HRD minister Smriti Irani on Sunday favoured strong linkages between institutes of higher learning and rural India for the development of villages and suggested that they should start courses on rural development.
She said her ministry would also set up "cell" to see that educational institutions were engaged in programmes aimed at development of rural India.
"Our aim in the coming five years is that all technical institutions are connected to the villages and work for the development of the country," she said.
The Prime Minister's call to all MPs to develop an 'Aadarsh gram' in their constituencies in his Independence Day speech would also encourage more and more technical institutes to engage with the villages and provide scientific inputs to realise the mission, she said while delivering at a work shop on 'Unnat Bharat Abhiyan' organised by IIT Delhi in New Delhi.
The purpose of the initiative was to identify the basic developmental and productive needs of a village and find ways and means to meet these needs.
Stating that higher technical institutes today were far removed from rural India, she said programmes like this should be a catalyst where the bright minds, going abroad, come back to the country and work for the betterment of the villages.
She said the high-quality rural development centres in IITs should also started in centrally-funded institutes.
"With this we can build a big network of educational institutions who provide programmes on rural technology. These institutions can understand the problems faced by villages and can address them and disseminate rural technology to the villages by becoming a wing of higher educational institutions," she said.