IIT Kanpur's 'Tech for Tribals' program honoured at the 1st Van Dhan Awards

IIT Kanpur's 'Tech for Tribals' program honoured at the 1st Van Dhan Awards

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IIT Kanpur has won the award for Best Entrepreneurial Skill Training Project for its innovative 'Tech for Tribal' initiative. Developed by the IIT-K's technology and business incubator, Foundation for Innovation & Research in Science & Technology (FIRST), the award-winning programme aims to digitally abridge tribal villages to global markets. Reportedly, the honour was presented at the inaugural Van Dhan annual awards, organised on the 34th Foundation Day of the TRIFED.

Amplifying tribal business on a global scale

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Tech for Tribals of IIT Kanpur's incubatory cell, FIRST, envisions to holistically develop isolated rural hamlets in India. This is a big step forward towards the dream of creating an 'Atmanirbhar' India. Reportedly, the FIRST has set up two PMUs in Chhattisgarh and Kerala, under the banner of the Tech for Tribals programme, to materialise its agenda. It further aims to progress entrepreneurship development skills, soft skills, IT and business development through SHGs, operating via Van Dhan Vikas Kendras (VDVKs).

Professor Abhay Karandikar, Director of IIT Kanpur announced, "In this program, IIT Kanpur provides hands-on training to tribal entrepreneurs through course content relevant for the BoP Entrepreneurship in value addition and processing of forest produce." It is a unique intimate to make the Indian tribals self-reliant, he added. "The technological transformation brought out by IIT Kanpur contribution to this unique initiative has emerged as a beacon of change impacting the tribal ecosystem.", Karandikar added in a tweet.

The CEO of FIRST, Dr Nikhi Agarwal of IIT Kanpur stated that the incubation centre has trained tribal entrepreneurs to augment the impact of their businesses. This has rerouted these small business operators on the highway of commercialisation. The honourary award, he added, will encourage the team to focus their efforts for the benefit of the programme's beneficiaries.

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