TC-I Tidbits

Your daily dose of headlines:

  • Energy: Four ultra mega (super duper?) power projects have been greenlit by the Indian government across the country.
  • Education: Microsoft is investing $20 million in education initiatives in India over the next five years. Along with their current programs which focus on resources and training, the company will partner with state governments to implement national programs.
  • Employment: For technology graduates, according to a study completed by Accenture, India is the place with the most job opportunities this year (with the US coming in second place).
  • Technology: Airtel and Nokia are working together to develop a regional language fonts keyboard. This will allow greater linkages with rural areas.
  • Environment: Concern India Foundation, a non-profit public charitable trust, plans to introduce cloth shopping bags in Bangalore’s major retail stores and shopping destinations. This is just one of the initiatives from the NGO, along with a “Kachra Kumar” competition for children to capture litterers on camera. [Source: Business Standard]
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Cellphone Company + Fertilizer Company = Cool Idea

IFFCO Kisan Sanchar (IKSL) is a unique partnership between India’s largest mobile operator, Airtel and Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative (IFFCO). According to the brief on iGovernment:

IFFCO Kisan Sanchar (IKSL), would be focusing on communication requirement of rural India, besides providing agriculture related information to enable villagers take right farming decisionsIKSL will offer handsets, co-branded SIM card, and agro development voice messages in regional languages related to farmers

There is a lot of synergy between both these companies. IFFCO has significant access to farmers and farming communities, being a major player in the country’s fertilizer industry. Airtel on the other hand is focused on extending rural connectivity and bundling additional services into cellphones. Of course, cellphones themselves are touted as the next big development success story (talk about unintended consequences), as highlighted in this space before.