Anand (Guj): Institute of Rural Management - Anand (IRMA) should develop a dedicated cadre of professionals to serve the disadvantaged sections of society, Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh on Saturday said.
"The Union Rural Development Ministry has granted Rs 25 crore to IRMA to strengthen its infrastructure. I ask the institute to consider providing reservation for students belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes," Ramesh said while delivering the 32nd convocation address of the institute.
IRMA should develop "a cadre of professionals to serve the disadvantaged sections of society", he added.
Consumption revolution, connectivity revolution and participation in electoral democracy has had a positive impact on poverty alleviation efforts, he said.
Consumption patterns were changing in rural areas where people had moved on from cereals to milk, eggs, meat, he said.
Road and mobile telephone connectivity had increased rural to urban connect.
There was increasing evidence on institutions of representation and participation delivering positive growth if they were empowered financially and administratively, he added.
Singling out the collapse of the public health system as responsible for driving people Below Poverty Line, Ramesh said the consequent private expenditure on health was responsible for rural indebtedness, leading to rural poverty.
A total of 105 students graduated from IRMA this academic year, of which 103 students received Post Graduate Diploma in Rural Management while two were awarded doctoral degrees for Fellow Programme in Rural Management.