News

Agricultural innovation on the agenda

The Tata Trusts are set to partner the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to establish the India Agri-tech Incubation Network (IAIN) and launch the ‘Social Alpha quest for agritech innovations’.

IAIN is envisioned as a network of incubators across the country to promote innovations that can benefit farmers with small land holdings. The first hub for the network will be at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur.

Also collaborating in the venture are Social Alpha (a technology incubator supported by the Trusts), Collectives for Integrated Livelihood Initiatives (an associate organisation of the Trusts), and the Uttar Pradesh government.

The Social Alpha quest for agri-tech innovations is aimed at enabling an ecosystem for innovators and entrepreneurs to develop farmer-focused technology solutions. The goal is to help small and marginal farmers increase productivity and profitability.

As part of IAIN, a physical incubator will be set up at IIT Kanpur to provide laboratory infrastructure, venture-building resources, financial support and access to farmers. This will provide technology and business backing to 60 enterprises over five years.

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Help in Hyderabad for silvers

The Vijayavahini Charitable Foundation (VCF), an associate organisation of the Tata Trusts, has joined hands with the Telangana government to create a first–of-its-kind connect centre for senior citizens in Hyderabad.

The ‘elder spring response system’, operational since April 2019, provides information, guidance, and emotional support to senior citizens. It is accessible through a toll-free number (14567) and it has, thus far, responded to more than 1,000 seniors.

The system is being implemented by VCF and it has on its side different arms of the state government: the police, the health department, the district administration, legal services experts and civil society organisations.

Advice, solutions and more are offered once a call has been registered on the response system, which is operational every day of the week between 9:30am and 5:30pm.

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Partnerships get resources and a boost

The Tata Trusts have forged two new partnerships in the social development sphere, with IndusInd Bank and with the National Stock Exchange Foundation (NSEF).

The joining of hands with IndusInd Bank will lead to support being lent to a spring water conservation and management project in South Odisha and a girls hockey excellence initiative, also in Odisha.

The collaboration with NSEF, which will run over a three-year period, will provide financial backing for water and sanitation projects in schools and elderly care and education, both in the Nandurbar district of Maharashtra.

Hockey centre in Bhubaneswar
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik with guests at the centre’s inauguration

T he newest arm of the Naval Tata Hockey Academy, this one in Bhubaneswar, was inaugurated on september 13 by Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

Established as a high-performance training centre to groom hockey talent, the academy is a collaborative venture involving the Tata Trusts, the Odisha government and Tata Steel.

The Academy will absorb players emerging from the state’s three regional development centres (RDCs) for hockey, which are proposed to be set up in the sports hostels in Bhubaneswar, Sundargarh and Rourkela. The RDCs, for their part, will scout for talent from 10-12 upcoming grassroots centres.

The three components of the pipeline are under the Tata Odisha Hockey Programme, a joint initiative of Tata Steel, the Tata Trusts and the Odisha government

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Development bond to promote a capital idea
A ‘lakhpati kisan’ in Gujarat

Collectives for Integrated Livelihoods Initiatives (CInI), an associate entity of the Tata Trusts, will be the implementation partner in a $15-million development impact bond being launched by Mumbai-based wealth advisory firm Waterfield Advisors.

The bond — called Lakhpati Kisan — will provide capital to a Tata Trusts initiative of the same name being implemented by CInI since 2015. The initiative aims to transform the livelihoods of 6,500 small and marginal farmers in Jharkhand, Gujarat and Odisha.

The Lakhpati Kisan bond will fund interventions in the areas of capacity building, land and water management, high-value agriculture development, yield enhancement and the creation of additional livelihood opportunities.

CInI has, down the years, enabled the well-being of more than 25,000 families and nurtured 250 tribal entrepreneurs through its multi-pronged efforts.