Institute of Management Studies,BHU is organizing the 7th Ideal Village Conference

Institute of Management Studies,BHU is organizing the 7th Ideal Village Conference

Institute of Management Studies, Banaras Hindu University is jointly organizing the 7th Ideal Village Conference with Stanford University, WHEELS Global Foundation, Pan-IIT Alumni, Science for Society, Confederation of Indian Industry, Federation of Indian Physicians Association, FICCI, and AARDO from 11th -13th November 2022. The previous Conferences were held at Stanford University till 2021 and will be held in India for the first time. The Conference will witness the gracious presence of the honorable Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Shri Yogi Adityanath, on 11th November 2022 at Swatantrata Bhawan, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi. The exalted presence of the honorable Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh in the Inaugural session of the Conference will open a plethora of possibilities for Holistic Rural Development emerging as the outcome of the conference deliberations. The Conference will provide a platform to amalgamate theory with practice.

The first Ideal Village Conference was held on 15th June 2016 at Stanford University, which conceptualized the idea of an Ideal Village wherein a wide range of experts participated in the debates and panel discussions to identify solution options for ideal village needs and a sustainable model for various sectors like Energy and Infrastructure, Healthcare, Internet Connectivity, Waste Treatment, Sanitation, Agriculture and many more.

The 7th Ideal Village Conference aims to launch a rural transformation movement in India, which can serve as the model for achieving sustainable growth globally. The theme for the Conference is Rural Transformation for Sustainable Growth, focusing on Best Practices in Rural Development. The event's mission statement signifies the noble cause with the economy in mind: "To launch a nationwide movement for creating ideal villages which can uplift and empower underserved communities through the adoption of Best Practices in Rural Development and Appropriate Technology."

WHEELS, an acronym for Water, Healthcare, Education, Energy, Livelihoods, and sustainability, is actively implementing technology in Rural Development. In 2020, WHEELS Global Foundation (WGF) – an initiative of IIT Alumni, organized a massive funding campaign to send Oxygen concentrators to aid Covid-19 victims in India. They conducted 26 global webinars to address the severe deficiencies in our public health policies and practices and the needs of the post-Covid era. The havoc wrecked by the pandemic, primarily upon the rural Indian economy, brought Stanford University's Ideal Village Project into a synergistic partnership with WGF, given their shared aspirations.

Their joint decision to hold the 7th Ideal Village Conference found an ideal receptacle in Prof. Sudhir Jain, the Vice-Chancellor of Banaras Hindu University and former director of IIT-Gandhinagar, where he had initiated a creative program for incoming classes of technology students to be immersed in the realities of rural life for six weeks and inspire them to solve rural problems.

More than 800 participants in 20 countries including more than 50 companies and universities, will participate in the event. More than 100 global expert presentations will be part of the Conference. The Conference will feature six key tracks, namely, "Health care and Nutrition," "Water and Sanitation," "Sustainable Agriculture and Farming," "Education and Skill Development," "Energy & Environment," and "Livelihoods & Sustainability" through a global competition. Eminent personalities around the globe will grace the occasion to highlight recent developments in all the tracks. In addition, parallel sessions and workshops will capture the lessons learned and best practices from the successful implementation of rural programs, thereby defining the future of global rural development.

The organizers have scheduled a "Best Practices" competition on 13th November 2022 (Sunday) to identify the most effective rural development programs in each of the six tracks. Winners will be chosen based on a set of comprehensive criteria and will be awarded cash prizes along with endorsements to secure CSR funding, enabling these programs to be scaled nationwide and create thousands of Ideal Villages with regular impact measurements and monitoring.

The Institute of Management Studies – BHU, which grooms young minds to become the leaders of tomorrow, actively joined hands in support of this initiative, giving out a loud and clear message that Fortune does lie at the bottom of the pyramid. With the synergized efforts of the Institute of Management Studies at BHU, stalwarts and thinkers of technology & industry, IIT alumni networks, medical professionals, NGOs in rural developments, and media partners, significant Government machinery participation has been secured to form a public-private partnership for launching a "Rural Transformation Movement" at this year's Ideal Village Conference. The Conference's vision is to improve the lives of 20% or more of India's rural population by 2030 by meeting the needs of rural communities in all six tracks and creating a thriving rural community and an enduring rural economy which would impact India's GDP. It aims to raise $50 million in donations, grants and CSR funds to create a sustainable organizational structure dedicated to the growth of the developing world.

The Ideal Village movement envisions holding annual Ideal Village conferences and thereby building on each year's lessons and learning from its successes and failures in the field. This movement's ultimate goal is to eliminate rural poverty and improve health and well-being for all.

The Conference will start on 11th November with the power-packed presence of our beloved Chief Minister Sri Yogi Adityanath Ji as the Chief Guest of the event. Prof. Sujit Kumar Dubey, Director of the Institute of Management Studies, BHU, will deliver a welcome speech. Prof. Kanwaljeet J. S. Anand, Stanford University, California, and Mr. Arjun Malhotra, Co-founder of HCL Group, WHEELS Global Foundation, will address the audience with their insightful words. Prof. Sudhir Kumar Jain, Vice-Chancellor of BHU, will share his ideas and shower his blessings on the august gathering. The inaugural session will conclude with the Vote of Thanks by  Prof. H.P. Mathur, the Dean of the Institute of Management Studies, BHU.

Dr. Manoj Nardeosingh, Secretary General, AARDO, will also grace the event with his presence. Ms. Archna Vyas, Deputy Director, Gates Foundation, Program Advocacy & Communications, and Dr. Sundar Kamath, Program Co-Chair, will carry forward the event by providing an update on Ideal Village Projects. Mr. Suresh Shenoy, Program Co-Chair, and Mr. Rajat Gupta, WHEELS Board Chair, will orate on the Vision for Rural Transformation of WHEELS. There will also be an interaction with Ms. Asha Jadeja – Jadeja Motwani Foundation, along with the address of world-famous cricketer Mr. Sunil M. Gavaskar from Australia.

The Conference will commence on 11th November 2022 with a brainstorming and ideation session. In the plenary session, Prof Kanwaljeet, Stanford University, and Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai, Founder of Sri Sathya Sai University for human excellence, will elucidate the topic "Healthcare and Nutrition." The following session on the track theme of "Water and Sanitation." will host Smt. Gauri Kumar, Former Secretary, Government of India; Chair, WHEELS Water Council, and Hon. Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Union Minister of Jal Shakti, Government of India, will share the initiatives taken by his ministry through online mode. The final session will take place on the track theme of "Agriculture and Farming." This session will be introduced by speaker Dr. Sanjeeb Behera, Head, IEC Division, AARDO, Sri T. R. Kesavan, Head of FICCI National Committee on Agriculture & TAFE and Dr. Babu U. V. Head (R&D), Himalaya Wellness Company. The session will include deliberations on healthy and sustainable agricultural practices and farming to be made viable and affordable in rural areas.

There will be three parallel tracks on the aforementioned topics where eminent speakers will be present to grace the occasion, including Dr. Raj Shah, Founder and President of Smart Care Doc, WGF Health Council, Dr. Bindu Kansupada, Vice-Chair, Health Council of WGF, Dr. Rahul Gupta, Director, Office of National Drug Control Policy, US, Dr. Shruti Prabhu, Public Health, Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Hospital, Dr. Meena Chintapalli, Founder of SAI. Institute of Educare, USA, Ms. Gauri Kumar, WHEELS Water council, fmr. Secretary, Govt of India, Dr. Ranjan Ghosh, IIM-Ahmedabad, WHEELS Water Council, Ms Vini Mahajan, Secretary, Dept. of Water & Sanitation, Govt of India, Ms. Roopa Mishra, Joint Secretary of Housing & Urban Affairs, Sri Surendra Makhija, SVP, Jain Irrigation Systems, Sri T R Kesavan, Head of FICCI National Committee on Agriculture & TAFE, Sri L. Prabhakar, Exec. VP, Social Investments, ITC, Sri  Krishnan Pallassana, Country Head of India Digital Green Strengthening Agency, Ms. Anu Meena, Founder Agrowave Transforming Agriculture Supply Chain, among others.

The topics of discussion for the second plenary session will be "education and skill development," where eminent personalities including Mr. Arun Nanda, Chairman, Mahindra Holidays & Resorts, Mr. Arjun Malhotra, Co-Founder of HCL Technologies and Padma Bhushan Mr. S. Ramadorai, former TCS CEO, will present their views. T. Kalyan Chakravarty, Exec. Director, PanIIT Alumni, Mr. Hitendra Ghosh, IIT-Kharagpur Alumni, Ms. Bhuvana Santhanam, Head of Global Outreach, Sai Global Foundations, Shri Ashank Desai, Pan IIT Alumni Foundation; WHEELS India, Shri G. Srinivasan, Co-Founder & Director of Rural Shores will also address this session.

There will be a parallel track where Dr. R. S. Sodhi, Managing Director of Anand Milk Union Limited (AMUL), and Mr. Balaji Ganapathy, CSR Global Head, Tata Consulting Services, will elucidate on the topic "livelihood and sustainability." Among other honorable speakers will be Pradeep Kapur, Ambassador of smart village development, wheels council; Dr. Smita Siddhanti, President, EnDyna, Wheels council; Ms. Priya Naik, President, and CEO, Samhita Social Ventures, and Arun Jain, the Founder of Polaris Group and Chairman & Managing Director of Intellect Design Arena Limited.

The third parallel track on "energy and environment" will be addressed by Mr. Chetan Solanki, "Solar man of India," Energy Swaraj Foundation & IIT-B, Rashi Gupta, founder and MD of Vision Mechatronics Pvt Ltd, Indrajit Chatterjee, Chair, WHEELS Global Foundations, and Dr. Ashok Das, Founder & CEO, SunMoksha.

The second day of the conference will witness hectic activities amalgamating academia with practice, food with spirituality, and idea with practicality. TCS will install its Research Café during High Tea in the evening. The creative identity of India through its rich cultural heritage will be part of the Conference Cultural Program night, followed by the Gala Dinner with an online association of the SADGURU JAGGI VASUDEVA.

The Conference on 13th November will start with a speech on "Rural transformation – an idea whose time is now." The plenary session will be themed "National Ideal Village Movement for Rural Transformation & 3B Role of IITs in Rural Transformation," where the honorable speakers Dr. Sundar Kamath, SVP & CTO, Sanmina, Inc, Sri B Thiagarajan, MD, Blue Star Limited; CII National Council, Prof Vikash Kumar Dubey, Dean of Research and Development, IIT BHU, Mr. Pradeep Gupta, Pan-IIT Alumni Co-founder; Chairman, CuberMedia Group, Prof Amit Prashant, Dean of Research and Development, IIT-Gandhinagar, will grace the occasion with their august presence.

There will be parallel workshops on diverse topics. Sri Digvijay Choudhari, President, SOBUS, Sri Saurabh Lall, Model Gaon Program, and Sri Vasant Deendayal, Deendayal Research Institute, will elaborate on "Holistic Village Development." Dr. Ishan Shivanand, the founder of The Yoga of Immortals, Hon. Minister Dr. Kailesh Jagutpal, Minister of Health & Wellness at the Mauritius National Assembly, Ms. Mrinalini Ravi from The Banyan Mental Health Innovation Network, Chennai, and Dr. Anbu Dorai, who is a member of The Banyan, will discuss "addressing mental health needs."

Mr. KS Rao, the Head of Investor Education and Distribution Development at Aditya Birla Sun Life AMC Limited, Mr. Govind Singh, the founder and Managing Director & CEO of Utkarsh Small Finance Bank, and Mr. Mukul Jaiswal, the Managing Director of Cashpor Micro Credit, Varanasi will address a workshop on "Microfinance and Credit facilities" to highlight the importance of investments.

The next plenary session will address "Rural Transformation at State Levels." Eminent speakers like Sri Manoj Kumar Singh, Jt. Secretary, UP State Government, Agriculture Production Commissioner (APC), and Hon. Mr. Alan Ganoo, Minister of Land Transport & Light Rail, Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration & International Trade, Mauritius National Assembly, will be present. The workshops will address the topics "Legal Issues and Collaborative Governance," "Scaling and Change Management," and "Rural administration and policy framework."

The valedictory session will conclude the three-day Conference. Prof. Sujit Kumar Dubey, Director of the Institute of Management Studies, BHU, will deliver the welcome address for the session. Significant highlights of the tracks in the focus of the entire Ideal Village Conference and the future Action plan to be implemented to achieve the goals set will be presented by Dr. Sundar Kamath. The high points of all six tracks will be delivered by Prof. K.J.S. Anand, Ms. Gauri Kumar, Dr. Sanjeeb Behera, Dr. Nandini Tandon, Dr. Rahul Walawalkar, and Amb. Pradeep Kapur, respectively. After that, an address by the Chief Guest of the Valedictory session, Dr. V K Shukla, Rector of Banaras Hindu University, will take place. Finally, the session will end with a Vote of Thanks delivered by Prof. H P Mathur, Dean, Institute of Management Studies, BHU.