Posted on December 12, 2008 by Shital
Calling all gram panchayats in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka – Google.org‘s Inform and Empower Initiative wants to know the top five panchayats in each of these two states that are using innovation and good governance. According to the Google.org blog,
The prize will be awarded in one of six areas: education, health and nutrition, water supply, rural infrastructure, rural electrification, and resource mobilization. The winning panchayat must include a wide variety of social and income groups, share information with villagers, respond to citizen feedback, and track the quality of programs.
The competition is an opportunity to recognize good, effective governance and encourage quality public services. And if that’s not reason enough, the winning panchayats will receive a cash prize of Rs.5 lakhs (approximately $10,000 USD).
The contest is open for entries from December 12, 2008 through January 25, 2009. For more information, please see the FAQs and Rules.
Filed under: Competitions, Government | Tagged: Andhra Pradesh, Google.org, gram panchayat, Gram Panchayat Puruskar, Inform and Empower, Karnataka | 2 Comments »
Posted on October 17, 2008 by Aishwarya
TC-I readers might remember that Vinay had interviewed Stephen Dukker, Chairman & CEO of NComputing a couple of months ago. At that time Dukker was raring to make a mark in the Indian market. Last Monday, NComputing started on its Indian journey by announcing a deal with Government of Andhra Pradesh to supply 50,000 virtual desktops to schools in the state. The company is also trying to enter into agreements with other state governments.
NComputing works on the premise that current desktop computers are powerful enough to support multiple users simultaneously. To achieve this, it has developed a virtualization software that turns a single computer system into 5 or 10 virtual machines, thus ensuring “efficient” utilization of a system. This brings down the effective cost of a “computer per user”.
It is heartening to see governments realizing the need and advantages of using computers as part of school education. We, at TC-I feel (and we are sure readers would agree with us), that sourcing the computers is only a job well-started. The real work lies in developing a proper curriculum centered around computer based learning. Also, NComputing technology can be used for low cost cyber cafes – something really required in developing countries especially rural areas which have abysmal levels of computer penetration.
It would be great to see a project like ITC’s e-chaupal working with NComputing to take benefits of the computer and internet to many more Indian villages.
NComputing’s acceptance by many organizations also brings forth an inevitable but interesting debate – comparison with One Laptop Per Child’s XO, Intel’s Classmate PC and other similar projects. A few months ago OLPC too had entered India. There are lot of discussions on cyberspace on the pros and cons of one in comparison with the other. You can read an informative article on the debate on forbes.com
These really are exciting times.
Filed under: Technology | Tagged: Andhra Pradesh, Intel, NComputing, OLPC | Leave a comment »
Posted on June 19, 2008 by Santhosh
The global community is focusing a tremendous amount of attention on the potential role of Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) in significantly cutting down household energy use. Given that CFL bulbs use only 20% of the power of an equivalent incandescent lamp, the benefits are crystal clear. The only problem: cost of these bulbs. In the US, Wal-Mart has begun aggressively pushing CFLs on their shelves and are also working hard to make CFLs more affordable. However, the bulbs are still prohibitively expensive for most Indians. Well, that could change soon [Via Businessworld]:
Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation (UPPCL) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with two companies on a deal that involves the companies funding the entire cost of a compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) above Rs 10. The condition: UPPCL distributes about 22 million CFLs in exchange for existing incandescent lamps and at a cost of Rs 10 per CFL. “This is to mitigate the more than 2,000-MW per day gap between demand and supply of electricity in UP,” says a director in UPPCL.
So, I guess the burning question is how these companies which signed the MOU with UPPCL will actually generate profit. The hope is to monetize the certified reductions derived out of CFL use by selling them in the international market:
The financial model is attractive if the CFLs reach households instead of the grey market. CantorCO2e expects the cost of a CFL to be Rs 70 and an additional Rs 30 in the form of administrative and processing costs. As per the company’s estimates, each CFL that is successfully installed and gets certification from CDM is expected to earn 0.09 CER per annum as it will result in an annual saving of roughly 0.09 metric tonne of carbon dioxide emissions (one CO2 metric tonne is equivalent to one CER).
The business model is cutting-edge – and the companies involved are early pioneers. If it works in the pilot states, the model could be replicated nationwide and could help offset the power shortage in the country.
[Image Credit: Businessworld]
Note: Looks like Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (BESCOM) is also involved in a similar pilot project. TC-I had covered the story here.
Filed under: BoP, Energy, Environment | Tagged: Andhra Pradesh, BusinessWorld, CantorCo2, CDM, CFLs, UPPCL, uttar pradesh | 2 Comments »