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Intel backs Digital India Digital India is finally reaching out to the rural population as well

By Rustam Singh

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Intel recently announced a series of initiatives that strengthen its support for Digital India program which supported the vision of Prime Minister Modi for inclusion of digital services to everyone. Especially targeting rural population, the three projects unveiled work at grassroots level by encouraging innovation from the local level. As a part of the "Ek Kadam Unnati Ki Aur' or one step towards progress initiative, the company e-launched its latest "Unnati Kendra at Common Service Centre' (UK at CSC) in Karnal, Haryana via video conferencing. Not to be confused with an e-Sampark center which serve as a pit stop for addressing enquires to the Government and sorting official documentations and bills among other services; these Unnati kendras will serve as grounds for providing digital literacy to the rural population. Working along with the private contract of Intel, the government's vision of "Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas", Intel India is working with the government to open a network of up to 100 "UK at CSC' facilities across ten states within this year, and 10 such facilities already have been set up in the state of Telangana.

The centers are also conducting in-depth sessions on digital literacy, computer skills and internet facilities, along with dedicated guidance sessions in entrepreneurship, language and vocational training, with the goal of creating opportunities for non-urban rural population's literacy rise, employment and empowerment. The announcement was also followed by awarding projects run using Intel's technology to empower technology which helps empower the public. The three winning teams of the 2015 Challenge were teams TJay, Asha+, and Jayalaxmi Agrotech. TJay runs a prototype for a glove system that can accurately perform remote tracking, monitoring, diagnosis, treatment and support for people with epilepsy. Asha+ is a low cost device for measuring body temperature, blood pressure, blood glucose levels, ECG, etc. and thereby enable millions of people to check their health parameters at home. Jayalaxmi Agrotech runs a detailed app platform available in local languages that help farmers understand the amounts of nutrition, irrigation and other technical variables they need for their specific crops.

H.K. Mittal, Adviser to the Member Secretary, national Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB), Department of Science & Technology expressed his initial doubts about the program and candidly remarked on why he allowed the Intel's penetration in Indian government markets. "At first, I was skeptical over the possibility that Intel, despite having the best technologies, might try to suppress Indian innovators and use restrictive policing against them. However, I was assured that Intel has zero interest in any project that comes less than a 1Bliiion$. For India, they lowered the bar to 500millionUS$"he said laughingly.

Gaurav Dwievedi, CEO of MyGov stated that "The "Digital India' initiative will be soon be celebrating its first birth anniversary and this brings an urgent need today to drive technology enabled transformation at grassroots level for achieving inclusive growth. There is an urgent need to build platforms and solutions that foster innovation bringing relevant content, ease of access and connectivity for every citizen"

The idea of finally making Digital India appealing to even non-urban populations and having an inclusive policy that assists those that actually need help. What do you think of the initiative? Let us know in the comments on our official Facebook page Entrepreneur India

Rustam Singh

Sub-Editor- Entrepreneur.com

Tech reporter.

Contact me if you have a truly unique technology related startup looking for a review and coverage, especially a crowd-funded project looking to launch and coverage.


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