The centre for Rural Development and Appropriate Technologies (CeRDAT), Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupati aims at improving the quality of life in villages through demonstration, construction, manufacture and marketing, teaching and training, extension, and research activities. The main areas of thrust for the Centre are low-cost housing, drinking water, sanitation and alternate sources of energy. CeRDAT aims to be nodal agencies in the region to disseminate appropriate technologies into villages through governmental and nongovernmental organizations. CeRDAT also aims at co-coordinating all the activities in the University pertaining to rural development.
An appropriate technologies park has been started in the University during 1991, with a funding from the Ministry of Human Resources Development, Government of India. In addition to offering a one year post Graduate Diploma in Rural Development and Appropriate Technologies, the centre has been offering training programmes to different target groups like engineers, masons, potters, unemployed rural developments who get exposed to different appropriate technologies demonstrated in CeRDAT. H.U.D.C.O. has sponsored a Building Centre under the Lab to Land programme.
In technical collaboration with Development Alternative, New Delhi, a demonstration building comprising appropriate technologies like Rat Trap Bonding, filler R.C.C. slab, ferrocement roofarches and doors, brick dome etc., was constructed. Models of drinking water mud filters, low-cost latrine with twin pits, biogas plants, smokeless stoves, solar cookers, solar lantern, Pabal Dome etc. are available in the centre for demonstrating and imparting training. Machines to manufacture sand-cement blocks both manually and electrically, micro-concrete roof tiles, pressed mud bricks are available in the Centre. The Centre has a micro-fische library with details of many appropriate technologies available around the world. The Centre has organized several training programmes and conducted Gramsabhas in villages to take these technologies to the doorsteps of the masses. Three workshops and one seminar were organized with the assistance of state and central government agencies.