is inspired by the vision of transformational change in rural development processes by leveraging knowledge institutions.

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UNNAT BHARAT ABHIYANउन्नत भारत अभियान

Envisioned by Mahatma Gandhi in his seminal work, 'Hind Swaraj,' the Western developmental paradigm, grounded in centralized technologies and urbanization, has engendered pressing challenges such as burgeoning inequality (resulting in crime and violence) and climate change due to rapid ecological degradation. Addressing these issues requires the fostering of rural development in harmony with Gandhi's vision of self-sufficient 'village republics,' utilizing local resources and deploying decentralized, eco-friendly technologies. This approach aims to locally meet essential needs like food, clothing, shelter, sanitation, healthcare, energy, livelihood, transportation, and education. This comprehensive vision for village development is paramount. Currently, 70% of India's population resides in rural areas, predominantly engaged in an agrarian economy. Despite agriculture and allied sectors employing 51% of the total workforce, their contribution to the country's GDP is a mere 17%. Profound developmental disparities persist between rural and urban sectors, spanning health, education, incomes, basic amenities, and employment opportunities, precipitating widespread discontent and substantial migration to urban centers. The imperative of sustainable development, increasingly acknowledged on a global scale, necessitates eco-friendly rural development and the creation of local employment opportunities. The escalating trend of urbanization is neither sustainable nor desirable. Historically, professional higher education institutions have predominantly catered to the mainstream industrial sector, offering limited direct contributions to rural development. The Unnat Bharat Abhiyan (UBA) emerges as a vital and challenging initiative in steering towards comprehensive rural development.


The conceptualization of Unnat Bharat Abhiyan originated from the endeavours of a dedicated group of faculty members at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi, possessing expertise in rural development and appropriate technology. The concept evolved through extensive consultations with representatives from various technical institutions, Rural Technology Action Group (RuTAG) coordinators, voluntary organizations, and government agencies actively engaged in rural development. These deliberations took place during a national workshop hosted at IIT Delhi in September 2014, sponsored by the Council for Advancement of People’s Action and Rural Technology (CAPART), Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India. The program received formal inauguration by the Ministry of Education (MoE) (formerly Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD)), with the President of India presiding, on November 11, 2014.


Unnat Bharat Abhiyan is inspired by the vision of transformational change in rural development processes by leveraging knowledge institutions to help build the architecture of an Inclusive India and to have a paradigm shift in academic and research programs of the country.


  1. Develop the necessary mechanism and proper coordination among
    educational institutions, implementation agencies (District
    administration / Panchayati Raj Institutions) and the grassroots level
    stakeholders to enable effective intervention at the field level.
  2. Select suitable rural clusters and effectively participate in the
    holistic development of these clusters using eco-friendly sustainable
    technologies and local resources creating sufficient employment
    opportunities in the process, harnessing multifarious government
    schemes, customized use of existing technologies, and use of knowledge
    as per the local needs.
  3. Reorient the academic curricula and research programs in higher
    educational institutions to make them more responsive to the needs of
    the time and to bring in holistic development and enrich knowledge of
    students about issues of villages/society.​


  1. To engage the faculty and students of Higher Educational Institutions in understanding rural realities. To identify & select existing innovative technologies, enable customisation of technologies, or devise implementation methods for innovative solutions, as per the local needs.
  2. To leverage the knowledge base of the educational institutions for effective implementation of various government programmes.