Posted on December 3, 2008 by thinkchangeindia
In what could be a significant boost to the Rural BPO industry in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, Cisco Systems is partnering with the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) and Tiruchirappalli Regional Engineering College – Science and Technology Entrepreneurs Park (TREC-STEP) to nurture and support ICT entrepreneurs in the country [via Economic Times]:
In the three-way partnership, SIDBI will provide financial support, Cisco would aid in technology and the incubator TREC-STEP would help in mentoring. The partnership is targeted at the micro, small and medium enterprises segment. It has been rolled out on a pilot basis in India.
TREC-STEP is an award winning small-business incubator local in the south Indian city of Trichy. Since its establishment in 1986, it has excelled in promoting technology entrepreneurship in the region. Given the broadening focus on small and medium enterprises (SMEs), it would be worthwhile to consider setting up well-functioning business incubators in every district in India.
Filed under: SMEs, Technology | Tagged: ICT, Incubator, missing middle, Rural BPO, SMEs | 4 Comments »
Posted on October 24, 2008 by Shital
Prerna announced the acceptance of nominations for the 2008 Manthan Awards back in March, and Livemint.com now provides highlights of the innovative winners. The full list of winners can be found here.
On first glance, I was amazed by the sheer number of categories (there are 13) and the diversity of tech products out there. Here are a few personal favorites, but I encourage you to look through the list to get the full view:
- Wall newspaper – broadcast sheet pasted on the walls of milk cooperatives and Panchayat buildings in 40,000 villages, targeting the rural and low literate
- Safal National Exchange of India Limited (SNX) – pursuing a One India One Market vision, creating an opportunity for small farmers to gain access to national markets through negotiating prices in a transparent way that eliminates as many intermediaries as possible
- Lipikaar – an e-localization method that allows typing in 16 different languages using a normal keyboard, making it extremely user-friendly for non-English speakers
- Learn with Fun – making maths an enjoyable subject through satelitte communications in a vernacular language, to reach out to rural areas where drop out rates are high
There are seemingly endless ways to marry technology and development, and these winners provide just a taste of the current landscape.
Filed under: Awards, Technology, Uncategorized | Tagged: Development, ICT, Information, Manthan Awards 2008, Technology | Leave a comment »
Posted on May 29, 2008 by Shital
SciDev.Net brings attention to Digital Green, a project that uses digital video to disseminate information to small and marginal farmers in India. Recently, Digital Green won the culture category in the Stockholm Challenge Awards. According to its website, the project originated from Microsoft’s research team in India. Working with GREEN Foundation, the project is explained by the following:
The system includes a digital video database, which is produced by farmers and experts. The content within this repository is of various types, and sequencing enables farmers to progressively become better farmers. Content is produced and distributed over a hub and spokes-based architecture in which farmers are motivated and trained by the recorded experiences of local peers and extension staff. In contrast to traditional extension systems, we follow two important principles: (1) cost realism, essential if we are to scale the system up to a significant number of villages and farmers; and (2) building systems that solve end-to-end agricultural issues with interactivity that develops relationships between people and content.
Essentially, the project is a way to spread useful information to even illiterate farmers, using networks that they can trust (i.e. other villages, farmers in similar situations). The short documentary below further explains Digital Green’s work.
Filed under: Agriculture, Grassroots Initiatives, NGOs and Non-profits, Research, Technology | Tagged: Digital Green, digital video, farmers, GREEN Foundation, ICT, SciDev.Net, Stockholm Challenge Awards | 1 Comment »
Posted on April 14, 2008 by Vinay
We have decided to condense the headlines to be posted once each workday. Please comment here, if you prefer the Midday and Evening posts.
- Global Warming and Energy: P. Chindambaram speaks on measures taken by India to combat global warming. In similar news, in Haryana the government has granted a 27 crore contract to a company to build a 6MW biomass power plant.
- Technology’s Pluses and Minuses: InfoDev new working paper on technology in health highlights both opportunities and challenges with regard to medicine. Also, the Ministry of Rural Development has called out state governments to provide transparent and effective means for their people to express grievances to the government. On the other hand, the advent of computer-aided design has made it difficult for Chirala saree weavers to remain competitive.
- PPP: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) with the help of the private sector will setup up mini tool rooms to encourage the development of those products that will help small and medium size enterprises work more effectively.
- Education: The UN will train Indian statisticians via the Internet. Another education article has reported that OBCs have won their 27% quota.
Filed under: Agriculture, Education, Environment, Government, PPP, Research, SMEs | Tagged: biomass power, Chirala, climate change, computer aided designs, global warming, grievances, ICT, mini tool rooms, OBCs, UN | 2 Comments »