Amrita University University of California launch International Program ‘live-in-labs’

It’s mission back to the villages — to understand the rural population’s problems in areas of health, hygiene, energy, water, waste and environment. Amrita University, Kerala in collaboration with University of California launched an Experiential Learning Program that encourages the youth to live and experience the problems in the country’s villages.

The varsity’s Amrita Centre for International Programs floated its new ‘Amrita Live-in-Labs’. The scheme envisages students of Amrita as well as international students from some of the best universities of the world to live in Indian villages for six months to understand the rural India’s problems. It also aims to define projects that seek to address the problems, devise solutions, implement, test and eventually demonstrate innovative solutions.

The idea behind the Amrita Live-in-Labs came early this year when spiritual guru Mata Amritanandamayi, in her speech at the 150th birthday celebrations of spiritual leader Swami Vivekananda, suggested a way to ensure that at least one child from every family served in rural areas for one year after their graduation. She also recommended government funds for such a program, saying the initiative would help awaken compassion in the youth besides uplift the poor and ensure a holistic growth of the nation.

As part of the program, Amrita University signed a memorandum of understanding ( MoU ) with University of California ( UC ), San Diego, to enhance research and student exchanges. The signatories included UC executive vice-chancellor Suresh Subramani and Amrita University vice-chancellor P Venkat Rangan. The MoU will also facilitate exchanges of faculty, undergraduate students, graduate students and postdoctoral scholars, joint research projects and publications, virtual labs, exchanges of publications, materials, and information; and special short-term programs.

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