.(Member Secretary)

 

The Terms of Reference of the Committee were to evaluate:-

 

  1. Technology interventions proposed and actually implemented during the duration of the TRCs.
  2. Efficacy of technologies implemented among the stakeholders.
  3. Impact of disseminated technologies in terms of improvement in the income, life style etc. of the target groups.
  4. Replicability of technologies achieved and its spread effect.
  5. Contraints, if any, faced by the TRCs.
  6. Activities of the TRCs after the expiry of the project period.
  7. Present status of all the TRCs.
  8. The capacity of the TRCs for venturing into new frontiers of technology interventions.
  9. Steps for rejuvenating the activities of the present TRCs.
  10. Requirements of funds for implementing new areas of technology dissemination for the next five years.
  11. Development of strategies for sustainability of the existing technologies.
  12. Modus operandi for establishment of more TRCs in the country.
  13. Modalities for inter and intra relationships with other TRCs of CAPART.
  14. Development of vision – 2010 for the TRCs.
  15. Establishment of Technology Service Centre in every State as the first level prior to the establishment of TRCs in a full – fledged manner.

 

The Committee was requested to submit its report by 15th April 2005.  Accordingly, the Chairman and other members structured various meetings of the Committee and had discussions with the representatives of TRCs to complete the task within the allotted time.  It may be mentioned here that due to limitation of time, visits to all the TRCs could not take place but visits to only 3 TRCs, i.e. Centres of Science for Villages (CSV), Wardha, Society for Rural Industrialization (SRI), Ranchi and M.S.Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF), Chennai have been possible,

 

 

 

 

2.      METHODOLOGY

 

 

            2.1 The Committee had three meetings.  The first meeting was held at MCRC, Chennai on 11.2.2005.  The 2nd meeting was held at CAPART on 2nd March 2005.  The 3rd meeting was held at India International Centre, Max Muller Marg, New Delhi on 4th April, 2005 in which representatives of 19 TRCs were present Minutes of the first two meetings may be seen at Annexure 1 & 2.

 

 

            2.2 In the first meeting, it was decided that all the TRCs will be requested to submit a detailed response to the issues raised in the Terms of Reference. Accordingly, the Chairman wrote to all the TRCs and responses were received from all the TRCs well in advance.  In addition to this, CAPART was asked to forward all the final/completion reports and previous evaluations/comprehensive evaluation/participatory evaluation reports of the TRCs to all the members for their perusal.  Some of the responses and reports, which were received earlier were discussed at the 2nd meeting of the Committee and the Chairman gave a broad outline for the preparation of a draft report by the Member Secretary.  The draft report was circulated to all the members and was placed for consideration in the 3rd meeting.  During this meeting, representatives of the TRCs were also called to obtain their suggestions in person and also have a detailed discussion.

 

 

            2.3 During the 3rd meeting of the Committee on 4th April 2005, the representatives of the TRCs gave their free and frank opinion about their views on TRC as a programme, issues on sustainability and how they would like CAPART to function to effectively operate the TRCs.  These suggestions have been carefully considered and suitably incorporated in this report.  The final report in the draft form was circulated to the Chairman and all the members of the Committee for their comments, and keeping these in view the report has been finalized.

 

 

            2.4 The Committee would like to place on record the excellent support received from the Member Secretary, Dr. Jagpal Singh and the staff of Rural Technology Division of CAPART in getting the inputs needed in its work.  The Committee appreciated the prompt cooperation received from TRCs by means of facts and views in its work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.         THE TRACK RECORD OF TRCs.

 

 

3.1              As of today, there are 22 TRCs in 12 states.  These are in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttaranchal, West Bengal.

 

3.2              The area of Rural Technology finalized by each of these TRCs and the details regarding funds sanctioned/released to them can be seen at the statement in Anexxure – 3.

 

3.3              From the records available the following details of Technology intervention in all 22 TRCs. Can be seen at Annexure – 4.

 

3.4              The efficacy of the technologies implemented among the stakeholder can be assessed from the earlier evaluation report available at Annexure-5.

 

3.5              Some of the TRCs appear to have been very effective in training and diffusion of technologies such as Vivekananda Kendra, Kanyakumari, Mitraniketan, Peermade Development Society, ARTI, Gandhigram Trust, HESCO, Vivekananda Institute of Bio-Technology etc. (TOR-2).

 

3.6              Unfortunately no full details were available regarding the impact of disseminated technologies from the evaluation reports already available.(TOR-3).

 

3.7              Replicability of technologies depends on the nature of the technologies.  Agriculture related technologies would depend on the similarity of the agro-climatic environment prevailing in a place.  The same will apply to bio-technology, which may be site specific.  Entrepreneurship development of non-farm technologies may be more amenable for replication.  Hence the Committee feels to give creative focus and emphasis on entrepreneurship development.

 

3.8              The constraints faced by the TRCs are brought out later in the next chapter on the SWOT analysis of TRCs and CAPART itself. (TOR-5).  Observation on (TOR 6,7,8,9) has also been made in this section.

 

3.9              The achievements of the TRCs after the expiry of the project period (TOR-6) depend on their inherent strength and culture.  Some like MSSEF managed to get funds from other sources and continued their activities.

 

 

4.         EVALUATION OF THE PERFORMANCE OF TRCs

 

4.1              This Committee has been constituted by CAPART for comprehensive evaluation of TRCs.  The issues that must be addressed have been spelled out in the 15 Terms of Reference.  The Committee felt that for getting an appreciation of over all performance of TRCs and suggesting the future course of action, a SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis of TRCs and CAPART will be the best approach.  In this exercise most of the indicated Terms of Reference will be automatically covered and the rationale for the recommendation of future strategies articulated more clearly.  In this SWOT analysis TORs where relevant, have been indicated in the brackets.

 

4.2              In arriving at the SWOT analysis (i) the facts brought out in the voluminous records, (ii) the replies of TRCs to the Chairman letter dated 11/2/05 of post evaluation, (iii) The inputs from the field visits to the TRCs, (iv) The Comments of the TRCs which participated in the 3rd meeting of the Committee held on 04.04.05 have been carefully taken into account.

 

4.3              The focus of the Committee’s work is on TRC but as TRCs are part of CAPART activities, the Committee feels that a clear-eyed SWOT analysis of both TRCs and CAPART is necessary.  The SWOT analysis of the TRCs shows the following facts.

 

SWOT ANALYSIS of TRCS

 

i)          Strengths;

 

  • All The TRCs have competent S&T manpower within the organization in the area of operation. (TOR-7)

 

  • They have demonstrative track record of having operated at the grass-root level. (TOR-7)

 

  • Most of the TRCs have very competent and very dedicated leadership.(TOR-7)

 

  • All the TRCs have created adequate infrastructure such as training facilities, laboratories, workshops, equipments and tools etc. (TOR-7)

 

  • In almost all cases, TRCs have specialized in one or more technologies appropriate to that region and have field tested and disseminated these technologies successfully in their areas of operation. (TOR-2 & 3)

 

  • Some of the TRCs have taken an initiative to network with S&T institutions, R&D laboratories and such other agencies. (TOR-7)

 

  • Most of the TRCs have been able to mobilize substantial amount of research funds from organizations other than CAPART like DST, DBT etc. (TOR-10)

 

ii)                  Weaknesses:

 

·        The main objective of TRCs was wide spread dissemination of technologies to rural areas.  The dissemination of technologies has been done through training programmes to the target groups.  The training is only a part of the process whether the training has actually resulted in the acceptance of the technology and its dissemination has not been the focal points of the activities of the TRCs (TOR-7)

·        Most of the TRCs have not been able to follow up training programmes to study the effectiveness of the training with the aim of providing specialized assistance to the trainees. (TOR-7&5)

·        There has been limited communication among the TRCs resulting in very poor exchange of information and knowledge regarding technologies developed by other groups. (TOR 7&5)

·        Very few TRCs have been able to identify, motivate and network grass root NGOs to undertake technology dissemination programmes and help in catalyzing projects for them. (TOR-8)

·        Inadequate compensation give by TRCs to S&T personnel does not attract best of young talents to the voluntary sector. (TOR-5)

·        In most of the TRCs, entrepreneurship development has not been the focus of the activities of the TRCs till now. (TOR-3)

·        Effective leadership is a sin qua non-for the success of TRCs.  In most of the TRCs there is a perceptible absence of second line of leadership or management.  This is vital for sustainability of the organization.  In a few cases this has led to internal conflicts. (TOR-7&5)

 

iii)                Opportunities

 

  • Current global demand of eco-friendly natural products (organic farming, natural dyes, herbal products, bio-pesticides), which are ideally suited for rural industries. (TOR-8 &9)
  • In future, with the reduction of labor intensity in agriculture, there will be opportunities in agro-processing and farming based value addition enterprises.  The TRCs will have tremendous opportunities to bring in new technologies for such new activities. (TOR-8 & 9)
  • There are many technologies, which have been developed by R&D laboratories and S&T institutions.  Many of these have also been field-tested and are awaiting large-scale dissemination.  The TRCs could play a role in disseminating these technologies and doing the necessary adaptive research. (TOR-8 & 9)
  • The new IT revolution offers great opportunities for dissemination of technologies, marketing, linkage building, and networking through the web (TOR- 8 & 9)
  • The TRCs have been provided with the platform like TRC Review Meetings, participatory evaluation, etc to interact with other TRCs and CAPART for discussing the issues about their functioning, strategies for improvement, sharing innovative ideas, effective networking and coordination. (TOR- 8 & 9)
  • There is great opportunity of establishing quality-testing laboratory for rural products for maintenance of consistency and superior quality.  Some of the TRCs could set up such laboratories. (TOP – 8 &9)

 

iv)                Threats

 

The threats for TRCs rise primarily from the threat to the whole rural industrial sector due to following reasons:-

 

·        Policies, which are not sensitive towards promotion of rural industries, particularly, in the globalization context, may make the rural industry unviable. (TOR-5 & 9)

·        Existing systems of S&T institutions and R&D laboratories do not encourage the scientists and technologists to devote and spare their attention to the problems of this sector. (TOR-5 & 9)

·        Inadequate attention for improvement of infrastructure and other services such as health and education do not encourage entrepreneurs to set up industries in rural areas. (TOR- 5 & 9)

 

4.4              SWOT ANAYSIS OF CAPART

 

SWOT analysis of CAPART brings out the following facts;

 

CAPART is the most well known name amongst the voluntary sectors in India for technology dissemination programmes.

 

i)                    Strengths

 

·        Entry to CAPART is hassle free as the NGOs have direct access to it by directly submitting the proposals without the recommendations either from the State Govt. or through any other screening agency for receiving funds.

·        CAPART maintains a certain level of flexibility in its overall approach in the sanction, release monitoring and impact assessment keeping in view the objectives of the programme.

·        There is no specific time limit for accepting proposals from the NGOs in a year or the disbursement of funds within the calendar or financial year.

·        Transparency in terms of sanction/releases of projects at all levels and the information are available in the website.  Communications of sanctions are intimated to local Panchayat representatives, District Collector, MPs. MLAs etc.

·        Stringent actions against erring NGOs are ruthlessly initiated irrespective of their background and other considerations.

·        NGO’s representatives have got easy access to the Chief Functionaries of the organisation.

 

ii)                  Weaknesses

 

  • Systems problems in terms of implementation of TRC programme wherein at present the emphasis has been laid on training rather than technology development, adaptive research and dissemination which are the key objectives and parameters of the TRCs. (TOR – 5 & 9)
  • Lack of consistent institutional policy regarding TRCs. (TOR – 5 & 9)
  • Excessive delay in project evaluation/review mechanism and also for release of funds. (TOR – 5 & 9)
  • Non-implementation of decisions of earlier TRC review meetings. (TOR – 5 & 9)
  • Project evaluations are not done through subject experts and not on subject basis. (TOR – 5 & 9)
  • Technology Division of CAPART is grossly under-staffed to carry out its mandate and suffers from inadequate communication infrastructure (TOR – 5 & 9)

 

 

 

 

iii)                Opportunities

 

  • With the large population residing in rural areas, there is an opportunity to establish more number of TRCs for effective transfer to technologies to the rural masses and rural industrialization. (TOR – 15)
  • With the increasing emphasis on rural development, CAPART has an opportunity to catalyze and synergize the efforts of various other governmental activities by bringing in convergence through the TRC programme. (TOR – 15)
  • With the new initiative of CAPART of signing MoUs with large number of S&T institutions and also with the Ministries, there is an opportunity to link TRCs to such institutions for technology back up. (TOR-15)
  • Since most of the TRCs have established their track record over a long time of association with CAPART, there exist an opportunity to utilize their expertise for capacity building and generating technology oriented project proposals from more number of grass root NGOs and provide technical back up to them.(TOR – 8)
  • Project proposals received from TRCs could be considered on a fast track (TOR – 9 & 15)

 

iv)                Threats;

 

  • The perception of CAPART as a corrupt organisation reduces its credibility and hence effectiveness.
  • The perception for CAPART as an excessive bureaucratic organisation with too much of red tape discourages many prospective TRCs and S & T agencies for approaching CAPART.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.RECOMMENDATIONS

 

 

5.1.           Recommendations about the future course of action arise from the facts  highlighted in the previous section through SWOT analysis of TRCs and CAPART. The basic approach is to build on strength overcome weakness, exploite opportunities and guard against threats

5.2.          Recommendations for CAPART

 

There is a need to strengthen and improve the performance of Rural Technology Division in CAPART to tackle the constraints pointed out by the TRCs the following recommendations are made in the context.

 

1.The RTD needs to have adequate staff at all levels to effectively function and handle the workload of receipt of projects, their appraisal, processing, issue of sanction and timely release of funds and also organise periodic monitoring and evaluation.

The Committee felt that the following positions are absolutely necessary:-

   1.     Director             -  HOD

   2.     Dy. Director       -  1

   3.     Asstt.Director     -  2

All these positions will have to provided with secretatial and supporting staff.

2. The Division should have adequate flexibility to engage consultants/advisers in various field of expertise particularly to help field based evaluation of various programmes being implemented.  These experts will also necessary guidance to the TRCs for effective technology dissemination.

 

3.    Till such time these positions are filled up on permanent basis.  RTD should be allowed to engage Consultants/Advisers on a contract basis (preferably retired government servants with relevant experience).

 

4.The Committee also felt that some activities such as creation of a website, publication and distribution of a newsletter (quarterly or six monthly), development of a database, preparation of status reports, preparation of training modules could be outsourced to experts or institutions.

 

5.

 

 

 

6.

Since technologies are getting continuously upgraded and updated, the internal staff of the RTD will need to go through periodic training programmes to keep them abreast of latest developments.

CAPART should seriously review the pay structure of Young Professionals(YPs) to attract the best talents to work in rural development programmes.

 

7. CAPART should revitalize CAPART-DST collaborative programme in which standardized and field tested technologies were to be disseminated at very large scale through TRCs by other organisations.

 

8.Translation of Training manuals prepared by TRCs should be arranged by CAPART in various languages.

 

9.CAPART should provide Core Support to TRCs on the lines of Core Support Programme of DST.  The terms and conditions of DST could be examined and adopted.

 

10.CAPART has to re-orient its thinking on the activities of the TRC with the objectives laid down and not insist only on one dimension i.e. training and skill development.  It has to cover aspects such as – survey, adaptive research and development, field trials, demonstration, dissemination and popularization and evaluation, documentation and publication and development of appropriate technologies amongst the end-users in rural areas.

 

11.CAPART in addition to supporting training on technology dissemination should also promote development of rural entrepreneurship.  This will ensure that the programme of TRCs become sustainable and the impact of rural technologies is enhanced.

 

12.There should be a separate Monitoring Committee for each TRC comprising Chairman and 2 expert members and Member Secretary from the CAPART.  This Committee needs to visit the field location of the TRC once in two years.  In the alternate year, group-monitoring workshop may be organized in which all the TRCs and all the members of the Monitoring Committees need to be invited.

 

13.TRC funding support may be considered for a period of 5 years (including infrastructural support).

 

14.One of the constant complaints of TRCs is regarding the stop go approach of CAPART in funding projects.  Most of the projects are kept in a funding limit till the mid term evaluation is over.  This system needs to be scrapped and a system of concurrent evaluation and funding must be adopted.  Starvation of TRCs of fund may turn even potential success into failure.

 

15.At present, the Rural Technology Division does not have an Expert Committee with adequate representation of various subject experts in engineering, agricultural sciences, rural industries and other disciplines to examine the project proposals received expeditiously for quick decision.  CAPART could consider setting up of an Expert Committee on the lines of one constituted by Science & Society Division of DST for its rural development activities.

 

Recommendation for TRCs

In order to rejuvenate the activities of TRCs, the following recommendations are made:-

 

16.The focus of activities of the TRCs should go through deliberate paradigm shift from being pre-dominantly training based to technology dissemination and entrepreneurship development.  This focus on entrepreneurship development will bring in an element of sustainability of existing technologies.

 

17.Entrepreneurship and imaginative methods like Vigyan Ashram, Pabal, Pune TRC, using the engineers, college students must be more extensively used by TRCs.  A web based and institutionalized  methods for many good practices must be established for sustainability of TRCs and their work.

 

18.TRCs should deliberately promote rural enterprises and ensure quality improvement in products of rural entrepreneurs and their marketing like ARTI, Pune TRC.

 

19.All the TRCs should network with grass-root NGOs to take up technology dissemination programmes and catalyze projects for them like HESCO, Chamoli, MPVS, Bhopal, STD, Mandi, Mitraniketan, Vellanad.

 

20.TRCs should be provided with adequate grant for visits to other TRCs, S&T institutions and also for participating in seminars/workshops in various locations.

 

-         TRCs could focus on the emerging areas of sustainable agriculture, eco-friendly food products and bio-fuels, technologies for value additions to farm products in rural areas.

-         In view of MoUs signed by CAPART with various S&T institutions, S&T Departments, the TRCs should establish linkages with the nodal persons in these institutions/departments for their technological backup.

-         Creteria for evaluation of TRCs should be the following:

               

                No. of projects generated by the NGOs and      submitted to CAPART through them.

                No. of village based enterprise supported and   made functional.

                No. of technologies obtained from institutional laboratories and field tested successfully (adaptive research conducted).

                No. of entrepreneurs helped.

 

21.Establishment of more TRCs

 

There are 22 TRCs in 12 states today.  The approach to establish new TRCs must not be focused only on the numbers and target approach. Ultimately the viability of TRCs depends on the human resource available with them.  The skill sets much be also constantly upgraded.  Development of appropriate rural technology will deepen with the healthy symbiotic relationship between TRCs and the S&T organisations.  When it comes to fieldwork of training, demonstration and extension, the quality of NGOs matters.  In view of this relation it is desirable that each new TRC needs the conversion of quality and sustainability.  Establishing new TRCs must not be increased to a mere number game.

 

 

22.

The extended fund needed for the future depend on the number of factors.  The core funds for setting of minimum infrastructure must be the basis for estimating the funds needed for a new TRC.  The fund for core support may be molded on DST’s funding pattern.

 

Technology service centre(TSC) can be loaded upon as fields for TRCs.  The cost for TSC may be in the order of Rs. 10 lakhs per annum.

 

23. 23. Development Vision 2010 TRCs

The Committee felt that instead of articulating a detailed vision 2010 for TRCs, the elements of such a vision can be indicated:

 

             (i)    The first will be the opportunities in technologies                        included in the SWOT analysis. (Section 4 for                        TRCs) which can be fully exploited.

            (ii)    The second will be the focus on rural employment generation in the context of the rural employment generation Programme of the Govt. of India.  There must be a detailed shift away from direct agriculture to non-farm activities or industries like food processing, cottage industries etc.

            (iii)  The third element can be to encourage the successful TRCs to improve and enhance by order of magnitude of their operation.  The model to be emulated is the operation flood Programme.  It may recalled that of National Diary Development Board(NDDB) the observation of late Prime Minister Shri Lal Bahadur Shashtri that India must have one thousand AMULS was the inspiration for the White Revolution.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

24.Technology Service Centre (TSC)

TRCs so far have been related with existing NGOs who have a track record of adaptive R&D.  In order to ensure that future TRCs are robust and sustainable, a pre-stage process of organisation building is desirable.  The first stage may be recognizing TSC subject to the fulfilment of the following criteria.

 

-         Policy of openness to interact with other NGOs in the area and willingness to share their expertise with the needy.

 

-         Should possess basic professional capabilities to demonstrate the technologies through presentation, demonstration and training.

 

-         Should have minimum basic infrastructure for conducting demonstration and training.

 

-         Should have experience of executing Science and Technology oriented projects.

 

-         Willingness to expand their activities with S&T and R&D institutions.

 

-         Willingness to conduct adaptive R&D.

 

-         Should bring out documents & publications relating to the technologies and their applications of entrepreneurs & markets.

 

TRCs that do well can be graduated to TRCs level.  Their performance in adaptive R&D, which is sustainable, must be the basic criteria.

 

The regional imbalance of having TRCs in different parts of the country, thus far faced by CAPART could be minimized with the establishment of TSCs which would become TRCs over a period of a time. This facility available in the country will lead it to the real Gramswarajya of our motherland.