GITAM gets Rs 3.65 crore tribal welfare grant to set up sci-tech hubs in AP

The overall goal of the STI Hub is to improve the livelihood of small and marginalised tribal communities and help with skill development.

GITAM gets DST grant (Official Website)GITAM gets DST grant (Official Website)

Mridusmita Deka | June 30, 2023 | 05:41 PM IST

NEW DELHI: GITAM’s (Deemed to be University) Science Technology and Innovation Hubs (GITAM STI Hubs) has received Rs 3.65 crore tribal welfare grant from the Department of Science and Technology (DST). The tribal welfare grant has been received to establish sci-tech hubs in Andhra Pradesh.

According to a GITAM statement, the deemed-to-be-university is pioneering a transformative approach to uplift the socio-economic conditions of the local Scheduled Tribe (ST) population in select villages of Andhra Pradesh.

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Associate Professor Dr I Sarat Babu, Principal Investigator from the Department of Biotechnology, GITAM School of Technology, and the team of researchers at the Science Technology and Innovation Hub of the GITAM (Deemed to be University) have been granted the funding amounting to Rs 3.65 crore towards the project aimed at uplifting the socio-economic status of the tribal population by setting-up a revenue-generating model. Babu is leading the team along with co-investigators, Raja Phani Pappu, director, department of research and consultancy and Dr P Manjushree, Professor, GITAM School of Business.

As many as four GITAM STI Hubs have been set up aiming to blend academic research and community service and creat a platform that nurtures entrepreneurship and empowers the tribal youth, ultimately leading to a remarkable improvement in their overall lifestyle, a GITAM statement added.

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The overall goal of the STI Hub, as per a GITAM statement, is to improve the livelihood of small and marginalised tribal communities and help with skill development through the formation of two FPOs (Farmer Producer Organisation) and 20 SHGs (Self Help Group) reaching out to 1,000 beneficiaries.

The STI Hubs also aim at creating value chains through Science and Technology Interventions and develop social enterprises. The activity will help improve the physical and human capitals of selected beneficiaries as well as lead to improvement in the health and nutritional status of the tribals.

To function within the framework of Science for Equity Empowerment and Development (SEED) Division, four business units will be set up, each of which will initiate economic enterprises including niger seed oil mill units, honey processing units, solar based cold storage units and vegetable processing units for vegetables including broccoli, cucumber and ginger.

GITAM STI Hub: Mode of Operation

The GITAM STI Hub is operated in the “Hub and Spoke Model”. The main hub will be in Paderu (district headquarters) while the 12 identified villages in the Paderu (Thumpada, Modapalle, Minumuluru, Raigedda, Talarisingi and Yegumodaputtu) and Araku Valley (Padmapuram, Pappuduvalasa, Yandapallivalasa, Chompi, Hattaguda and Lotheru) Mandals will act as spokes.

The hubs will be well-equipped with niger seed oil processing units, honey processing units, solar based cold storage units, vegetable processing units, and quality assurance, quality control laboratories for honey, and niger oil, along with the training centers.

Funded by the Government of India’s Ministry of Science and Technology, and to be executed under the purview of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), these STI Hubs are the first of its kind in Paderu and Araku Valley Mandals, the GITAM statement added.

The GITAM statement issued today said: “Currently, a field survey is underway to identify and enroll the target beneficiaries for the project that is expected to run for a period of three years (up to 31-03-2026).”

This project, it added, will see several departments work in synergy as GITAM STI will collaborate with ICAR-Krishi Vigyan Kendra (ICAR-KVK), Integrated Tribal Development Authority (ITDA), National Bank for Agricultural and Rural Development (NABARD), Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC), Girijan Co-Operative Corporation (GCC), and several local NGOs.

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