by Staff Reporter
T.K.A. Nair, Adviser to the Prime Minister, has called for community-based research programmes that will benefit the common man. He was addressing a national-level consultative meeting on ‘Developing the Kerala Institute of Local Administration as a Deemed University' here on Saturday.
Action research programmes to understand the development problems of the rural masses should be the focus of the proposed deemed university, Mr. Nair said.
The KILA has to plan programmes to sensitise the rural populace to the process of democratic decentralisation and its scope for rural development. Greater involvement of people in planning and implementation would improve the efficacy of rural development programmes, he said.
Minister for Grama Panchayats M. K. Muneer, who presided over the meeting, said that rural development and capacity building of local self governments would be the focus of the proposed university.
The State government had already submitted a proposal to the Union Ministry of Human Resources for getting deemed university status for the KILA, he said.
Research schools in various sectors such as local self government, gender studies, extension and development studies, performing arts, hospitality and tourism have been planned under the university, he said.
State Planning Board Member C.P. John called for starting a Rural Technology Centre at KILA. A large number of appropriate rural technologies which have been developed but not yet transferred should reach the common man. This would quicken the process of rural development, he said.
Stressing the need for transforming KILA into a deemed university, its director P.P. Balan said that there was a huge scope for academic activities in the local administration sector.
“Training of master trainers itself is a huge task for the KILA. We need 900 higher-level trainers, 20,000 middle-level trainers and 2 lakh local trainers for the massive training programme to be held from November,” he said.
Tony Chammany, Mayor, Kochi Corporation; K. Chandrika, Mayor, Thiruvananthapuram; Michael Tharakan, Vice-Chancellor, Kannur University; also participated in the programme.
Representatives from various institutions, including UNICEF; Institute of Rural Management Anand, Gujarat; HUDCO, Rajeev Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development, Chennai; Jain University, Mysore; Indira Gandhi National Open University, Delhi; Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development, Chandigarh; University of Colombo, Sri Lanka; University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka; and Osmania University, Andhra Pradesh; attended the discussions.
Source : http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/article2540738.ece