IIT Kanpur bags prestigious award for its ‘Tech for Tribals’ program

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G.P. VARMA
Kanpur, August 10 – Indian Institute of Technology ( IIT-K) has won the prestigious Best Entrepreneurial Skill Training Project award for its ‘Tech for Tribal’ program at the inaugural Van Dhan Annual awards of the Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED).

“Tech For Tribals’ an initiative aims at the holistic development of tribals with a focus on entrepreneurship development, soft skills, IT, and business development through self help groups (SHGs) operating through Van Dhan Vikas Kendras (VDVKs).
The awards marked the 34th Foundation Day of TRIFED on 6th August 2021.

IIT -K’s technology business incubator, Foundation for Innovation & Research in Science & Technology (FIRST) has setup two Project Management Unit (PMUs) in Chhattisgarh and Kerala under the TRIFED-supported Tech for Tribals project. The incubator is popularly known by its brand name, Startup Incubation and Innovation Centre (SIIC).

Prof Abhay Karandikar, Director, IIT Kanpur said, “We are proud to be associated with the ‘Tech for Tribals’, a unique program to make tribals of this nation Atmanirbhar. It focuses on bridging the gap between tribal entrepreneurs and urban markets. The technological transformation brought out by IIT-K’s contribution to this unique initiative has emerged as a beacon of change impacting the tribal ecosystem. I am sure through such interventions, tribals will rise above all challenges to become self-reliant”.

CEO of Foundation of Research & Innovation in Science & Technology (FIRST), IIT Kanpur, Dr Nikhil Agarwal commented, “Through ‘Tech for Tribals’, we at FIRSThave trained tribal entrepreneurs to amplify the impact of their businesses. It has helped put tribal entrepreneurs on the path of commercialisation. This recognition will motivate the team and add to their efforts for the benefit of the program’s beneficiaries.”

Prof. Amitabha Bandyopadhyay, Professor-in-Charge, Innovation & Incubation, IIT Kanpur applauded the PMU team for their efforts, “The recognition has motivated our team to deliver passionately for the upliftment of the tribal communities. We believe that ‘Tech for Tribals’ carries the tremendous potential to further strengthen the impact and outcomes of beneficiaries, compounding the nation’s social impact. We shall continue to deliver with unparalleled dedication across tribal communities in India.”

Under the Tech for Tribals program, IIT Kanpur is developing course content relevant to Tribal and Rural Entrepreneurship in Value Addition and Processing of Forest Produces. The PMU team has implemented major interventions that have contributed towards the sustainability of the SHGsthrough skill-building efforts. Tech for Tribals is a game-changing, a unique project that aims to transform 5 crore Tribal Entrepreneurs with an objective of imparting entrepreneurship skills to tribal forest produce gatherers enrolled under the VanDhan Yojana. The trainees will undergo a 30-day program over six weeks comprising 120 sessions with an overarching objective of bridging the gap between tribal entrepreneurs and urban markets.

• IIT-K is implementing ‘Tech for Tribals’ initiative in Chhattisgarh and Kerala to bridge the gap between tribal hamlets and global markets digitally
• ‘Tech for Tribals’ run by IIT-K’s technology business incubator, Foundation of Research & Innovation in Science & Technology (FIRST), provides hands-on training to tribal entrepreneurs through course content relevant for the BoP Entrepreneurship in Value Addition and Processing of Forest Produces and shall support over 6000 beneficiaries under the program
• The award was presented on the 34th Foundation Day of TRIFED

ABOUT THE CENTRE
Established in the year 2000, Start-up Incubation and Innovation Centre (SIIC), IIT Kanpur, is one of the oldest technology business incubators with many successes under its belt. In 2018, the leadership brought the incubator’s operations under Foundation of Research & Innovation in Science & Technology (FIRST), a Section-8 company promoted by IIT Kanpur. The multifaceted, vibrant incubation ecosystem nurtured over two decades continues to fill all the gaps on the road to convert an idea into a business.
With pathbreaking innovation brewing at FIRST’s startups, the incubator aims to create impact at the bottom of the pyramid. FIRST has developed the experience base and ecosystem that become critical ingredients in developing early-stage, technology-focused startups disrupting paradigms across the domains such as agriculture, healthcare, aerospace, energy, water, and education.

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