Policy for Integration of ICT intitatives across rural Karnataka
Project Background and Justification
concisely, what development networking problem is being addressed by the project
Background: Karnataka is in the forefront of Information Technology and is called the Silicon State of India. Karnataka was the first state in India to announce an IT Policy in the year 1997. The Government of Karnataka has recently revised this policy and has announced Mahithi, the Millennium IT Policy, the primary objectives of which is to utilize the power of Information Technology in the overall goal of the Government of Karnataka in eradicating poverty and empowering women. (IT Policy of the Karnataka-1998). The Karnataka Government has initiated various e-governance systems for enhancing rural development such as Panchayath(an exhaustive Management Information System for Zilla Panchayats), Mukhya Vahini( A comprehensive database of information along with a sophisticated decision support system for decision makers at the village and district levels), Initiative on Examination results(Computerization of details of over 18 lakh students and display of examination results on a website of Grade X, Grade XII and university courses), Bhoomi (Computerization of land records of farmers, recording the agricultural crop details for obtaining loans from banks), Khajane (Computerization of 225 treasuries all over Karnataka, handling over Rs.20,000 crores annually (USD 4.38 billions). The treasuries act as bankers to 4,500 zilla panchayats, taluk panchayats, grama panchayats, municipal corporations and other funds and handle pensions for over 13.7 lakh people across the state), Reshme (Online transactions of silkworm cocoons), Initiative on Agricultural Price Information (A system of recording and displaying the spot prices of agricultural commodities exists at selected market places in the state), Yuva (A scheme to give basic computer education to rural youth). So far only the 'Bhoomi' and 'Khajane' programme has seen some level of success. (The Khajane and Bhoomi projects have transformed the way people buy land and pay taxes in Karnataka - Special Secretery, Revenue Dept., Karnataka). This is because presently, decisions on computerization of government departments and schemes are taken in a decentralized manner. While the Apex Committee lays down the general guidelines, the committees under the Secretaries to Government are empowered to take all decisions and implement computerization in their respective departments. This is resulting in haphazard implementation of IT initiatives by the government.
Apart from state government initiatives, there are many private bodies that are focussing on computerization in villages of Karnataka. The 'Azim Premji Foundation' is installing multi-media computers in village schools to promote CD based education at the primary school level. 'ITC', a corporate conglomerate, has introduced a web based marketplace for agricultural produce procurement directly from the farmers. The 'National Dairy Development Board' is shortly going to implement a web-based marketplace for horticultural and dairy produce for Karnataka. The Karnataka Telemedicine Project launched recently, links one district hospital and one taluk hospital with a super-speciality hospital in state capitol, Bangalore. 'Tata Consultancy Services', a Bangalore based software corporate has begun some pioneering work of imparting functional literacy to adults within 10-12 weeks using computer based training software. These private companies are working on their individual mandates, in isolation of one another and the Government. They are facing impediments in infrastructure and are spending enormous resources in creating trained man-power.
Karnataka might take justifiable pride in being a leader in the IT sector but these rapid advances have not really helped in rural development and economic status of the state to the expected level. The level of per capita income and consumption in Karnataka is below the national average (Krishna S.M, Chief Minister, White Paper on Development, State Assembly presentation, Bangalore, Karnataka ;April 2000). The Human Development Index (HDI) in Karnataka, a measure of achievements in educational and health status and quality of living, is estimated at 0.442 close to the national average of 0.436. The state has 41 per cent of rural population below the poverty line which is higher than the national average of 36.7 per cent. The Human development report has also noted an extremely large gap in literacy between low social classes and the rest of the population in Karnataka. (Asia Pacific Network Information Centre - 2000 URL: http://www.apnic.net).
Programmes and interventions that integrate technological options in a number of relevant fields yield much higher returns than would be the case if these interventions were carried out separately( Draghi P A; 'Information technology for poverty alleviation in rural areas'; 'Proc. Of Int. Conf., 'The role of new technologies in poverty alleviation and sustainable development';Washington D.C;Nov-2000, Eds. Pachauri R. K., Vasudeva Gurmeet, TERI, New Delhi, 2001). The essence of development requires establishing the linkages between different initiatives, which also takes place far more effectively through simultaneous efforts across all critical initiatives rather than in a disjointed and unconnected manner. The efforts involved in creating or strengthening local institutional infrastructure, including trained manpower, can be utilised with substantial economies of scale if integrated across specific sectoral innovations. Hence the programmes of integration of technological options and applications are important. Research needs to be carried out to determine the range of options and applications, how to integrate to benefit maximum and how to sustain the model.
2.Project objectives: state precisely, what the project will aim to
achieve and what specific outcomes will be reached
The aim of this research is to evolve a policy to integrate the various ICT initiatives (both planned and existing) encompassing ICT infrastructure, applications and information resources for rural Karnataka. The research will consider the existing resources, plans of various organizations taking initiatives for development, prioritization of the issues that need to be addressed, the feasibility and resource requirements and feasibility for integrating ICT measures. Based on this, policy recommendations will be made to bring about strategic pooling of resources where integration of ICTs leads to overall rural development.
3.Project beneficiaries: state clearly which segments of the population will benefit from the research.
v Integration of ICTs will bring multi-faceted benefits to the rural community. E-governance will bring in decentralization and transparency, connectivity to e-marketplaces and access to relevant information will enhance agricultural revenue, convenient access to micro-credit will promote entrepreneurship, education both for children and adults which will open new worlds and better healthcare options
v The government will gain by the recommendations and outcome of this study by bringing in coordination between its departments and other private entities working towards the goal of e-nabling the rural community. It will consequently be able to show progress in implementing its IT objectives among rural communities.
v Corporates who are interested in reaching out directly to the farmers for procurement of farm produce as well as achieve their social accountability goals will benefit by the outcome of this research.
4.Project sustainability: state how continuity is to be sustained if your proposal
is for developing a system that will exist after the project funding.
TERI has an existing forum, Integrating New and Sustainable Technologies for Elimination of Poverty (INSTEP), which is an innovative approach for 'seeding the Earth' through the involvement of various stakeholders including the corporate sector. One focus area of INSTEP is on innovation targeting rural communities in the field of Information Technology. The research findings of this project will be publicised in a sustained manner through this platform.
The research findings, policy recommendation and the proposed methodology for integrated ICT implementation will be presented to the current resource providers, heads of corporate organizations and policy makers through a workshop so as to forge an integrated action plan.
5.Project methodology: state clearly, in the methodology how the general and specific project objectives will be achieved.
Primary data will be collected at two ends i.e the provider end and the user end. From the provider end details will be collected at state level about ICT initiative endorsed by the various government departments and each of the other organizations (corporate, NGOs etc) in the field. The data will be collected by studying their policies, strategies and programmes (past, present and future) and through discussions with the key officials. Data will also be collected at the beneficiary end to identify the needs of the rural folk through group discussions with local community leaders in two villages. TERI has collected preliminary information and identified two villages in the district of Kolar, where a few of these initiatives are underway. The barriers to successful integration and unhindered connectivity will be studied from the providers and users perspectives and these will also be documented. The existing and planned initiatives will be mapped with the needs of the villagers and studied in context to the foreseen barriers. The findings of these studies will be compiled and policy recommendations and practical methodologies that can be adopted to pool the efforts of various stakeholders and implement initiatives in an integrated and comprehensive manner will be evolved. TERI has already developed very good contacts with the various stake holders from Government Departments, Corporates and NGOs. These will be published as a report and disseminated through a workshop to relevant policy makers, and stakeholders. These results will also be disseminated through TERI's INSTEP forum.
6. Project time-line: include a time-table/schedule of key activities.
The project is expected to take 8 months to complete and schedule of key activities is given below:
7.Project outputs: state what the project will produce and in what form it will be delivered and disseminated
The Physical outputs of the project would be:
v An interim research report that analyses preliminary findings of the research
v A final report with research findings, policy recommendations and practical implementation methodology for effective integration of ICTs in rural Karnataka
These reports will be made available to key stake holders, policy-makers and local community leaders related to the project. The final report will also be sent out to the INSTEP forum and be made available on the world-wide web through TERI's website.
A workshop will be held for the policy makers, corporate heads, key officials in the NGO sector and senior officials of relevant government departments to present the research findings.
8.Project monitoring: state what monitoring and/or evaluation processes
are being proposed
v The progress of the project along with its completion dates listed in the activity schedule chart will be reviewed every month by team leader along with team members to ensure smooth implementation - preparation of minutes of meeting
v Changes in activities will be made if necessary in order to ensure that the major milestones & deliverables will be adhered to
v Periodic meeting with concerned stakeholders to collect information
9. Project budget: draw up a detailed budget for the project, including
other funding sources, if any. DO NOT submit a budget of more than US$30,000
for a Large Grant project and more than US$9,000 for a Small Grant project.
Please use template provided in appendix B to fill up this section of the project
The Budget for carrying out this research Rs. 6,90,000( USD 15,064). The breakup of the budget is given Table below. The ICT R&D grant requested is Rs. 4,00,000 (USD 8732) and the balance is met by implementing organization(TERI).
S.No Details TERI's Contribution ICT R&D Grant-Requested
Rs. USD Rs. USD
1 Capital Equipment - - - -
2 Salaries - -
3 Professional Services(Research Associate)5 man-months @ Rs.1,20,000 per man-month 240,000 5240 360,000 7860
4 Research Expenses - - - -
5 International travel - - - -
6 Support Services - - 25,000 545
7 Others (Domestic Travel)Workshop cost 50,000 1092 15,000 327
Total 290,000 6332 400,000 8732
Grand Total (ICT R&D grant requested)( conversion 1.0 USD=Rs.45.80) Rs. 400,000 or USD 8732
10. Project applicant: provide full details of the applicant, including
organisational contact details, a document or certificate of incorporation of
the organisation, if the applicant is not a government body, and background
information (as an annex)
TERI: A dynamic and flexible organization with a global vision and a local focus, TERI was established in 1974. While in the initial period the focus was mainly on documentation and information dissemination activities, research activities in the fields of energy, environment, and sustainable development were initiated towards the end of 1982. The genesis of these activities lay in TERI's firm belief that efficient utilization of energy, sustainable use of natural resources, large-scale adoption of renewable energy technologies, and reduction of all forms of waste would move the process of development towards the goal of sustainability.
A unique developing-country institution, TERI is deeply committed to every aspect of sustainable development. From providing environment-friendly solutions to rural energy problems to helping shape the development of the Indian oil and gas sector; from tackling global climate change issues across many continents to enhancing forest conservation efforts among local communities; from advancing solutions to growing urban transport and air pollution problems to promoting energy efficiency in the Indian industry, the emphasis has always been on finding innovative solutions to make the world a better place to live in. However, while TERI's vision is global, its roots are firmly entrenched in Indian soil. All activities in TERI move from formulating local- and national-level strategies to suggesting global solutions to critical energy and environment-related issues. It is with this purpose that TERI has established regional centres in Bangalore, Goa, and Guwahati, and a presence in Japan, Russia, and United Arab Emirates. It has also set up affiliate institutes: TERI-NA (Tata Energy and Resources Institute, North America) Washington DC, USA, and TERI-Europe, London, UK.
10.1 Organizational contact information:
Dr.Purandar Chakravarty, Area Convener
Centre for Environmental Studies (CES)
TERI - Southern Regional Centre
4th Main, 2nd Cross, Domlur - II Stage
Bangalore - 560 071, India
11. Project staff: provide full contact details of the organisation applying for the grant, including project leader(s) and staff critical to the project's success. Give their names, qualifications, and relevant experience (as an annex).
11.1 Applying Organisation: TERI(contact details as given above under section 10.1)
11.2 Project Leader: Mr. Vangala Krishna, Research Associate CES, TERI
11.3 Key Project staff:
§ Mr. Ashwin Sabapathy - Research Associate, TERI
§ Ms. Rashmi Gopal - Coordinator (Education & Trg.)
The detailed profile of the staff is enclosed in Annexure - I
· Provide details of existing research results, technologies or techniques on which this project will build or depend.
· Provide details of previous projects undertaken, where relevant.
Partial list of similar projects undertaken by TERI:
1. Evaluation of Successful practices for improved stoves in India
for World Bank | October 2000
2. TERI-SDC Partnership - Phase 2: TA4 (4.3) Rural Domestic Sector
for Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation | March 2000
3. Rural energy interventions in Hazaribagh district, Bihar
for Hindustan Petroleum Corpn Ltd | July 1999
4. Implementation of renewable energy technologies in rural India through non-governmental organizations.
for India-Canada Environment Facility | April 1999
5. Implementation of energy-efficient technologies in selected villages of Jagdishpur block, Uttar Pradesh
for Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd. | June 1998
6. Integrated Rural Energy Interventions in the villages of North Karnataka for The Godavari Sugar Mills Ltd | April 1999 to May 2000
7. Evaluation of the community development programme implemented by the IOC (Indian Oil Corporation)
for Indian Oil Corporation Limited | February 2000 to April 2000
8. Project on 'Capacity Building for Rural Development Activities'
for Action for Food Production | January 1997 to April 1997
· Provide details of project publicity, if any.