Dr. Cherian P Kurien
The importance of rural innovations and indigenous knowledge in the present context of sustainable development is not to be overemphasised. Location specific problems and needs prompted the indigenous and local communities to evolve, develop and adapt unique innovations and sustainable knowledge practices. However the potential of these innovations and indigenous knowledge practices for ensuring, supplementing and contributing to sustainable and socially just development is largely underestimated, underutilized and unrecognized
The Centre for Rural Innovations and Indigenous Knowledge (CRIIK) intends to promote rural innovations and indigenous knowledge with due emphasis on research & development with the participation and active involvement of students and faculty. Documentation, Development and Dissemination of indigenous knowledge and rural innovation are the major interventions. Developing database of rural innovations/innovative knowledge practices, evolving entrepreneurial models, undertaking research and policy studies are the some of the other specific activities currently undertaken by the centre.
The Centre will provide practical exposure and real life experience to students regarding felt needs and problems of rural sector and to learn their survival strategies and provides opportunity for joint ventures/start-ups with students/faculty.
‘Sristi 2020’: Marian Rural Innovation Fest’ is the annual rural innovation meet organized by the Research Centre with the objective of sensitizing and mobilizing student community and faculty in promotion of rural innovations and indigenous knowledge. The first meet up of rural innovators was organized on 31st January 2020. More than 30 rural innovators from various parts of Idukki, Kottayam and Pathanamthitta districts participated in the meetup. The novel products of innovators and women self-help groups were showcased in the meet. The fest provided vibrant platform and opportunity for students to interact and learn from award winning rural innovators. National award winning rural innovators shared their innovations and practical experience, pain points, strategies in developing innovative solutions for real life problems. Possibilities and opportunities for joint initiatives/start-ups with students were also discussed.
Farmer developed plant varieties, farm machineries, handicrafts made from local materials, ornaments/toys/decorating materials made from local agri products/agri waste, unique traditional recipes, traditional food related products, beverages based on local agri products were exhibited in the rural innovation meet. Selected 30 Innovators were honoured in the meet up uring the Meet up. The first product of “IllaEcowares”Startup of former IEDC Member of Marian College, Mr Akshay C Joseph was launched in the meet up.