RURAL KNOWLEDGE CENTRE    

 

Reaching the unreached and voicing the voiceless

(Through the power of Information Communication Technology)

 

In the Action plan for Development of Post-tsunami “New Andamans” – report submitted to Andaman and Nicobar Administration by M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF), due emphasis was given to establish Rural Knowledge Centre in these Islands with the vision: to harness the power of ICT in the knowledge, skill, economic and social empowerment of rural families on the principle of ‘reaching the unreached and voicing the voiceless’.

For the development of Agriculture in this Union Territory, farmers have to be motivated, guided, assisted, supported and helped to have access to the latest research findings in the areas of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries by making available all the information that is required in their village so that they may not waste their time, energy and meager resources in transporting the inputs required and their produce to the different locations where the information of goods that they seek is available. With this motive ‘Rural Knowledge Centres’ is established throughout the Islands at identified locations which will function as “Rural Knowledge Bureau” for the respective area. They will have connectivity with the computer systems to be set up in the Blocks by the IT Department as a part of IT Plan of Andaman and Nicobar Administration. The information to be available in the Centres will include various Govt. schemes, contact persons for getting services, technical information on Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, Fisheries, Industries, Information on Disaster Management, Civil Supplies, Social Welfare Pension Schemes, Health, Education, Meteorological, Shipping Services etc. Wherein the Department of Agriculture will be the ‘Nodal Department’ to run these Centres and these centres will be operationalized on community basis. Initially the Centers will be operated by the Department al staff during 2007-08, under the plan scheme the Department has kept provision to engage computer literate candidates to operate the computers and other equipments set up in Rural Knowledge Centres by paying them Rs.5000/- as honorarium. Two candidates will be appointed in each of the Rural Knowledge Centres and they will work in two shifts – one in the morning hours from 8 am to 2 pm and another in the afternoon from 2 pm to 9 pm which will enable the village people to visit the Rural Knowledge Centres during their free time.

For appointment of candidates, only those compute literate candidates who have enrolled their names in the Employment Exchange, local candidates of the particular area and who have been given training by the Tata Institutes of Social Science (a NGO) will be given preference at the time of selection.

Rural Knowledge Centres is to tone up the efficiency of Administration as well as implementation of various plan programs of the Department of Agriculture and allied sectors of Andaman and Nicobar Administration with the ultimate objective of delivering the benefits intended to the farmers as quickly as possible. It deals with issues like observation and prevalence of crop diseases, monitoring of natural disasters and corresponding relief measures, monitors availability of basic inputs such as seeds, fertilizers and pesticides etc. and analyzing the qualities of the soil for farmers.

The Rural Knowledge Centres is established to fulfill the following objectives.

̃                Setting up of villages Information Center that enable rural families access a basket of modern information, internet connectivity through dial up telephones and communication technologies. Training educated youth, especially women, in rural areas in operating information center.

̃                Training the rural youth in the organization and maintenance of a system that generates locally relevant information fro generic information.

̃                Maintenance, updating and dissemination of information on entitlements to rural families using an appropriate blend of modern and existing channels of communication.

̃                Relief measures taken by the Government during disaster time.

̃                Conducting impact assessment based on organization of surveys, participatory rural appraisal, and other appropriate methods of data gathering.

̃                Building of a model in information dissemination and exchange in rural areas that uses advanced information and communication technologies.

̃                Value addition to the raw information, use of various local languages by the people of different Islands.

̃                Conducting research on formation of multi-sectoral partnerships (private-public/government NGOs) with rural communities to form a sustainable model of ICTs for rural areas.

Benefits to the Farmers

 

§                    Availability of Agriculture resources from the Administration.

§                    Farmers even in the remotest villages will be having access to the computers in the Department of Agriculture and thereby the database. Thus, there is a better interface between the farmer and Agricultural office in areas like knowledge about status of soil conditions, analysis of the farmer’s land etc.

§                    Ground level information for the higher officials like land pattern, land holdings, crop pattern, input usage for better decision making.

§                    The details of various Government schemes are made available to the farmers from the computerized database in the Department of Agriculture.

§                    Relief measures taken by the Government during disaster time.

§                    Details regarding various relief measures to sustain Agriculture activity during times of natural calamities, crop diseases etc. can be accessed by the farmer.

 


 

ESTABLISHMENT OF RURAL KNOWLEDGE CENTRE

 

Action taken so far

 

§                    Basic infrastructures like furniture TVs, DVDs, Public Address System, Display boards, Notice boards and also the requisite stationary items have been procured and dispatched to the respective RKCs.

§                    The information in the mode of books, booklets, leaflets, brochure, charts, posters, etc. were also provided.

§                    The procurement of computer systems is in final stage expected to reach within a week time.

§                    Telephone connection is also expected within this week in all the Rural Knowledge Centre.

§                    Once telephone is connected and computer system is installed, immediate action will initiate to get internet connectivity, wherever possible broadband or else dial up connectivity will be established.

§                    Hub center for the Rural Knowledge Centre will be established in the Directorate of Agriculture, Haddo, Port Blair shortly.

§                    Computer literate personal for handling the electronic items in all the Rural Knowledge Centre have to be engaged shortly for the smooth function.

The Rural Knowledge Centres established in different zones are as follow –

 

Sl.No.

Agri. Extn. Zone

Location

Inaugurated on

1.              

Car Nicobar

Perka Village, Car Nicobar

26/01/2007

2.              

Little Andaman

Ramkrishnapur

19/03/2007

3.              

Rangat

B. Chetna Kendra, Urmilapur

22/03/2007

4.              

Diglipur

B. Chetna Kendra, Nabagram

24/03/2007

5.              

Teressa

Bengali, Teressa

24/03/2007

6.              

Kamorta

Progeny Farm, Kamorta

28/03/2007

7.              

Katchal

Beachdera, Katchal

28/03/2007

8.              

Campbell Bay

Campbell Bay, Govind Nagar

28/03/2008

9.              

Mayabunder

S.M. Farm, Nimbudera

30/03/2007

10.         

South Andaman

Chouldhari

01/04/2007


 

TELEPHONE NUMBERS OF RURAL KNOWLEDGE CENTRES 

PORT BLAIR (Hub-Centre)

233026

CHOULDARI

289479

HUTBAY

288217

DIGLIPUR

278318

RANGAT

215717

MAYABUNDER

276094

KAMORTA

263470

CAMPBELL BAY

264065

CAR NICOBAR

265145

TERESSA

294037 (WLL)

KATCHAL

295258