New Delhi: The Principal Scientific Advisor launched a program for the students to find the solution for societal problems.
The Principal Scientific Advisor (PSA) to the Government of India, Prof K. Vijay Raghavan launched ‘Grassroots Innovation Programme (GRIP)’ for students, an initiative by IIT Delhi under which the Institute students will work on finding novel solutions to grassroots societal problems identified by them from rural and semi-urban areas, including the communities they come from.
Lauding the initiative launched by IIT Delhi, Prof K. Vijay Raghavan expressed hope that GRIP will result in the development of several innovative solutions for society.
Activities proposed as a part of this new initiative includes Social Immersion, a program in which a group of students will visit communities in smaller towns and villages to immerse in social environments for a substantial time (one week two months) to study, understand and identify local needs and challenges, which can be addressed by the students when they return to the Institute campus.
“The immersion program provides an opportunity for students to put themselves in the shoes of end-users and to co-create solutions which are likely to succeed. This program also serves as a pipeline of ideas that students and student teams can address as part of the semester-long design and innovation courses that are currently available to them,” said Prof. PVM Rao, Head, Department of Design, IIT Delhi, who is leading the effort.
Another component of the GRIP initiative includes Grassroots Innovation Programme in which students and student teams will be allowed to work on semester-long or year-long projects on finding novel solutions to grassroots problems identified by them.
The needs/problems on which students are expected to work can be from one of the two routes: Students or student teams have identified the problem/need and validated it as a part of a prior social immersion program.
Second, IIT Delhi student(s) who come from diverse regions of the country identify problems/challenges being faced in their local communities (in their villages, towns, and semi-urban settings).
The GRIP initiative will provide physical, intellectual, and financial resources to the students to carry out these projects. Existing Institute courses and schemes will be used to implement the above programs.
In this way, students will earn academic credits for their efforts. The program can synergize with other programs of the Institute, which include UBA, RUTAG, NSS, ENACTUS, etc.
“There are many students who have shown interest in addressing the unmet needs in their neighborhoods.
Students are also eager to contribute to the development and validation of unique solutions that address the local situation and the interests and values of the communities involved. The GRIP initiative is aimed at providing resources to the students who want to help society by solving its problems,” said Prof V. Ramgopal Rao, Director, IIT Delhi.
Through the GRIP program, IIT Delhi and Honey Bee Network (HBN), a volunteer-based network that seeks out innovative ideas and traditional knowledge produced at the grassroots level by individuals and communities and disseminates it to the larger ecosystem, have partnered to groom students as torchbearers of social and grassroots innovation.
Prof. Anil K. Gupta, Coordinator of Honey Bee Network, said, “For the GRIP initiative, the Honey Bee Network will act as one of the facilitators to connect IIT Delhi students and faculty with local communities and environments.”
He said that the social immersion and shodh-yatras will allow students to learn from grassroots innovators while also adding value to their efforts. Students who do immersion in earlier years will have additional opportunities to address some needs, identified by them as their course projects.
(India Science Wire)