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Group Head-III

Group III: Connectivity, Linkages and Access

Theme: Improve efficiency of rural sector economy through enhanced connectivity and service delivery.

The Group would be primarily, but not exclusively, concerned with spatial dimensions of the rural economy, and overcoming the friction of space through improved provision of public goods and services. Simultaneously, it will also assess the potential of technologies and technology applications for enhancing/upgrading virtual connectivity in less well located regions. By capitalizing on high tele-density in the rural areas it will look at ways and means of accessing emerging market opportunities for people, products and services. The research agenda of the Group would focus on ways to realize the upscale potential of rural areas by strengthening the extent and depth of integration with the national economy as well as the region. This would include, inter alia, studying national/regional trade and resource corridors (upstream/downstream business linkages, joint ventures, sub-contracting and related opportunities); Water, irrigation, transportation infrastructure, primary education, vocational skills and employment; basic health and nutrition; renewable energy and carbon trading; Information asymmetries and the role of emerging communication/digital technologies/platforms.