This book comprises the proceedings of a rural technologies conference organised by the Rural Technology Action Group (RuTAG), which was conceptualized and initiated by Principal Scientific Adviser (PSA) to the Government of India R. Chidambaram in 2003–04. The book highlights case studies and research into providing science and technology interventions for the development of rural areas. Covering various aspects of research carried out in the area of rural technologies, it offers a valuable resource for researchers, professionals, and policymakers alike.
It was our great pleasure to host the first “International Conference on Rural
Technology Development and Delivery (RTDD): RuTAG and its Synergy with
other Initiatives” at IIT Delhi during March 9–11, 2018. For a long time, we have
been thinking that the mainstream researchers must participate in the problems
posed to us by the people living in rural areas. Let us just cite a recent example of
dust from stone carving industry which was posed to us. Many laborers in the stone
carving or cutting industry of Rajasthan are reported to have died of silicosis in their
30s–50s, which is really alarming. It seems that the existing solutions are either not
effective for the conditions in which the artisans work or too expensive to be
afforded even by the employers of those artisans to stay competitive in the business.
Hence, there is a great need to take up such challenges. Can we take up? In order to
sensitize the researchers and more importantly our younger generation (like the UG
and PG students), we thought that those who are already doing research on such
problems must come together and share their work. The conference was the result
of that thought. In fact, the same was reflected in the title of our Conference
Souvenir “Researchizing Rural Problems,” a phrase we coined to emphasize the
point of how to convert rural problems into research topics. Publishing such work in
the form of peer-reviewed papers in a monograph like this published by interna-
tionally reputed Springer with worldwide reach can ensure that the researchers get
their personal satisfaction with professional rewards in the form of promotions and
awards, etc. Such satisfaction is expected to bring many new researchers, partic-
ularly the young ones, to dig out more research challenges from rural problems.
Such solutions and publications while satisfying the needs of the researchers are
also expected to spread the real-life solutions designed or meant for a local need to a
global community for the benefit of the latter.