Kurukshetra May 2018 Summary: Technology for Rural Development (Part - 1) (Download PDF)


Key Topics included in this Article - Rural Technology Action Groups, Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana, Impact of Watershed Management Programs.

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Technology for Rural Development: Kurukshetra May 2018 Summary (In English)

Dr. Manishika Jain explains Kurukshetra April 2018: Technology for Rural Development

  • Prime Minister Gram Sadak Yojana

  • National Food Security Mission

  • Macro Management of Agriculture

  • National Horticulture Mission

  • Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana

  • Advanced Knowledge & Rural Technology Implementation

  • Integration of Communication & Information Technologies

  • Galvanizing Organic Bio Agro Resources Dhan (GOBAR-DHAN) scheme

  • Mahila Kisan Shashaktikaran Pariyojana

Forthcoming Issue: Progressive Rural India

  • Inputs of technological advancement in agriculture, irrigation, water management, health, communications, biotechnology & GIS hold tremendous promise to transform individuals’ lives.

  • PM Modi has said, “I see technology as a means to empower & as a tool that bridges distance b/w hope & opportunity” which is so very true for rural development in India.

  • To face challenge of establishing synergy among all efforts, RuTAGs (Rural Technology Action Groups) have been conceptualized. As synergizing mechanism, RuTAG addresses need based up-gradation of technologies w/help of Indian Institute of Technology (IITs) & local NGOs.

  • AKRUTI programs under Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) – societal Initiative. Under this framework, ’Rural Technology Delivery Centres – RTDCs will be set up jointly by different RuTAGs, BARC & local technically oriented NGO & technologies will be delivered to villages thru ‘AKRUTI-KRUTIK-FORCE’ format via RTDCs.

Space Technology for Rural Development

  • Key needs for rural employment sector, space technology application in form of Web GIS was initiated in addressing decentralized planning thru SIS DP program & rendering it thru BhuvanPanchayat.

  • Followed by successful initiatives of Watershed monitoring, geo-tagging of completed assets created under MGNREGA.

  • Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY, national level agriculture extension).

  • 👌 Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana for irrigating rainfed tracts using convergence of rural development programs.

Image for Space Application in Rural Development

Image for Space Application in Rural Development

Image for Space Application in Rural Development

Monitoring Impact of Watershed Management Programs:

  • Watershed Development Program is one of major initiatives towards conservation of soil & water resources in rainfed area.

  • Watershed Development Component is critical component of PMKSY, whereas other components address network of irrigation at farm level (HKKP: Har Khet Ko Pani, Water to Individual Farm) as well as micro irrigation (PDMC – Per Drop More Crop).

  • 👌 Integrated Watershed Management Program (IWMP) aims to bring in ecological stability thru conservative utilization of soil & water resources.

  • Remote sensing technology

  • Web based GIS application enabling monitoring & evaluation of IWMP watersheds was developed using satellite remote sensing & sample field data.

  • Mobile smart phone application has been developed for field data collection.

  • Till date, total of 8.71 lakh geotags have been collected for various activities executed on the ground. Each geotag is coded automatically in Bhuvan server following specific structure to identify asset, which Department of Land Resources uses for official purposes.

  • Bhuvanportal is developed using satellite data as per requirements of NABARD.

📝 Impact of IWMP

  • Illustration of changes brought about in watersheds due to construction of check dams, farm ponds as well as vegetation establishment provided herewith demonstrates potential of web enabled GIS portal for rendering most transparent monitoring of development activity including access to citizens.

📝 GeoMGNREGA: Geospatial Applications for cataloguing, monitoring & planning Rural Employment Generation Activities

  • GeoMGNREGA which is space technology based component of MGNREGA of Ministry of Rural Development aims to implement GIS for entire range of activities implemented under scheme. National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), ISRO developed & implemented Webportal on Bhuvan integrating smart phone app & GIS.

  • Geo-MGNREGA has been developed thru integrating NREGASOFT w/ISRO’s BHUVAN portal.

  • Bhuvan Facilities inclusive geographic information storage, retrieval, analysis & reporting for completed assets, w/high resolution Indian Remote Sensing Satellite in backdrop for rural development planning.

  • Of targeted 2.72 cr. assets created under NREGA, 1.57 cr. assets were geotagged, w/persistent support of Ministry of Rural Development

Geospatial Technology for Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY)

👌 Department of Agriculture & Cooperation & Farmers Welfare, Ministry of Agriculture, has implemented Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY), as special Additional Central Assistance (ACA) Scheme by DACFW, MAFW.

Prime Minister Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY)

  • Conventional data source for rural roads such as cadastral maps, SOI topo maps provide useful information. However, information needs to be updated periodically for effective monitoring & evaluation.

  • 👌 For 1st time, attempt was made to create spatial database on rural roads in year 1999 on pilot basis for IchodaMandal in Adilabad dist. , Telangana State wherein demonstrated use of IRS 1C PAN data. Subsequently, study was extended to dist. of Jhalawar, Baran & Dhaulpur in Rajasthan on operational basis at behest of Ministry of Rural Development, GoI in year 2001.

Development of Waste Lands

  • NRSC prepared wasteland maps of all States & Union Territories on 1: 1 million scale in year 1985. 8-fold classification system was adopted for mapping of wastelands in country. Based on this study, total area under wastelands in country was estimated to be 53.3 million hectares or 16.20 % of total geographical area of country.

  • Waste Land mapping was carried out during period 1986 - 2000 adopting 13-fold classification system. Final consolidated atlas on wastelands was published in May 2000.

  • Project on National Wastelands Monitoring was initiated in 2006 w/objective of assessing status of wastelands & monitor its changes. Satellite data of 3 seasons viz. kharif, rabi & zaid of 2005 - 06 has been used to derive information on wastelands.

Space based Information Support for Decentralized Planning (SIS-DP)

  • Geo-portal ‘Bhuvan Panchayat’ has also been deployed for visualization, asset mapping, activity planning & monitoring of schemes at Panchayat level. Under this initiative, it is planned to carryout mapping of assets in about 2.5 lakh panchayats in country. BhuvanPanchayat Geoportal will be further augmented to enable preparation of locale specific action plans for developmental planning.

  • Major thematic database serving rural development is land Use & Land cover database at 1: 10000 scale created under ISRO’s flagship program SIS-DP (Space based Information Support for Decentralized Planning) along w/drainage & road layers at same scale based on high resolution ortho-rectified multispectral database.

Space Applications in Agriculture & Water Resources Sectors

📝 Geo-Spatial Solutions

  • Crop Insurance Decision Support System (CIDSS) – Web-enabled Integrated package for implementing Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY)

  • Crop Intensification – Bringing Green Revolution to Eastern India – Satellite-based mapping of post kharif rice fallows (National Food Security Mission)

  • Mapping & Evaluation of High Value Crops

  • Agricultural Drought Vulnerability

  • Mapping Horticulture Crops

  • Fibre Crop Information System

  • Water Body Information System

📝 Benefits of Geo-Spatial Solutions

  • Enhanced ease of governance

  • Transparent & efficient

  • Linking management information system to geo-spatial visualization.

  • Comprehensive planning & development

  • It also aids in qualifying need for having asset at particular location.

Bhuvan Geo-Portal

  • 👌 Bhuvan, Indian Geo-Platform of ISRO, provides host of services covering satellite data visualization, free data download, thematic map display, download & analysis, timely information on disaster & project specific GIS apps since August 2009.

  • Thematic Datasets consisting of LULC map at 1: 10, 000 scale.

  • Bhuvan currently hosts multi-temporal, multi-sensor & multi-resolution satellite imageries, thematic maps of 12 natural resources, 10 million Point of Interest data, 53 geo-physical products for downloads.

  • Bhuvan has now more than 70, 000 registered users spread all over India & also from other countries.

Technology Interventions in Rural Areas

  • India has about 6 lakh villages where more than 2/3rd of total population lives, as compared to about 85 % at time of Independence.

  • “Access to technology” is major differentiator b/w urban & rural areas.

Initiatives by RuTAG IIT Bombay

  • 👌 RuTAG was conceived by Dr. R. Chidambaram, Principal Scientific Advisor to GoI, to enhance rural development thru science & technology (S&T) interventions by engaging expertise available in IITs.

  • 👌 There are RuTAGs set up in 7 IITs (Madras, Kharagpur, Delhi, Roorkee, Guwahati, Kanpur & Bombay) & RuTAG IIT Bombay was established in 2010.

  • Such as ‘Floating fish cages for aquaculture’ have been successful.

  • RuTAG IIT Bombay works in close association w/Centre for Technology Alternatives for Rural Areas (CTARA), objective of catering to technology needs of rural areas.

RuTAG Interventions: The Approach

  • RuTAG IIT Bombay operates in western zone, which includes states of Maharashtra, Gujarat & Goa.

Process for Identification of Projects

  • RuTAG projects are ‘demand driven’, i. e. problem has to come from end users.

  • RuTAG IIT Bombay benefits from close association w/CTARA.

📝 Design features

  • Easy to assemble

  • Low cost

  • Engagement of Local Fabricators

  • Use of locally available material

Floating Fish Cage Structure for Inland Fisheries

  • Most successful interventions from RuTAG IIT Bombay so far is ‘Designing floating fish cage structure for inland aquaculture’, driven by request from NGO ‘Shashwat’ from Pune dist. of Maharashtra.

  • Structure of fish cages was developed by Prof. Siddharth Ghosh, which are used for protective aquaculture wherein fingerlings are incubated to small fishes or even grown to table size.

Old Sari Cutting Machine for Handlooms Operated by Visually Challenged Individuals

  • 👌 Prof. Suhas Joshi (Department of Mechanical Engineering) & Prof. Bakul Rao (CTARA), was taken up at request of NGO GrameenShramikPratisthan (GSP), based in Latur, Maharashtra.

Cow Lift for a “Downer cow”

  • 👌 Project addresses need for facilitating ‘downer cow’ (cow unable to stand due to weak leg muscles due to various medical conditions) stand on its feet for medical treatment, investigated by Prof. Tanmay Bhandakkar.

Hybrid Solar Food Dryer

  • 👌 Prof. Shireesh Kedare & Prof. Manaswita Bose addresses issue of drying agricultural produce in fast & efficient way while keeping cost as low as possible.

Design of Protective Suit for Wild Honey Bee Harvesters

  • 👌 Project aims at Designing dress for protecting people who harvest honey from beehives in wild.

  • 👌 Investigated by Prof. R. Sandesh

Post-Harvest Processing

  • 👌 Machines have been developed for processing of medicinal fruits such as Hirda & Behada & nuts such as Chironji which fetch good market price.

New Technologies in Irrigation Sector

  • W/net irrigated area of 68.1 Mha (2013 - 14) by canals, tubewells & wells & other sources; gross irrigated area of 95.77 Mha, India has largest irrigated area in the world.

  • 49 % of gross cropped area is under some degree of assured irrigation & rest of 51 % cropped area is dependent upon seasonal rainfall.

  • 👌 Largest share of irrigated area is concentrated in north-west India (Punjab, Haryana, & western UP) & Punjab is only one state in India which has almost 100 % irrigated agriculture.

Irrigation Development in India

  • W/advent of Green Revolution in 70s, there was urgent demand to provide timely irrigation to moisture-sensitive improved dwarf varieties of rice & wheat which could not be fulfilled only w/slow pace of development of canal irrigation


  • India is now largest user of groundwater in world. 71 % of tube wells are energized by electricity, rest mostly in eastern region of country, have to depend upon costly diesel-based irrigation.

  • This has caused massive over-exploitation of groundwater resources & rapid decline of groundwater levels & rise in ‘critical’ & ‘semi-critical’ groundwater blocks in the country

  • 👌 11 states of UP, Maharashtra, MP, Gujarat, Punjab, AP & Bihar have almost 90 % of total minor irrigation structure in country.

New Initiatives in the Irrigation Sector

  • Improving Conveyance Efficiency of Surface Irrigation:

    Setting up piped water facilities to connect dams/canals & micro-irrigation system can reduce water loss & increase overall water use efficiency up to 90%

    Table contain shows the Strategies and Technologies, Practices & Policies

    Table contain shows the Strategies and Technologies, Practices & Policies


    Technologies, Practices & Policies

    Improved Usage of Surface & Groundwater

    Laser land levelling of fields, optimum size of basins

    Furrows, raised beds, conveyance pipes, underground distribution system

    Proper canal schedules, irrigation schedules, well-maintained distribution networks

    Use of remote sensing, GIS, sensors, drones & ICT technologies for improved irrigation

    Water user associations, Smart card based community tubewells

    Pricing of water & power to recover their full costs, solar pumps & allowing excess solar power to be fed back into grid, focus for east.

  • Micro-irrigation for Improving Application Efficiency of Irrigation

    • Drips, sprinkles, micro-sprinkles, tapes, guns

      Table contain shows the Technologies, Practices & Policies

      Table contain shows the Technologies, Practices & Policies


      Technologies, Practices & Policies

      Improved Use of Rainfall

      In-situ, on-farm & catchment water harvesting for supplemental irrigation

      Synchronizing crop planting, transplanting w/on-set of monsoons

      Improved water retention thru mulches; drainage of excess water, use of rainfall for recharge thru Underground Taming of Floods for Irrigation

      Agro-met advisory services, crop insurance, drought & flood management

    • In case of commonly practiced flood irrigation method, rate of water application loss is around 35%, while in micro irrigation techniques, application loss is only 10 - 15%.

Solar Irrigation

  • 👌 Solar Pump Irrigators’ Cooperative Enterprise (SPICE) in Gujarat is one of worthwhile models.

  • 👌 Successful models such as Solar Power as Second Remunerative Crop (SPaRC) at Dhundi are working & can be scaled up by NABARD & other agencies. Such projects may be capital intensive at initial stages & govt. will have to figure out smarter ways like feed-in-tariff (FIT) to mobilize funds.

    • Underground Taming of Floods for Irrigation (UTFI)

      👌 Successful models have been developed & demonstrated by International Water Management Institute at Rampur dist. in UP & elsewhere & successful included in District Irrigation Plans.

    • Laser Land Levelling, Zero Tillage, Aerobic Rice & System of Rice Intensification for Saving Water & Energy & Improving Yields

      Help in saving irrigation water upto 15 - 25%, saving of farm energy by upto 20% & improving crop yields upto 20 - 25%. Farmers need to be trained to use these new technologies w/help of improved machinery, which can be made available thru custom-hiring basis or farm cooperatives.

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Technology for Rural Development: Kurukshetra May 2018 Summary (In Hindi)

Dr. Manishika Jain explains Kurukshetra April 2018: Technology for Rural Development

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- Published/Last Modified on: June 1, 2018


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