Techno Market Survey on Strategies for HRD & Management of Rural Oriented Technologies

Article Index

Code No: TMS067 Price: 1000 Category: Rural Technology


Summary  : This report gives the current status, profile, management and appraisal of rural technology in the country. It covers issues on HRD and management strategies of rural development.

Year of Publication : 1993

Table Of Contents :

 Executive summary

  • Introduction
  • Current rural technology status
  •  Rural technology profile
  • Current Management structure for rural technology dissemination
  • Critical appraisal of rural technology dissemination through case studies
  • Issues on HRD & Management in rural technology dissemination
  • Emerging trend in HRD
  • HRD infrastructure for development programmes
  •  Recommended HRD & Management strategies for effective technology dissemination.



Rural Technology Status

Technology has emerged as a crucial strategy variable for rapid socio-economic development in the rural areas. A close and continuous linkage is therefore essential between rural programs, modern scientific and technical development to ensure rural development.


Upto now, technology has be and large failed to improve the material prosperity and total quality if life of the people in rural areas. Apart from agriculture which has displayed remarkable achievements, other activities of importance for rural development such as basic infrastructure, industry, health education and cultural activities etc. have not developed to the extent and at the pace as one would have expected. The overall picture as it emerges could be even dismal, in rural areas.


While Government has launched several programs aimed at rural development and technology propagation, almost 33% of the population is still below the poverty line. Illiteracy in actual numbers have gone up substantially. Shortages of houses exceed the 20 million mark. 73 % of the rural people depend on wells for drinking water. Just about 3% of rural population have access to proper sanitation facilities.


The condition of rural infrastructure ranges from the sub-standard to the terrible. Almost one lakh villages are without power. Health facilities are inadequate. Just about 1.3 lakh public health and sub-centres exist for the entire rural population.


Just about one-third of the national income is based in rural areas as against three-fourth population red\siding there. There has been deterioration in per capita calories supply as percentage of the minimum requirements. Majority if villages are without accessible roads. Communication facilities have hardly reached 20% of the rural population and the list goes on.

Issues in Technology Dissemination

There have been several reasons responsible for this not too impressive picture.

One of the reasons is the pace of slow dissemination of technologies in rural areas. A critical appraisal of some of the key technologies and programs was carried out through case studies to identify the major problems in technology dissemination. The areas covered were bio-gas, hand pumps, wind mills, oil seeds, pottery, artisan based products, rural health delivery system, solar lighting system, drip irrigation and communication products. The findings reveal that the constraints to development are multidimensional. Major problems could be broadly grouped into four area, i.e. technology related, information and systems related, human resources related and organization related. The major observations under each of these four categories is tabulated below:

1. Organization Related 2. HRD Related
1. Structural weakness in the govt. machinery.

1. The prevalent formal education is not suitable for rural development requirements.

2. Inadequate arrangements to promote collaborative work among different agencies

2. Education offers little scope for motivating the rural people to change their attitudes and creating the necessary urge.

3. Poor coordination at the district level.

3. Poor training infrastructure in rural area

4. Proliferation of development agencies.

4. No comprehension training needs and expectations of beneficiaries.

5. Compartmentalization & of fragmentation of functions

5. Lack of continuity in training programmes,

6. Overlapping of roles & responsibilities of various departments

6. Inadequate feedback and linkages between S & T institutions, trainers & trainees.

7. Lack of expertise in technologies at the district level and below.

7. Lack of multipurpose orientation in training.

8. Insufficient staffing at the grass root level especially in technical areas.

8. Insufficient practical knowledge on the part of training faculty.

9. Confusion on how bet to involve voluntary agencies.

9. Diversity of languages, culture and physical environments compliance the task of HRD.


10. Sense of involvement of extension workers is lacking.


11. No link of performance with reward systems.


12. Psychological factors required by beneficiaries not taken into consideration.


13. Poor participation of potential in many schemes.


14. Voluntary agencies need to upgrade their professional skill.

3. Technology Related 4. Information and Systems Related
1. Technology need assessment not based on local needs and social factors.

1. Actions and decisions mostly based on information non-systematic assessment.

2. Divergent views on the usefulness of technologies. 2. No scope for budgets for tools/equipments of management.
3. Difficulty in actively associating local community in various technologies. 3. Very minor role of planning in decision making systems at the district level and below.
4. Feasibility generally not worked out keeping the market viability in mind. 4. Very weak MIS at the district level for technology related projects.
5. Inability of the existing block development admn. to manage the introductions 5. Current systems more geared for record keeping technology rather than corrective actions.
6. Technologies have not been sufficiently demystified. 6. Poor information sharing among different agencies.
7. Many technologies are limited by physical resource availability. 7. Inadequate documentation & publication support.
8. Technology that fits well (certain group/region may be unsuitable for other groups/regions.) 8. Disorganized effort in communication of technological messages.
9. Insufficient capital. 9. Communication has by/and large failed to alter ingrained attitudes and values.
    10. communication strategy rarely serve the interest odf target groups.
  11. too much reliance placed by th government on its own set up for devising communication strategies and products.
  12. absence of social marketing as a concept in developing communication strategies.
  Physical Resources
  1. Large scale leakages & wastage of funds
  2. Local organization and institutions not being properly used in delivering the inputs and services.

For an effective delivery system to be established, it is important that all these issues are tackled in an integrated manner.


Current Infrastructure for Rural Technology Dissemination

India currently has one of the largest technical manpower pool in the world (approx.38 lakh as per 1991 census). About 25%of this manpower is engaged in technology/ research activities, 21% in administrative activities and 10 to 11% in design and development. Fundamental research accounts for only 2.6% of this total manpower.


Only about 6% of the total technical manpower is employed in agricultural and rural activities. Besides, most of the manpower at the grass root level responsible for technology dissemination are not fully qualified and these positions are also understaffed.


There has been a substantial achievement in education but the illiteracy in actual numbers have gone up. Almost 68% of the adults in rural areas are currently illiterate. This is despite the fact that 85% of all the educational institutes are located in rural areas. Non-formal education is being increasingly advocated. National Literacy Mission has ambitious programs of adult education and of covering 80 million people by 1995.


There are however, very few linkages for application of science and technology to rural development. One of the experiments being tried is in the form of Vigyan Ashrams wherein the youth are involved in scientific endeavours.


In training, there are several institutions in the country offering a wide range of training coursers, orientation work shops, refresher courses, diplomas, degrees and post graduate courses. There are advanced training centers set up in select State Agricultural Universities for subject matter areas. National Centre for Management of Agriculture Extension caters to training requirement of senior level managers. Regional rural technology centers have been set up in some of the areas for technology transfer to rural areas. Many States training institutions and community polytechnics exist for specialized training. There, however, exist very few training courses oriented towards attitudinal and behavioural changes among beneficiaries and functionaries.


In extension and demonstration, there is a fairly good infrastructure in the country for agricultural programs through T & V systems ad other research based extension systems. For technologies, other than agriculture, the extension and demonstration system need upgradation as well as specialized innovative thinking.


The current expenditure on S & T is Rs. 3,771/- crore (1988-89). In relation to the GNP it is only about 1% which is considered to be quite low compared to even other moderately developed countries. Regarding R & D infrastructure, there are two premier councils – ICAR and CSIR engaged in several R&D activities. This is followed by several central government institutions, universities and colleges, district rural development agencies, district industry centre, State S & T councils, and private industries who are also actively involved in R&D activities.


Voluntary agencies/NGOs at the grass root level also pay a key role in rural technology dissemination. By one estimate, there are about 10,000 NGOs in the country. The work of only a handful of them is, however known. CAPART is the apex agency coordinating the activities of voluntary agencies.


Recommended Action Plan for Technology Dissemination


Organizational Plan


The existing district set up with a weak planning machinery, multiplicity of agencies and lack of effective coordination needs revamping.


A very senior officer of the rank of Chief Secretary designated as Development Commissioner should be made in charge of development administration at the state level.


A post of District Development Commissioner (DDC) is proposed to look after the coordination for all developmental activities in the district.


Keeping in view the increasing technical content of various rural programs and lack of expertise in technology dissemination at the district level. It is proposed to create a position of Assistant Development Commissioner (ADC) – Technology Dissemination, in each district.


Considering the fact that the ultimate success of technology dissemination lies in the participation of beneficiaries and functionaries, the development of the HRD aspects assume great significance. A separate HRD cell is proposed in each district headed by a senior level official.


The status of the office of the Block Development officer should be upgraded. The Chief Executive of the block may be designated as Assistant Development Commissioner who should be a dynamic person with a background in training and management capability appropriate to the task of a leader of the team who will be in charge of all developmental functions in the block.


A separate technical cell is proposed to be created each block chaired by a senior technical officer functionally reporting to ADC (Technical) at the district level.


There is also an urgent need for rationalizing the deployment of functionaries at the district level and below.


Considering the task to be assigned to the various levels of administrative set up at the district level and below, the State Government may have to work out the staff requirements again.




Along with the establishment of the DC, a significant restructuring of the planning and implementation machinery at the district level should be effected. A district planning cell is recommended with suitable representation.


In order to improve local level participation and planning at the village level, it is proposed to create Village Planning Forums (VPF).


Rural technology planning will have to be integrated into the National Plans and into district planning.


To increase the efficiency of the planning and implementation process, the use of modern management instruments should be encouraged. A key element in the planning of technology will be to acknowledge the interest of all the parties that are either serving or are involved in project implementation.                                                                                          Back

Technology Dissemination Strategies


Government has to play a strategic role in projects by taking in real interest in special committees at all levels and supporting the administrative set up in all possible ways.


A sufficiently attractive proportion ha to be formulated to gain the support and participation of beneficiaries.


The schemes should be according to the local circumstances and differentiated between social classes and regions.


Technology implementation should be preceded by detailed need assessment, market viability and technology assessment studies.


Government should not offer any technology free of cost.


A separate management cadre should be created to organize and operate the national technology programs.


Coordination linkages between various agencies involved viz., the Government, Research institutes, Universities, Private sector agencies etc. should be strengthened.


A Multi-pronged attempt is required at the village and block level, through creation of formal interest groups- developmental groups, pressure groups and support groups.


For commercial technologies, an infrastructure be created which should compatible with the habitat structure of villages.


A rural growth network model is proposed where the beneficiaries could be organized into certain type of industrial co-operative.


Information Support / MIS


There is a need to create an effective MIS at the district level and below, which will assist in functions of planning, implementation and control. The proposed MIS should provide information for decision making, to facilitate in checking of data accuracy, to suggest procedures for data analysis and to facilitate timely feedback.


Facilities should be created for exchange of information and experience across the nation and CAPART can assume the role of providing a forum for such exchanges.


Every block office should have an EDP section which should be responsible for processing the necessary data and generating reports for decision making at various levels.




1. Developing Communication strategies based on the following:


* Objectives of communication
* Identification of target audiences
* Understanding the target segments through detailed studies.
* Formulating the broad plan of action.
* Appointing a professional communication agency.
* Analysis of problem dimension.
* Identifying thrust area of communication.
* Developing media strategies (The most effective medium seems to be the inter personal medium. The other successful media besides TV and Radio are dramas, shows, plays, nataks, puppet shows etc.)
* Development of communication products (like nautankis, TV-spots, songs, posters, banners etc.)


2. Creating a network for change through the country to enable sharing of ideas, experiences and communication materials/ products.                                                                                                                                                           Back

Training & Human Resource Development


1. Creation of National Training Network


a) Formulation of a National Human Resource Development program for training of trainers, trainees and voluntary agencies.


b) Development of the organization structure which will consist of an apex coordination cell. This will be linked with participating institutions in different areas of rural technologies.


In the next tier to begin with 2 to 3 key institutions are proposed to be identified and linked to participating institutions to implement continuing education programs. A number of collaborative institutions are also to be developed for specialized training. At the lower level it is recommended to link with community polytechnics, rural technology centres and voluntary agencies for technology transfer and training programs.


Each State Department should set up a HRD cell and nominate a nodal officer to monitor the State’s HRD programs.


2. HRD Program Planning


a) Laying down the training guidelines and evaluation criteria on the part of apex level cell for each area.
b) Making HRD program mandatory in the administrative structure of the Central, State, District and block levels.
c) Working out separate plans with respect to different categories and functionaries.
d) Setting up of Working Group to develop broad based programs of training and development in each centre.
e) Identifying external resource persons from seats of higher learning who may be involved in training programs.


3. Training Program Organization


The main components for successful training programs will be training need identification for different levels and types, selection of training institutions / trainers, selection of training methods and evaluation of training programs. A scientific method of going about organizing of training programs based on these components is recommended.


4. Motivation


a) Motivation among beneficiaries can be attained only through spread of education, introduction of well structured training programs, field demonstrations, media exposure, launching appropriate communication strategy and reduction of bureaucratic red tape etc.


b) For motivating the extension workers, a dramatic change in government policy is required by providing special allowances, better salary scale and promotional avenues, better facilities-transport, medical, school, accommodation etc., better subsequent postings, ensuring better prospects and relating rewards to performance (performance not in terms of financial expenditure, but improvement in physical quality of life).


5. Education


Development of new system of education that will tend to integrate education with development of the region including society, through activities that simultaneously provide for stimulation of the intellect, upgrade skills and provide community services as part of the system.


6. Community involvement


Community involvement may be ensured through:


a) Use of services provided by students and paying for them.


b) Integration of education in rural development in a single system by including some commercial operations whereby students are involved in certain trades and receive training as well as have a share in the profits.


c) Voluntary fund collection for construction and provision of schools.


7. Voluntary Agency Involvement


An improved model for involving voluntary agencies should be desvised, which will be acceptable to all agencies. The model should take care of delivery system, should have an integrated approach, must have an in-built feedback system for free flow of information and it should have community accountability. Preferably its area of operation should be confined to a block and smaller units.