Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh has advised young professionals selected for a rural scheme fellowship to keep aside theoretical knowledge they have gained in educational institutes and learn from on- field experience to usher in change at the grassroots level.

“Unlearn all the garbage that has been put into you in professional schools,” he told fellows of the Prime Minister Rural Development Fellows (PMRDF) scheme in Bhopal last night.

After a competitive application process, 156 young professionals have been selected to receive training under PMRDF, launched by Union Rural Development Ministry in 2011.

These professionals should learn from field experience and help bring a change in the rural areas, especially in the Naxal-affected regions, the Minister said.

These professionals will be working in 78 backward districts, some of them hit by left-wing extremism, identified by the Centre under the Integrated Action Plan (IAP). They will be assisting the District Collector concerned and function as development facilitators.

Such an opportunity to develop skills is normally not provided in colleges or universities, Mr. Ramesh said.

The Minister said the scheme was an experiment and provided an opportunity to the young professionals to work with the Government.

The participants may not change the world but at least they have got an opportunity to change themselves.

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