The Centre for Technology Alternatives for Rural Areas (CTARA)

The Centre for Technology Alternatives for Rural Areas (CTARA) was set up in 1985 to cater to the technology needs of rural areas. CTARA has an M.Tech. program in Technology and Development (started in 2007) and a Ph.D. program. CTARA also offers Technology and Development Supervised Learning (TDSL) courses to B.Tech. students across the Institute. The course work at CTARA provides an overview of development issues, resource analysis, rural needs assessment, technological interventions and impacts, and has a strong field component. CTARA’s teaching and research is aimed at providing relevant solutions to the rural areas. In order to do this effectively, CTARA has over the years developed relations with various Governmental Departments at the Centre and State; Industrial Houses, Non-governmental Organizations/Community Based Organizations. The program itself has been widely appreciated and is attracting broad spectrum of top students.

Research at CTARA covers the sectors of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition, Appropriate Technology, Drinking water, Energy, Environment, Health, Planning and Policy and Governance. CTARA graduates are trained to analyse “development” situations and design technology interventions and solutions. They inculcate grassroots understanding to work on national/global issues. Courses are aimed at developing their analytical skills, sectoral understanding, policy perspective, operational skills. The centre puts special emphasis on field experience with a mandatory 9 weeks summer stay in a village for Masters students and a mandatory 4 weeks for PhD students as part of course work.

Nutrition Group

CTARA at IIT Bombay has a team of faculty members and students interested in issues of child malnutrition. Students in CTARA are already working on issues related to child malnutrition in specific areas, as well as for context specific planning at the District Level, both as part of their curricular activity and through UNICEF-CTARA Fellowships. These Fellowships are given to students from CTARA, Humanities and Social Sciences (H&SS) and Biological Sciences and Bio Engineering (BSBE). Till now, 14 Masters students have received this fellowship and have been involved in various projects covering different aspects of child malnutrition. Moreover, there are 5 PhD Students and 5 Research Associates, deeply engaged in the area of nutrition.