Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Friday, Jun 17, 2005
Industry & Economy
Digital service centres launched in Anekal taluk
Bangalore , June 16
FROM today, the people of Anekal taluk in Karnataka would no longer belong to the 750 million in the country who lack access to digital technology.
With the launch of rural business centres (RBCs) offering `Namma Service', they can now have electronic access to various educational, financial, and social services.
The RBCs have been designed, developed, and funded by a consortium of three companies - Wyse Technologies, specialising in network-centric computing, Comat Technologies, a Bangalore-based e-governance company, and ICICI Bank.
The pilot projects of Namma Service have been running in two villages in the taluk, located about 40 km from Bangalore.
Mr Sriram Raghavan, President of Comat Technologies, said: "In two weeks, two more villages in the taluk will reap the benefits of the project, which will be scaled to the entire State in the next 12 months."
Ms Suvalaxmi Chakraborty, Group Rural Head, Micro Banking and Agri Business, ICICI Bank, said that rural citizens can now buy insurance and loan products through Namma Service.
On Wyse's role in the project, the company President and CEO, Mr John Kish, said that the initiative was the blueprint for populations in developing countries everywhere.
RBCs use Wyse's thin-client computing technique that is robust and comes at a price that is 40 per cent les than a comparable PC-based solution.
Other partners that have helped in the design and development of the project are the Azim Premji Foundation, offering the education modules at the RBCs, and economists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and International Finance Corporation.
Mr Tarken Maner, Chief Marketing Officer, Wyse Technologies, said that after India, similar projects would be undertaken in Turkey, South America, and some countries of the erstwhile USSR.
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