Tata Trusts, Chicago university tie up to work on Indian development challenges

By: | Published: June 25, 2016 1:41 PM

A new initiative between Tata Trusts and the University of Chicago will collaborate in ideation and solution-seeking to complex developmental challenges in crucial areas like sanitation....

chicago university“We are planning a three-year pilot of a new integrated approach to development work. (Reuters)

A new initiative between Tata Trusts and the University of Chicago will collaborate in ideation and solution-seeking to complex developmental challenges in crucial areas like sanitation, energy and the environment, a US don of Indian origin who heads the venture said.

“We are planning a three-year pilot of a new integrated approach to development work.

We will work in a few verticals to start– health, water and sanitation and energy and the environment,” Anup Malani, faculty director of the newly-created Tata Centre for Development at the University of Chicago (UChicago), told IANS in an interview.

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The health vertical will examine healthcare access through insurance with projects in Karnataka and Andra Pradesh.

The water and sanitation vertical will begin a major project on decentralised irrigation with water tanks in Telangana.

The energy and environment vertical will examine projects to improve reporting of emissions by plants in Gujurat and Maharashtra, to provide rural electrical power via solar microgrids in Bihar, and to encourage individuals to pay for better electricity supply in Bihar.

“We will also work on ideation — the generation of new solutions to development challenges — through two additional projects.

We will support an Urban Challenge in Delhi that asks NGOs and government officials to propose new ways to tackle air pollution,” Malani, the Lee and Brena Freeman Professor at the UChicago Law School and Professor at the Pritzker School of Medicine, explained.

“We will also support a partnership between the UChicago’s International Innovation Corps (IIC) and OpenIDEO, a division of the design consulting firm IDEO, to use OpenIDEO internet based platform to crowdsource solutions to, for example, urban sanitation problems, and then to pilot those solutions using IIC teams in collaboration with municipal governments,” he added.

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