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Swaminathan to head IGNOU chair

Staff Reporter

To create awareness, capacity building programmes in rural areas



M.S. Swaminathan

NEW DELHI : Agriculture scientist M. S. Swaminathan will be the honorary chair in Sustainable Development instituted by the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) to strengthen rural community.

Prof. Swaminathan gave his consent two days ago, Vice-Chancellor V. N. Rajasekharan Pillai said on Tuesday.

The new chair will, beginning April, create awareness and need-based capacity building programmes. "Our objective is to bring about rural prosperity by looking at various issues, to ensure that there are no negative effects of technology in the countryside. We want to see how technology can be harnessed for sustainable development of the rural areas," said Prof. Pillai.

The chair would concentrate on biodiversity, afforestation, climate change, food and nutrition, natural resource management, poverty alleviation and the impact of globalisation. It will find mechanisms to disseminate information about the need for sustainable development to rural and underprivileged regions.

There would be a special focus on empowerment of rural women and development of leadership qualities in them. The chair would also support capacity building of the village resource centres and self-help groups.

"The programme content of the various courses run by the chair is yet to be fine-tuned. Prof. Swaminathan will identify a core working group that will contribute to the functioning of the chair, design short-term courses and conduct seminars. Its members will interact with various faculties of IGNOU and give them inputs on their activities," Prof. Pillai said.

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