Intel, the global IT firm , has rolled out its programme on digitisation of rural India – called “Ek Kadam Unnati Ki Aur” – from Telangana. It now plans to work with 10 states across the country.
The company launched its first ‘Unnati Kendra’ in India at an event in Hyderabad on Wednesday, November 18th. This ‘Kendra’ or centre in Telangana has been set up at a common services centre facility in Nadimpalle village in Mahbubnagar district of Telangana.
These “Kendras” or centres will provide devices, relevant local content and digital training to local people in the village.
Debjani Ghosh, Vice President, Sales and Marketing Group and Managing Director, South Asia for Intel, said the company intends to work with 10 states in India starting with Telangana.
“It is really about finding what will make technology relevant in that lifestyle because if you are a farmer you will not use technology the way a journalist will use, for instance,” she said.
“That is the approach we are taking to this and the idea is to figure that out and create a reference plan or a blueprint and then work with the government, which is putting in a lot of money towards digitisation. Telangana for instance, is doing this for 1,000 villages.”
Upbeat that Intel is launching this first in Telangana, Jayesh Ranjan, Secretary, Information Technology, Government of Telangana, talking to a few reporters on the sidelines of the launch said: “The fact that the first village selected under this programme is in Telangana is a very strong endorsement of what we are doing in the state (referring to its plans rolled out on last October 2nd when out of 8,750 panchayats in Telangana, e-panchayat initiative was launched in 100 of them, which are now being monitored)…Intel is a global giant, it could have done this anywhere.”
Explaining what Intel does under this programme, Ranjan said: “One is to make some members in a family digitally literate. Second, they provide a device called a PC-on-a-stick. Reason, even if a person is digitally literate or has learnt how to operate a computer, it is not necessary that he or she will buy a computer. But then, today every household, excluding the poorest, has at least a television set. And with this device, one can get computing facilities on a television, which can be used as a computer by attaching the PC-on-a-stick. Third is to provide digital content and for this they could leverage their partners like HP, Snapdeal.”
Vanga Nageswari, who leads the Unnati Kendra that has just been launched, operates a common services centre, where this is being offered and she is today training locals from 14 to 60-year-olds.