Cover Story: Breaking the Age-old Bias with a New Age Spirit

MoRD, NIRDPR Organises SARAS Aajeevika Mela -2022 at Noida Haat

NIRDPR Hosts National Colloquium of State Secretaries of RD & PR and Heads of SIRDPRs

NIRDPR, CIPS Organise National Conference on Dissemination of Innovations in Bamboo Sector for Improving the Rural Economy

Innovation of the Month: Bamboo Water Bottle – A Creative Idea to Get Rid of Plastic

Consultative Workshop on Capacity Building Need and Joint Action Area Assessment of CSR-based Civil Societies and NGOs

NIRDPR, PIB Organise Training Programme for Journalists

Online Workshop on Development of Success Stories


Training Programme on Fruit Processing for the SHGs

Cover Story: Breaking the Age-old Bias with a New-Age Spirit

Image for illustration purpose only

Globally, every year, 8th March is celebrated as International Women’s Day, commemorating the struggles put up by women for achieving their rights on various occasions in world history and celebrating their social, economic, political and cultural accomplishments. The annual event provides an opportunity to raise awareness on gender injustices and promote parity. The theme for International Women’s Day, 2022 is “Gender Equality today for a sustainable tomorrow.”

Indian history of struggle for women’s rights dates back to the 19th century pre-Independence era as part of the social reform movement, which included the abolition of social evils, women’s literacy, forbidding early marriages and promoting re-marriages of widows. In the later stage, India witnessed the formation of regional and national level women’s organisations and significant participation of women in India’s freedom struggle.

Ever since Independence, Indian women have made major strides in social, economic, cultural and political realms, overcoming patriarchy, bias and discrimination, gender-based violence and inequalities. The constitutional provisions such as Articles 14, 15 & 16, various legislative amendments, social welfare policies, women-oriented schemes and programmes, enhancement in women’s literacy rate, increase in women’s political representation and rise in advocacy and activism for gender equality and equity, have empowered women in carving a niche at every sector in the country.

Yet, one area of persisting concern is the bias that women face at all levels, across all strata, on a daily basis, sometimes simply for being women. The campaign theme for this year’s International Women’s Day, “Break the Bias”, highlights how critical it is to address the bias, discrimination and stereotyping faced by girls and women at households, schools, colleges and workplaces.

One way to assess gender gaps is to measure the participation of women in politics and governance. In 1993, the 73rd and 74th Amendments to the Constitution mandated a three-tier structure of decentralised governance, and also granted reservation of seats for women at the Gram Panchayat and Municipality level. In the last two decades, about 22 States have increased the reservation to 50 per cent through State legislation. Approximately, 14.5 lakh women have been elected into leadership positions of the PRIs.

However, the progress made by Elected Women Representatives (EWRs) is often overshadowed by the narrative that most of these women have just functioned as proxies to their husbands or other male relatives. They often face bias, discrimination and exclusion. This points toward the need to strengthen the capacities of the elected women representatives following gender-sensitive approaches and methodologies.

Some of the major challenges that hinder active participation from EWRs are lack of self-confidence, financial independence, subject knowledge and digital literacy. In a recent cross-sectional research conducted by the Centre for Catalyzing Change in Bihar, 77 per cent of the EWRs felt that they did not have the actual power to effect change in their constituencies easily. 

Sarita Kolle, ZPTC of Jogulamba Gadwal district, opines that, “During various programmes, we, in general, tend to share only the success stories of EWRs. This overwhelms the women candidates, and they inherently start feeling incompetent or inadequate. Hence, we should also focus on sharing’ failure stories’ so that women are able to normalise and accept defeat or rejection, voice out their experiences, learn from each other and find the courage to move past their failures and fears.”

Ramya Bandari, Jr. Panchayat Secretary, Zaheerabad, laments, “As my job involves a lot of coordination with men at different levels, frequent travel and community mobilisation activities, people often comment that women are not cut out for these kinds of jobs and men have different ways of dealing with issues; women don’t have it in them to talk and convince people.”

Even while looking at Gender-Responsive Governance, there is a need to measure the responsiveness to gender concerns using more qualitative indicators rather than quantitative ones. For instance, participation of women in governance has been limited to input/output measures such as the percentage of women elected to power, percentage of women attending the meeting and Gram sabhas, etc. The study on Gender-Responsive Governance Indicators taken up by CGSD, NIRDPR in partnership with UN Women in 2018 proposes the indicators such as percentage of resolutions proposed by women in Gram Sabha, ability of EWR to analyse and monitor the progress of Panchayat plans, access to women-friendly infrastructure, etc.

“A critical enabling factor is having access to functional hygienic public toilets. The lack of facility also hinders many women from travelling or spending long hours at work. It’s hard to find them even at the offices of the highest rank at the district level,” says Ramya.

Support of family members, especially fathers, husbands and fathers-in-law, has also emerged as an enabling factor towards enhancing women’s participation in governance. “We also need to raise awareness on countering negative gender stereotypes in communities. Simply educating boys on these issues is not enough; we also need to demonstrate gender-sensitive behaviours in our homes. Rather than teaching them to ‘protect’ girls and women, we need to train them to treat girls respectfully, look at them as an individual and equal fellow human so that the need to protect them doesn’t arise,” adds Ramya.  

On the national front, women’s representation in Lok Sabha stands at 14.4 per cent, whereas, in Rajya Sabha, it is only 11.6 per cent. This is abysmal compared to the 23.4 per cent of the global average, while women constitute nearly 50 per cent of India’s total population. The Women’s Reservation Bill seeking one-third reservation for women in both the Houses of Parliament, if brought into force along with a few other legislative reforms, might catalyse more participation of women in political decision-making, which can lead the country towards gender equality and ensure a sustainable future.

International Women’s Day – History: In a Nut Shell

February, 1908 – 15,000 women in New York marched against lower wages, exploitative working conditions

28th February, 1909 – US celebrates first ever National Women’s Day 

1910 – Clara Zetkin proposed the idea of recognising an International Day for Women during the International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen

1911– International Women’s day was celebrated for the first time in Austria, Denmark, Germany & Switzerland.

23rd February, 1917 (Equivalent of 8th March in Russian Calendar) – Women led Mass protests for ‘Bread & Peace’

1922 – Honouring the women protestors of 1917, Lenin declares 8th March to be officially declared as Women’s Day

1975 – United Nations recognised and declared 8th March as International Women’s Day.

Dr. N. V. Madhuri
Associate Prof., & Head, Centre for Gender Studies and Development (CGSD),
Dr. Vanisree Joseph, Assistant Prof., CGSD

MoRD, NIRDPR Organises SARAS Aajeevika Mela – 2022 at Noida Haat

Shri Nagendra Nath Sinha, Secretary, Ministry of Rural Development inaugurating the SARAS Aajeevika Mela – 2022, at Noida Haat

Marketing of products of the Self -Help Groups (SHGs) is one of the major concerns of the NIRDPR and Ministry of Rural Development, Govt. of India. In order to empower the rural women artisans and to bring them above the poverty line through access to better market and marketing systems, the Ministry of Rural Development has been supporting the organisation of exhibitions (Mela) under the brand name of ‘SARAS’, where SHGs from different states participate and sell their products. Taking this forward, NIRDPR and Ministry of Rural Development organised ‘SARAS Aajeevika Mela – 2022’ at Noida Haat, Noida. The ‘SARAS-Aajeevika Mela’ is an endeavour of DAY-NRLM to provide the rural women producers with a national platform and an opportunity to showcase their products, and seek buyers, either individuals or bulk buyers, for sale nationally/internationally.

The SARAS Aajeevika Mela – 2022 was inaugurated by Shri Nagendra Nath Sinha, Secretary (Rural Development), Govt. of India, on 26th February, 2022, at Noida Haat. Dr. Ashish Kumar Goel, Additional Secretary, MoRD, Shri Charanjit Singh, JS (RL), MoRD, Smt. Neeta Kejriwal, JS MoRD, Shri R. P. Singh, Director (RL), MoRD and other officers from MoRD and NIRDPR were present during the event.

Around 160 women from 25 States/UTs of the country participated in the exhibition and sale of their products. This exhibition-cum-sale under the brand name ‘SARAS’ has brought to its audiences a wide range of products handcrafted by the rural artisans, craftsmen and beneficiaries of self-help groups (SHGs) promoted by DAY-NRLM from all over the country.

A stall was also installed by Rural Technology Park, NIRDPR, Hyderabad to provide information through brochures, leaflets, pamphlets, books, etc., about the activities and programmes initiated by the Park. Videos and short films on various activities of training programmes were played throughout every day.

Some of the special attractions of SARAS Aajeevika Mela-2022 include stalls of handloom, handicrafts and natural food items.

Six workshops were also organised as part of the event.

The first workshop on “Linkage of SHGs and their products with Flipkart” was taken by Shri Abhilash and his team of GeM Portal at Noida Haat.

The second workshop on “Registration of SHGs and their Products under Government e-Marketplace (GeM)” was handled by Shri Anand Mani Bajpai, Consultant GeM at Noida Haat. Ms. Ritika Agarwal handled the third workshop on “Better designing & Packaging of Rural Products”. The fourth workshop on “Promotion of Rural Products through e-Marketing & Social Media” was taken by Ms. Rashmi Parmar. The fifth workshop was on “Sharing their experiences with SHGs on Dairy Value Chain Developments in Bundelkhand region of UP by Balini Milk Producer Company Ltd.” and it was handled by Shri Om Prakash Singh., Dr. Aparna Dwivedi led the sixth workshop on “Sales Communication & Psychology of Buyers”.

Shri Chiranji Lal, Assistant Director, NIRDPR welcoming Ms. Nomura Mugwambi, Councellor (Trade), Zimbabwe at Noida Haat, SARAS Aajeevika Mela

Ms. Nomura Mugwambi, Counsellor (Trade), Embassy of the Republic of Zimbabwe, visited the SARAS Aajeevika Mela. The Ambassadors/Diplomats from the Embassies of Tonga, Saudi Arabia, and Bangladesh also visited and appreciated the event. 

Closing ceremony of SARAS Aajeevika Mela held on 13th March, 2022 wherein Shri Charanjit Singh, Joint Secretary (RL), MoRD distributed the certificates, mementoes acknowledging the participation of the SHGs of the States, social media bloggers, food court artisans, State Coordinators, CRP-EPs, BC Sakhis, Patrakar Didi, etc. Shri R.P. Singh, Director (RL), Shri H.R. Meena, Dy. Secretary and Shri Vinod Kumar, Under Secretary (RL), MoRD and other officials were also present.

Shri Chiranji Lal Kataria
Assistant Director (Marketing

NIRDPR Hosts National Colloquium of State Secretaries of RD & PR and Heads of SIRDPRs

The dignitaries and faculty members along with Dr. G. Narendra Kumar, IAS, Director General, NIRDPR

The National Colloquium of the State Secretaries of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj and Heads of SIRDs was held during 7th – 8th March 2022, under the Chairmanship of Dr. G. Narendra Kumar, IAS, Director General, NIRDPR.

Shri Nagendra Nath Sinha, IAS, Secretary (RD), Government of India, delivered the inaugural address virtually at the event hosted by NIRDPR, Hyderabad. The Colloquium was attended by Dr. Chandra Shekhar Kumar, Additional Secretary, MoPR, Shri D. Balamurali, Commissioner (RD), Kerala, Heads, faculty and SLOs of NIRDPR, and the State Government officers representing Rural Development/Panchayati Raj Departments, and the Heads and the Representatives of the 19 SIRDs.

The National Colloquium of Secretaries of RD&PR and Heads of SIRDPRs for the year Colloquium is an annual event organised to review training and research performance, share best practices and new initiatives of the States, SIRDPRs and NIRDPR and deliberate upon issues and concerns of training institutions. The Colloquium provides direction to NIRDPR and SIRDPRs to plan training and research activities for the effective implementation of various initiatives for rural development and panchayati raj for the ensuing year. The occasion also serves for stock-taking of issues relating to institution building in terms of infrastructure development, faculty requirements, networking with extension training centres and other institutions etc.

In his welcome address, Shri Shashi Bhushan, Deputy Director General(i/c), NIRDPR highlighted the need to enhance the capacities of SIRDPRs and make them extensions of NIRDPR. “In this regard, we need to prepare a roadmap that guides us to achieve what we have not been able to do so far,” he said and opined that the SIRDPRs should work as per the requirement of the State.

In his address, Dr. G Narendra Kumar, Director General, NIRDPR, pointed out that the SIRDPR and NIRDPR have to rediscover at this inflexion point where convergence from the top level to the grassroots level is emphasised. “The training institutions need to prepare themselves to meet the capacity building and training needs of all the Departments/Ministries. Keeping the above objectives in view, the Colloquium for the year 2022-23 has been planned,” he said. The inaugural session was followed by a review of the training and research performance of SIRDPRs. The best practices of the institutions were also shared along with the initiatives of the NIRDPR and Govt. of India, such as RURBAN, SAGY, RGSY, PMGSY MGNREGA, etc.

Dr. Chandra Sekhar Kumar, IAS, Additional Secretary, MoPR, addressed the delegates on ‘Expectations of MoPR.’ Shri Narendra Nath Sinha, IAS, Secretary, MoRD (RD), addressed the Colloquium virtually and shared national priorities and strategies. The attempt was to assess the expectations from MoPR, MoPRD, NIRDPR, SIRDPRs and ETCs to facilitate effective management of their respective programmes in the context of ongoing scenario changes and priorities.

Apart from plenary presentations and interactions, the Colloquium planned for working group discussions wherein the areas and themes for training for 2022-23, ways to improve quality on (1) Alignment of NIRDPR Training Calendar with the SIRDPR training and institutional building in research focusing on local problems, (2) Strengthening of ETCs system on delivery of training and research by both SIRDPRs and NIRDPR (3) How do we reach the last mile on training? (4) Process for empowering resource persons & simultaneous training through multiple SIRDPRs (5) Strengthening of SIRDPRs (HR, Admin. & Infrastructure).

The event concluded with action to be taken as a follow-up. The Colloquium was coordinated by Dr. M. V. Ravibabu, Associate Professor, CGARD & in-charge, Networking (CRTCN).     

NIRDPR, CIPS organise National Conference on Dissemination of Innovations in Bamboo Sector for Improving the Rural Economy

Dr. G. Narendra Kumar, IAS, Director General, NIRDPR, lighting the lamp during the inaugural ceremony of the National Conference on ‘Dissemination of Innovations in Bamboo Sector for Improving the Rural Economy. Shri Achalender Reddy, IFS (Retd.), Director, CIPS (3rd from left), Shri Shashi Bhushan, FA & DDG(i/c), NIRDPR (4th from left), Mr. Mohd Kahn, Consultant, CIAT& SJ (5th from left) are also seen.

The National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRDPR) and Centre for Innovations in Public Systems (CIPS) jointly organised a two-day National Conference on ‘Dissemination of Innovations in Bamboo Sector for Improving the Rural Economy’ during 03rd -04th March, 2022 at the NIRDPR campus. The objective of the event was to promote the bamboo sector and help stimulate the exchange of knowledge and best practices that have been developed both in the public and private spheres.

Shri Nagendra Nath Sinha, IAS, Secretary, Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India, virtually inaugurated the conference and was the Chief Guest of the conference. Dr. G. Narendra Kumar, IAS, Director General, NIRDPR and Shri Achalender Reddy, IFS (Retd.), Director, CIPS, were also present. Around 160 participants, including entrepreneurs making bamboo products, bamboo farmers, artisans, forest department officials and research scholars from various States, participated in the programme. 

Shri Nagendra Nath Sinha, IAS, Secretary, MoRD delivered the inaugural address and highlighted the key role played by Rural Development schemes, particularly Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Generation Act (MGNREGA), in promoting livelihoods through bamboo plantations. He exhorted NIRDPR and CIPS to focus on developing value chain in bamboo and creating livelihood opportunities in rural areas. 

Dr. G. Narendra Kumar, IAS, Director General, NIRDPR addressing the gathering during the conference

Dr. G. Narendra Kumar, IAS, Director General, NIRDPR, emphasised the need for bringing in coordination among the stakeholders so that the promotion of bamboo technologies reaches the common man in the rural areas for employment generation. “This will bring down the cost of production and eventually consumers can purchase the products at affordable prices. Though there is a great potential for using bamboo in the construction industries, issues pertaining to shortage of bamboo raw material and identification of appropriate species need to be addressed,” he said.

“Given the non-perishable feature of bamboo and the possibility of its multiple harvesting for many years, it can be the best alternative for farmers, which can bring them assured income. This conference is contemplated to focus on all these areas, right from cultivation to value addition, to marketing,” he added.

Shri Achalender Reddy, Director, CIPS, presented the current scenario of bamboo sector in the country and highlighted the need for connecting the missing links. “Recognition of bamboo as an agriculture produce instead of forest timber produce is a game-changer in this sector,” he opined. 

Dr. G. Narendra Kumar, IAS, Director General, NIRDPR, inaugurating the Exhibition cum Sale of Bamboo Products

Dr. G. Narendra Kumar, IAS, Director General, NIRDPR inaugurated the two-day ‘Exhibition cum Sale of Bamboo Products’ organised as part of the conference, showcasing the bamboo technologies and innovations by various entrepreneurs. Shri Sravan Kumar, a young entrepreneur from Telangana (Vrushali Live Innovations with Bamboo), Konkan Bamboo and Cane Development Centre (KONBAC), Maharashtra, Shri R.K. Mehta, Bamboo Promotor from Hyderabad and representatives from Tribal Co-operative Marketing Federation of India (TRIFED) participated in the exhibition. 

Deliberations were held with experts from all over the country on the following topics:

  1. Why Bamboo?
  2. Bamboo for construction and furniture
  3. Innovative products of bamboo
  4. Bamboo as a versatile product
  5. Prospects and challenges of bamboo sector
  6. Way forward

The valedictory session held on 4th March, 2022 was attended by Shri Prasantha Kumar Swain, Additional Secretary, Dept., of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India as Guest of Honour and Smt. Shanti Kumari, IAS, Special Chief Secretary (Forestry), Dept., of Environment, Forest, Science & Technology, Govt., of Telangana, as Chief Guest.

It was decided to create a ‘National Bamboo Network’ jointly by NIRDPR and CIPS for the benefit of all the stakeholders associated with bamboo sector and to have workshops exclusively for bamboo farmers, bamboo artisans, entrepreneurs, structural engineers for in-depth deliberations and to identify the capacity building and training needs. Further, it was decided to forward the key recommendations that emerged from this conference to the Government of India for their examination and consideration. 

The key recommendations of the two-day Bamboo Conference (3rd and 4th March, 2022) held at NIRDPR Hyderabad are as below:

  1. A detailed national-level study needs to be done on problems and issues faced by National Bamboo Mission (NBM) and State Bamboo Missions.
  2. Strengthening institutional mechanisms for sustainable funding and directions to development of the bamboo sector. Establishing a Bamboo Board at the national level and State level boards is strongly recommended. 
  3. A proper National Bamboo Policy depicting the various national-level policy directions and based on identified gaps in this sector is recommended. 
  4. Research on local species and other introduced commercial bamboo species in India needs to be done. Emphasis on R&D for value chain development addressing various stages of the value chain of bamboo. 
  5. Institutional support for FSC certification and setting standards for bamboo value chain for enabling international competition. 
  6. Establishment of Bamboo Cooperatives in line with agricultural products. 
  7. Encourage mass propagation of quality planting material using high yielding/high quality bamboo species. Work needs to be done in developing and popularising standard protocols for Tissue Culture propagation of bamboo and making it available to farmers at affordable cost.
  8. Dovetailing of other Rural Development Schemes like MGNREGA, NRLM, etc., and mainstreaming bamboo cultivation in government-supported schemes. 
  9. Downstream products of bamboo-based industries, such as charcoal, etc., will give sufficient livelihood opportunities to the rural poor. 
  10. Agriculture, Horticulture and Forest Universities and R&D institutions (like ICFRE & ICAR) should make bamboo a focal subject.
  11. Farmers Producer Organisations should be encouraged in the bamboo sector. 
  12. Forward and backward linkages are key in developing livelihood out of the bamboo sector. Developing model bankable projects for bamboo sector and financial support from banks. 
  13. Small capacity of 3 to 10 kW biomass-based power projects supporting small scale/cottage industries will help in the consumption of remotely produced bamboo to overcome road linkages and transportation issues in remote areas. 
  14. Need for a policy on the use of Bamboo in construction in the government and private sectors. It is important to make ‘Structural Engineering’ inputs for developing good structural uses of bamboo. Bamboo based poly-houses for horticulture crops should be encouraged to reduce the use of steel. 
  15. New innovative designs in developing bamboo-based utility products should be developed, which gives employment to local artisans and has export potential as well as meeting the domestic market demand. Fashion designers and artists should be involved in products development targeting high-end value addition. 
  16. Support from the government to protect the skills of existing bamboo artisans. Structured skilling courses on bamboo (processing technologies, making utility products, handicrafts, furniture, using bamboo in construction industry, etc.) in technical institutions should be in place. 
  17. Financial support policy for bamboo sector needs to be done on priority to encourage entrepreneurs in this sector. 
  18. Replacing the brand image of bamboo as ‘Poor man Timber’ with upmarket premium products in order to compete with international market players.
  19. Developing a strong bamboo network for India, connecting all stakeholders associated with bamboo sector.
  20. Bamboo farming as an agriculture-based enterprise and fixing of MSP.
  21. Need to transform the informal bamboo business into a formal business
  22. Lessons from the bamboo sector in the northeast region of India need to be replicated in other parts of the country. 
  23. Strengthening of crop insurance for bamboo as a horticulture crop. 
  24. Creating common facilitation centres at the cluster level so that bamboo artisans can use the facility for bamboo processing and product manufacturing.
  25. Creating regulatory markets for marketing bamboo. 

Innovation of the Month:
Bamboo Water Bottle – A Creative Idea to Get Rid of Plastic

A bottle made of Bamboo

The high socio-economic benefits of bamboo-based products have made bamboo one of the most important and widely recognised non-timber forest resources. It is a versatile resource, characterised by high strength and low weight. It can be used in 1500 different ways as food, substitute for wood, building and construction materials, handicrafts, papers, etc. The wide range of its uses qualifies bamboo to be the one foremost commodity that is associated with the mainstay of rural life and culture in our country. Bamboo has helped millions to survive economically and environmentally. Its versatility has led to the coinage of terms such as ‘bamboo culture’, ‘green gold’, ‘poor man’s timber’, ‘friend of the people’ and ‘cradle to coffin timber’. Nowadays, a number of institutions, researchers and entrepreneurs are engaged in bringing out innovative products for effectively utilising the bamboo sector.

How it Works

The lengthy bamboo stem is cut into 10-inch-long small pieces, each having a suitable girth. Then, it is peeled, polished, and the gap inside the bamboo piece is garnished. Finally, a steel container is fixed into the hole of the bamboo piece using gum. There are manufacturers preparing the bamboo bottle by utilising the entire bamboo without putting container inside its hole and the procedures are different from the earlier one. Interestingly, each bamboo bottle comes with a unique design as bamboo comes in different shapes and sizes. The SHGs can design this bottle by incorporating logos of the desired agency.


Steel container: Rs. 250
Labour: Rs. 100 (One labourer can make five pieces a day)
Bamboo piece: Rs. 20
Other materials: Rs. 30
Total cost: Rs. 400
Selling price of 10-inch-long bamboo water bottle: Rs. 700
Profit: Rs. 700 –  Rs. 400 =  Rs. 300


  1. The bamboo bottle is a plant-based water bottle
  2. An expert hand can design it with little effort
  3. The value of bamboo becomes manifold
  4. It is an alternative to traditional plastic bottles


  1. It is affordable
  2. It is easy to make
  3. It is a sustainable alternative because of the green source
  4. It offers a better livelihood to jhum cultivation farmers of Tripura
  5. They are highly durable and will last even after years of usage
  6. No expiry date for bamboo water bottle

Details of the Agency

Puranga SHG
Kusum Singha
Mohanpur, West Tripura
Mobile Number: 9612776350

Points of Deliberation

  • Funding is the way forward for this group which is keen on expanding the plant, machinery, manpower, etc.
  • Issues and challenges in marketing the bamboo product.
  • Capacity building of other groups.
  • Creating zeal to bring innovation towards developing a future roadmap for bamboo-based initiative models.
  • Calls for more interested young people to join this innovation.

                      *Rural Technology Park (RTP),
Centre for Innovations, Appropriate Technologies and Skills & Jobs, NIRDPR

Consultative Workshop on Capacity Building Need and Joint Action Area Assessment of CSR-based Civil Societies and NGOs

Workshop in progress

The developmental challenges posed by the pandemic, poverty, unemployment, and climatic change have re-emphasised the need for strong policy and intensive action based on evidence. The government sector also faces a challenge as the need for action is in a multitude of areas, and the access to necessary expertise and technology is limited. The private enterprises, in this context, have a tremendous potential to expand the opportunities and assist the government sector through the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives largely implemented through Civil Societies and NGOs, inter alia policymakers, business leaders, CSR practitioners, civil society and the research and education community.

While CSOs and NGOs working in the development sector with CSR funds may also require engagement with the government, there is a need to capacitate these organisations with tools to obtain CSR funds ethically, effectively identify the target community and beneficiary, and measure the social impacts of the implementation, employ proper financial planning for sustainability of their enterprise. In this context, CSR,PPP&PA and Research Consultancy Centre of NIRDPR-Delhi hosted a consultative workshop on 24th -25th March, 2022 with experts and stakeholders to deliberate on the capacity building need and join action areas between NIRDPR and existing large NGOs, INGOs and financiers.

The workshop deliberated on the challenges to the impactful development initiatives – both government and private, the intersection of CSR activities and Sustainable Development Goal, the equity condition of CSR spending and identified some of the areas for action for policy research and capacity building as well as partnerships with NIRDPR.

On the first day (24th March, 2022), the workshop engaged 25 experts from multiple organisations and NGOs such as ICRW, World Bank, ILO, UNICEF, Credibility Alliance, SACH, ISRN, ISID, Oak North, CII, Vishwa Yuva Kendra and SMS Foundation in individual and group sessions to discuss the focus areas. On the second day (25th March, 2022), the outcomes were documented and presented by NIRDPR to the stakeholders online for receiving final inputs.

The deliberations pointed to the acknowledgement that major stakeholder of CSR is not the NGOs – rather the investors or the corporates. Capacity building of the corporations, therefore, is an equal if not more important part of the CSR strengthening. The CSR funds are also inequitably distributed by sectors – with tangible outputs taking precedence over structural issues. Capacity needs to be built for bringing CSR equity. Smaller NGOs require the capacity for mobilising funds, managing reputation and documenting and processing local knowledge in a consumable manner for policy level functionaries. Material and capacity building programmes need to be designed for these needs.  

The programme was jointly coordinated by Dr. Ruchira Bhattacharya, CSR,PPP&PA, NIRDPR-Delhi Branch and Dr. Partha Pratim Sahu, Associate Professor, CEDFI, NIRDPR, Hyderabad.

NIRDPR, PIB Organise Training Programme for Journalists

Dr. G. Narendra Kumar, IAS, Director General, NIRDPR, Shri S. Venkateshwara Rao, Director General, Southern Zone, Press Information Bureau, Dr. N. G. Ravindra, ADG, PIB, Regional Outreach Bureau and Ms. Shruti Patil, Director, Regional Outreach Bureau flagging off the digital publicity vans

The National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRDPR) and Press Information Bureau (PIB), Hyderabad, jointly conducted ‘Varthalap’, a single-day training programme on 11th March, 2022 for journalists on reporting rural development issues.  

As part of the training programme and Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav initiatives, digital publicity vans mounted with the LED screens were flagged off from NIRDPR by Dr. G. Narendra Kumar, IAS, Director General, NIRDPR and Shri S. Venkateshwara Rao, Director General, Southern Zone, Press Information Bureau to create awareness among the people about various schemes. The vans travelled across various districts in Telangana for a week from 11th March, 2022 to 17th March, 2022, informing people about the spirit of the independence struggle, and precautions for controlling the spread of COVID-19.

Dr. G. Narendra Kumar, IAS, Director General, NIRDPR, inaugurated the Vartalap. “The media persons should focus on measures to enhance the awareness level of public about the development issues taken up by the government. For instance, the government has spent Rs. 3.5 lakh crore on Jal Shakti Mission for supplying water to the rural areas, by giving tap connection to every household in the rural areas,” he said. He added that media plays a vital role in disseminating information regarding employment opportunities, infrastructure development and changes in the public corporations.  

S. Venkateshwara Rao, Director General, South Zone, Public Information Bureau, spoke about the role of PIB in development journalism. He explained the schemes of Information & Broadcasting Ministry to support journalists and wanted them to focus on development happening in the rural areas, along with sensational news.    

A session from the training programme

The programme was attended by Shri Shashi Bhushan, FA & DDG(i/c), NIRDPR, Dr. Jyothis Sathyapalan, Prof., & Head, CDC, Dr. Akanksha Shukla, Associate Prof., CPGS&DE, Dr. N. G. Ravindra, ADG, PIB, Regional Outreach Bureau, Ms. Shruti Patil, Director, Regional Outreach Bureau, Dr. Manas Krishnakanth, Deputy Director, PIB and other staff of NIRDPR.

Online Workshop on Development of Success Stories

The Centre for Human Resource Development, National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRDPR) organised a half-day online workshop on development of success stories for the faculty of State Institutes of Rural Development and NIRDPR, on 15th February, 2022. The main objective of the workshop was to develop the skills/capabilities of faculty for writing a quality success story in limited words, which in turn, can be used as a tool or resource material for imparting effective training programmes organised by them. This workshop was organised based on the recommendations made in the colloquium of SIRDs hosted by NIRDPR in 2020.

The response to this programme was positive and it saw participation of a total of 123 faculty from SIRDs, RIRDs, ETCs, DIRD and NIRDPR, inclusive of 13 States/UTs (Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand) have participated in this programme.

Dr. Madhavi Ravi Kumar, Senior Assistant Professor, Department of Communication, University of Hyderabad, was invited as the resource person for this programme. Dr. Madhavi has 20 years of rich industrial experience with organisations such as NDTV, The Hindu and Indian Express, and Mass Communication Director at Swaminathan Research Center, Chennai. She holds a doctoral degree in mass communication and journalism and is currently engaged with the University of Hyderabad.

Dr. Madhavi divided the sessions into basic concepts, components and theoretical aspects of a success story. She explained the techniques to identify a proper success story and develop quality success stories, and also elaborated the importance of storytelling. She demonstrated a few important software and applications used for producing interactive stories. This was followed by a hands-on experience session, in which the participants were trained to use the software and applications. The last 30 minutes were used in reviewing the content produced by participants using the software and applications. A Q&A session for clarifications and feedback on the workshop followed.

A presentation from the Workshop on Development of Success Stories

The participants interacted at length, clarified their doubts, and gave feedback on this workshop. They appreciated the contents of the workshop and found it very helpful in developing good success stories.

Dr. Lakhan Singh, Assistant Professor, Centre for Human Resource Development, NIRDPR and Course Director proposed vote of thanks.


Training Programme on Fruit Processing for the SHGs

The Extension Training Centre, Nongsder, Meghalaya in coordination with Mawkynrew C&RD Block, East Khasi Hills District and MSRLS (Meghalaya State Rural Livelihood Society) team from National Rural Livelihoods Mission organised a three-day off-campus training programme on fruit processing for the self-help groups of Pyngkya Village under Mawkynrew C&RD Block during 23rd – 25th March, 2022. The training programme covered the theoretical and practical (hands-on practice) aspects. The main objectives of the programme were to encourage the SHGS to take up income-generating activities for sustainable livelihood and revive the traditional food system to safeguard the old food habits. The training sessions comprised processing of:

  1. Banana Cake (Ingredients: wheat flour, ripe banana, egg, milk, banana essence, sugar, water and baking powder)
  2. Banana Chips (Ingredients: unripe banana, Lays cutter/chips cutter, refined oil, salt and turmeric)
  3. Processing of Juice and Jam from locally and easily available Pineapple fruit. (Ingredients: pineapple, sugar and lime for preservatives)
  4. Cassava and Potato Chips (Ingredients: cassava/potato, refined oil and salt)
  5. Cassava cake and Finger Millet Cake (Ingredients: cassava/finger millet (powdered), milk, powdered sugar, egg and baking powder)
SHG members taking part in the training programme on fruit processing

Finger millet and cassava were mainly consumed in the olden days as a source of carbohydrates when the availability of rice was limited. Therefore, the SHG members felt it necessary to take the initiatives to revive the traditional food system for safeguarding these practices and improving their livelihood by taking it up as an income-generating activity.

The products made by the SHGs

At the end of the training programme, the SHG members opined that the information and hands-on practice have brought to light the opportunities for taking up fruit processing activities to enhance their income. They said the programme helped them to make locally and readily available fruits edible in different ways instead of selling them at a low price, leaving them rotten, or throwing them away.

 Save as PDF