Rural Transformation in India: Creating a resilient ecosystem

The 7th Ideal Village Conference will be held in India in view of the Indian Government’s major advances in rural development. India’s target GDP growth rate of 8.5% per annum will not be possible without a healthy rural economy. Starting with India, this conference will initiate a global movement in holistic and integrated rural development. 

The rural ecosystem in India is huge and growing steadily. The rural economy contributed nearly half the nation’s overall GDP in 2019–2020 and employs 350 million people (68% of the total workforce). Over the last five years, the rural ecosystem has grown ~10% per annum (p.a.)—and still has strong headroom for growth. However, much needs to be done in the rural ecosystem to build resilient economy. CII through our Rural Development initiatives aim to supports the reorientation of agriculture from production targets to income growth with a focus on shifting towards high value crops, boosting agribusiness and developing inclusive value chains.  

In line with the priorities of India’s central and state governments, we focus on four strategic goals to enable India’s agricultural transformation and ensure that the transformation is inclusive:

  1. Healthcare Reforms
  2. Enable equitable skills and livelihood opportunities
  3. Academic-Industry Interlinkages
  4. Entrepreneurship Development

Healthcare Reforms:

The vicious circle of poverty begins with poor healthcare amenities, rural communities lacks access to healthcare facilities and hence is constantly struggling with health conditions. CII is working closely in partnership with Government agencies in increasing the access to healthcare facilities. An effective healthcare system includes the use of a “systems thinking” approach where interconnectivity with standardization completes the system. In a vast and populous country such as India, efforts of the state are found wanting due to inadequate human resources, shortage of funds, and an inability to reach the masses. eICUs is one such initiative which aims to reach out to remotest village locations and provide complete healthcare facilities on the ground. It also aims to revamp the local hospitals which are established at the remote locations, but are unable to run smoothly. The systems approach which is adopted to enroute these initiatives includes and promotes “efforts to influence determinants of health as well as more direct health-improving activities” through direct intervention and partners in progress.

Skills and Livelihood Opportunities:

Skilling and employability programs are highly essential to bridge the gap between talent and employment. Leveraging its membership, CII has been focusing on demand led skilling, re-skilling and up-skilling where Industry plays the focal point in training. This enables creation of higher productive workforce for the Industry, while simultaneously making a social impact. CII has facilitated multi skill centres at various rural locations to increase the employability of rural youth. 

B Thigarajan CII

“CII is happy to partner with WHEELS foundation and Stanford University for enabling a multi stakeholder platform in bringing the agenda of Rural Development aligning with Sustainable Growth through Rural Transformation”, B. Thiagarajan, Chairman, CII National Task Force on Rural Development and Migrant Workforce and Managing Director, Bluestar India.   

CII has also established employment exchanges which connects job seekers with the job providers. The objective of these centres is to create an ecosystem which will enhance the job opportunities.

Academic-Industry Interface

CII’s roadmap for working towards building the capacities of higher education institutes at rural locations aims to bring out transformation in rural ecosystem of India. As part of New Education Policy, the agenda will drive towards creating an interface for student development initiatives. Research and Development initiatives are required to enable the industry eco system, which will strengthen the education system. The objective of these interventions will be towards enabling the ecosystem where higher education institutes can mould their curriculum as per the expectation of industry. 

A compendium on Technological innovation in rural development is being planned out which will highlight the innovative use of technology in the field of education, employment, healthcare and other related domain.  Research and Development can help in facilitating this innovation initiative wherein innovations from ground can be recorded. 

Entrepreneurship Development (ODOP)

In India, self-employment accounts for 76 % of total employed. This implies entrepreneurship is playing a critical role in this country. However, we also know that many enterprises die within first two years of set-up. This underscores the need for laying a strong foundation for the potential entrepreneurs, which will arm them with sound business acumen/insight and entrepreneurial skills. CII has proposed an Integrated Rural Entrepreneurship Centre which will facilitate the rural business ecosystem. The centre will function on the model of providing assistance on government convergence, industry expertise, business branding and promotion unit and GI tagging.  

One District One Product (ODOP) is emerging as a national movement towards symmetric development which is divergent for remotest location, ODOP is aligned with PM’s vision of development, we aim to work towards creating a resilient ecosystem where each product from the region gets equal representation.

CII is actively partnering on Government’s vision of India at 75 which looks at a collaborative approach and seeks to bring all stakeholders together including citizens, industry, institutions and the Government to foster the development process of building a better India. CII has been playing a key role in India’s development journey since its formation in 1895. It plays an instrumental role in nation building through the development of industry by partnering with diverse stakeholders including Government, industry, civil society, academia and the citizens. CII with its wide reach of 66 offices across India aims to reach out to every corner of our nation for deeper penetration of developmental initiatives. With this objective CII is happy to partner with WHEELS Global Foundation and Stanford University for ‘7th Annual Ideal Village Conference on Sustainable Growth through Rural Transformation’. The conference is being jointly organized by Pan-IIT Alumni and Banaras Hindu University at Varanasi, India, November 11-13, 2022. CII’s focus area is Rural Development and through the conference we will engage with stakeholders for economic and social development in India. CII will partner in mobilizing the stakeholders for this conference.

Given the high quality and diversity of topics, speakers, organizations, and participants in the Ideal Village Conferences held at Stanford University over the past six years, the theme for 2022 Ideal Village Conference will be “Rural Transformation for Sustainable Growth”. 

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