CSC Partners with IIT Delhi to Set Up Design and Innovation Lab for Rural Entrepreneurs

New Delhi: The Common Services Center (CSC), under the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, has partnered with Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi to promote design and innovation among the Village Level Entrepreneurs (VLEs) managing the CSCs across the country.

As per the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed on Monday between the CSC Academy and IIT Delhi, a design & innovation lab will be set up at the Department of Design, IIT Delhi for conducting research on design-led innovations related to leveraging livelihood and enhancing their all-round entrepreneurial outlook.

Known as ‘Design and Innovation in VLE’s Indigenous Network Ecosystem (DIVINE) Lab’, it will provide continuous research into the rural entrepreneurial ecosystem and design new products and services for the VLEs. It will also develop digital content for new skilling and education courses for VLEs.

The network of VLEs operate amidst in complex and infrastructurally underserved areas serving the last mile with poor connectivity and low digital literacy. The partnership will provide them with understanding and academic support to solve problems and challenges of growth.

“The Common Services Centres and the Village Level Entrepreneurs are driven by an entrepreneurial spirit. They are adaptive, based on the local community environment, they work on digital connectivity in areas with limited access, they also solve problems on a day-to-day basis for a diverse range of customers or citizens. The Design Lab will benefit from IIT Delhi’s unparallel expertise and experiences of hardened and creative VLEs who will bring hyper-local realities and challenges of delivering services to the partnership,” said Dr. Dinesh Tyagi, Managing Director, CSC SPV.

“We also hope some of the learnings from the field will permeate upwards to create knowledge around grassroots innovation by VLEs,” Dr. Tyagi added.

The aim of the DIVINE Lab is to bring the young talent of the country in contact with the village level entrepreneurs to co-create solutions for the local problems in villages using design and technology. The Lab will channelise the rural connect for IIT Delhi students and faculty to conduct iterative and continuous research in the rural entrepreneurial ecosystem.

“I am hopeful this collaboration with CSC will support IIT Delhi students to access CSC’s network and identify problems in rural India. World-class research infrastructure and expertise available at IIT Delhi can be utilized to design and innovate optimal and sustainable solutions for rural problems through the wide network of Village Level Entrepreneurs (VLEs) across the country,” said Prof V. Ramgopal Rao, Director, IIT Delhi.

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