Evaluating the Akshaya Programme A Ground Level Reality by jianghongl


									        Evaluating the Akshaya Project from a Gender Perspective: A Ground Level Reality

                                                By Shambhu Ghatak1


In order to bridge the digital dividei, Kerala (a state situated at the southern part of India) started
with the 'Akshaya Project' on 18th of November, 2002. It was expected that Akshayaii will be a
watershed in effacing the divide between "information haves" and "information have-nots".
According to a report by The Tribune2, Chamravattom village in Kerala's Muslim-dominated
Malappuram district became the first village in India to be 100 per cent computer-literate3.

                                           Map of Malappuram District

1 The study was conducted during the MIMAP Gender Planning Network Phase-III, under the sponsorship of
International Development Research Centre, Canada. The field visit was made during the months of May-June, 2004.
The views expressed are solely of the author, based on the interviews taken. Subjectivity on the part of the researcher
may make this report a bit biased. The field-based study took place when the author met with the district magistrate/
collector, local panchayats, Akshaya kiosk entrepreneurs, trainers and trainees, and officials from Kerala IT mission in
Centre for Development Studies, Trivendrum. In Kerala, there is another initiative to digitize old manuscripts, which are
written on leaves. The author can be contacted at: shambhughatak@yahoo.com. Many of the ICT related development
projects like Akshaya, e-choupal have received international recognition and awards.

2 See: http://www.tribuneindia.com/2003/20030805/edit.htm#3. This is because Malappuram is an educationally
backward district.

3   However, one must be careful while interpreting such propagandist reports, from a research perspective.
The following table 1 provides the distribution of population in rural and urban areas. Almost ninety
percent of the total population in Malappuram taluk resides in the rural areas.

Table 1: Distribution of population in rural and urban areas of different taluks of
Malappuram District

                              Rural      Urban
             Malappuram            90               10
             Ernad                 78               22
             Nilambur             100                0
             Perintalmann          92                8
             Tirur                 94                6
             Tirurangadi          100                0
             Ponnani               75               25

Note: Calculated on the basis of Census 2001 data

The following table 2 provides the sex ratio in different taluks of Malappuram.

Table 2: Sex Ratio in rural and urban areas of different taluks of Malappuram District

                      Rural   Urban      Total
         Malappuram      1063       1061                       1063
         Ernad           1021       1036                       1024
         Nilambur        1065 **                               1065
         Perintalmann    1042       1075                       1044
         Tirur           1096       1071                       1095
         Tirurangadi     1062 **                               1062
         Ponnani         1106       1099                       1104

Source: Census 2001 data

The following table 3 provides selected human development indicators for the various Indian
states. Kerala’s performance is genuinely better than the rest of the states in terms of higher life
expectancy at birth; lower infant mortality rates et al.
                       Table 3: Selected Human Development Indicators

                     Life Expectancy at       Infant Mortality Rate      Birth        Death
                       Birth (2001-06)        (per 1000 live births)     Rate (per    Rate
                                                     (2002)              1000)        (per
       State         Male        Female     Male     Female    Total     2002*        2002*
       Andhra           62.79      65.00    64.00      60.00    62.00        20.70         8.10
       Assam             58.96      60.87   70.00      71.00    70.00        26.60        9.20
       Bihar             65.66      64.79   56.00      66.00    61.00        30.90        7.90
       Gujarat           63.12      64.10   55.00      66.00    60.00        24.70        7.70
       Haryana           64.64      69.30   54.00      73.00    62.00        26.60        7.10
       Karnataka         62.43      66.44   56.00      53.00    55.00        22.10        7.20
       Kerala            71.67      75.00    9.00      12.00    10.00        16.90        6.40
       Madhya            59.19      58.01   81.00      88.00    85.00        30.40        9.80
       Maharastra        66.75      69.76   48.00      42.00    45.00        20.30        7.30
       Orissa            60.05      59.71   95.00      79.00    87.00        23.20        9.80
       Punjab            69.78      72.00   38.00      66.00    51.00        20.80        7.10
       Rajasthan         62.17      62.80   75.00      80.00    78.00        30.60        7.70
       Tamil             67.00      69.75   46.00      43.00    44.00        18.50        7.70
       Uttar             63.54      64.09   76.00      84.00    80.00        31.60        9.70
       West              66.08      69.34   53.00      45.00    49.00        20.50        6.70
       India             63.87      66.91   62.00      65.00    63.00        25.00        8.10

Source: Economic Survey, 2004-05

Kerala has performed well in the past in terms of literacy and social protection to the unorganized
sector thanks to the trade union movement, presence of churches (with a large social base and
catering in the field of education) and presence of Left Front in power. Kerala's development
achievement is often been held as a model for its equity and is cited as an example of what mass
mobilization and public action can achieve by interfacing with responsive democratic governments.
The State has achieved good success in coverage of basic minimum services. Its universal public
distribution system provides reasonable food security despite being a food deficit state. Since
1975, Centre for Development Studies, Trivandrum started bringing out the peculiarities of Kerala's
development process (popularly known as the Kerala model), in terms of social and human
development despite lagging economic development. During the period of late 1970s and entire
1980s, a parallel development in the form of migration to gulf countries and remittances from such
employment buoyed up the Kerala economy. Since the late 1990s and early 2000, the Kerala
development planning process started relying on projects (or programmes), sponsored by either
government or donor agencies, to combat some of the problems faced in the past such as
                                 Head Quarters       No. of Villages

Nilamboor                 Nilamboor                                 19
Eranad                    Manjeri                                   31
Perinthalmanna            Perinthalmanna                            24              unemployment,          low
Thirur                    Thirur                                    30              economic         progress
Ponnani                   Ponnani                                   11              compared to other states,
Thiroorangadi             Thiroorangadi                             18              nepotism, not reaching out
to the marginalized especially the tribals et al 4.

Malappuram district became the site of Akshaya Project because it had high mobile phone
penetration amidst the population, and people had purchasing power in their hands (owing to the
inflow of remittances from the Gulf). Malappuram is usually seen as an educationally backward
district compared to rest of the districts of Kerala. In order to disseminate information to the people,
government sponsored advertisements were put in some of the local newspapers5, and registration
of applicants was made in the districts panchayats. Information was also disseminated in informal
ways (for e.g. people got the information from their friends and colleagues who worked at the zilla
panchayat office/ panchayats). Around 2000 applications were filed by the potential Akshaya
entrepreneurs for the opening of the Akshaya centres6. Loans were arranged for the potential
entrepreneurs from the local banks (such as Western Union Money Transfer Bank), without the
need for collateral, at a minimal rate of interest spanning between 12-13 percent. It was mandatory
for the entrepreneurs to keep at least three trainers and five computers in these Akshaya Centres.
Arrangements were made so that the Akshaya entrepreneurs could be trained, and work in
collaboration with the local panchayats.

The district of Malappuram, at present comprises 6 taluks and 14 Development Blocks. It has 5
towns and 135 inhabited villages.

            About Malappuram
                                                                                 The         objective
     No. of Villages                               135                           behind the Akshaya
     No. of Blocks                                 14                            Project is to develop
     No. of Panchayats                             100                           over           10,000
     No. of Municipalities                         5                             numbers             of
networked Multi-purpose Community Information kiosks        7 (can be called Akshaya Centers) to

provide ICT access to the entire population of the state, starting from the district of Mallapuram. At

4   See: http://www.kerala.gov.in/dept_planning/ecnomicrvw_10.htm

5 Akshaya tied up with Madhyavan Daily for the e-vidya programme [The news came in The Hindu dated April 6,
2004. It says that the then Information Technology Mission Secretary, Aruna Sunderrajan launched the e-education (e-
vidya) in Manjeri on April 5, 2004. The programme was jointly conducted by the Akshaya project and Madhyamam
daily]. The researcher had the privilege of listening to her during the workshop on Scaling up ICT for Poverty
Alleviation in India Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, during February 26-27, 2004.

6   As per the interview conducted

7 One must be careful to distinguish between call centres and kiosks since the latter are working for a more social
cause and have a broader base of customers. To know about a comparative study on Karnataka’s Bhoomi programme
and another such programme in West Bengal, see: Computerization of Land Records in West Bengal by Manoj Ahuja
and AP Singh in Man and Development, March 2006, Vol. XXVIII, No. 1. The use of GUI version of software in the
Bhoomi programme gives it an added edge. The West Bengal model depends on usage of MS-DOS, whereas the
least one person in each of the 65 lakh families in the state will be made IT-literate. Enhancing the
quality of available IT infrastructure in the state is another objective, including the state of
electricity. To bridge the rural-urban divide, IT infrastructure will be expanded to the rural partsiii.

    Through achieving the above-mentioned objectives, the state of Kerala is expected to
    (Source: www.akshaya.net)

         Create and expand economic opportunities in the knowledge economy.
         Empower individuals and communities through enhanced access to information.
         Modernize and upgrade skill sets.
         Integrate communities through creation of e-networks.
         Create awareness of ICT tools & usage.
         Generate locally relevant content.
         Generate over 50,000 direct employment opportunities in 3 years.
         Generate direct investment of over Rs. 500 crores in 3 years

The chart 1 below provides the fact sheet of the Akshaya programme.

Chart 1: Fact Sheet about Akshaya Programme in Malappuram District

        (i) No. of Families                                7.5 lakhs
        (ii) Panchayats                                       100
        (iii) Municipalities                                    5
        (iv) Block Panchayats                                  14
        (v) Constituencies                                     12
        (vi) Akshaya Centres                                  696
        (vii) Trainee / Families per centre                600-1200
        (viii) Investments / Centre                       Rs. 2-3 lakh
        (ix) Computer per centre                              5-10
        (x) E – Literacy course duration per
                                                           10-15 hrs
        (xi) Block coordinators                                 6
        (xiii) Panchayat / Municipality
        (xiv) Master Trainees                                 2000

Source: Taken from the Akshaya project website (during the year 2004), www.akshaya.net

The CTCs (computer training centres/ kiosks) will function mainly with the following services:

Kerala’s Akshaya model is Windows-based (and uses Wireless Local Loop—WLL technology, and the content is in
Malayalam and Arabic—the official language of Kerala).
 Continued e-learning program
 Internet Kiosk
 Data entry under E-governance program
 DTP and Job work
 Other computer training for public
 Design of invitation cards, visiting cards, banners, posters, paper bags etc and Screen
 Data Bank Services
 Telemedicine applications
A District level Entrepreneur Support System (ESS) is proposed to be set up under joint initiative of the IT Mission
District Panchayat and Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Development (STED) Project. It will be able to
assist the CTCs by way of:

        Entrepreneurship Management Development Program
        Marketing Support
        Technical guidance for continuous improvements
        Content generation related assistances etc.
        The support will be necessary for at least 2 years.
        The Entrepreneurs of CTCs will be provided with refresher/motivational packages from time to time to make
         them successful in the changing environment. Unlike conventional EDPs, the package will be designed in 12
         modules of 2-3 days and conducted once in two or three months, with a brick-cement-brick approach.
         Besides, the ESS will also be able to assist the CTCs in tapping orders and marketing services especially in
         the potential environment of implementation of E-Governance (e.g.: massive data entry).

Training Centres:

o Space - 500 sq.ft.
o Networked Multimedia Pentium computers with colour monitors - 10 nos. (own 5 nos, rented 5 nos.)
o UPS - 4 KVA
o Printer - 1 no.
o Internet connection
o Sufficient furniture
o The centre should be easily accessible to the Public

Training centres - new units

o Physical requirements equal to existing centres.
o Women having background of BEd, TTC etc, and PGDCA/DCA are most considerable
o In the absence of sufficient numbers of the above categery, Computer literates (in windows based operations) with
teaching background.
o Individual entreprneurs (Proprietorship) or a small unemployed group of not more than 3 persons are preferable.
o The selection should be done by a commitee as follows:

President, District Panchayath - Chairman
General Manager, DIC - Member
Manager, District Lead Bank - Member
Representative of IT Dept.
Representative from other financial institutions- Member
Project Director, STED Project - Member

o Necessary financial support may be made available to the entrepreneurs through PMRY Schemes, KVIC margin
money schemes etc.

(Culminating into Sustained e-Literacy and Mass Employment Generation), A Draft Report

     (i)       Gender Equality: It is obvious that generating gender equity was not part of the
               objectives and also the strategies behind the Akshaya programmeiv. Developing
               entrepreneurial skill [such as the Entrepreneurship Development Programme (EDP) of
               the UNDP] among women, was never part of the agenda, unlike the other programme
               i.e. Kudumbashree9. As per the interviewv conducted with the women entrepreneurs,
               some of the problems they faced came to the forefront. They are: (a) mobility of
               women is suspected, even for weekly or monthly meetings held with the Akshaya
               officials as a part of mitigating problems/ arrival of new packages (part of training); (b)
               difficulty in managing both the kiosks and the household chores; (c) some women
               (hindus) face problem from the men community (which is predominantly muslim)
               regarding setting up of kiosks; (d) initial hindrance (in terms of permission granted by
               the family members); (e) Most of the women had to close down their kiosks as they
               could not run their businesses due to non-profitability by the end of the III phase of
               Akshaya programme10 (the number of women entrepreneurs came down from over 85
               to around 25); (f) Lack of mentors in the family for encouraging them to take such
               activities (no. of applications put forward by the women was low)11; (g) The Akshaya/
               government officials seemed to be not have been gender sensitized, while training the
               entrepreneurs so that they can help them with the new technology (neither all of them
               were aware of the type of problems female entrepreneurs face)12; (h) Women

8 It is perceived by the researcher that owing to lack of a set of indicators to cross check (for the purpose of evaluation
and monitoring) the progress of the programme when it is conceived, can give rise to such problem/s. However, one
should not avoid taking into consideration human errors. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) provides
a list of indicators, which is provided in the endnotes. It has recently come to the knowledge of the researcher that the
Akshaya programme has been scaled up to the entire state of Kerela, having 5000 e-kendras (Source: The Penguin
India Reference Yearbook 2006, page no. 21).

9 Note: Kudumbashree, means prosperity of the family. Kudumbashree indicates the approach of the State Poverty
Eradication Mission, which was launched on 1st April 1999 as a partnership of the State Government, Central
Government, Local Governments and the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) for
eradicating poverty. A poverty alleviation programme, where skill is generated among women from the Self Help
Groups (SHGs).

10From the III phase onward, Akshaya was gradually becoming more commercial-oriented, demanding for extra
entrepreneurial skills and enterprise.

11Kerala has showed better human development indicators for females in the areas of literacy, sex ratio etc.,
compared to the other Indian states. However, there are some discouraging facts too which are emerging. Cases of
dowries demanded are on the rise. For a more elaborate picture on such issues see: Gender, Property Rights and
Responsibility for Farming in Kerala by Praveena Kodoth (Economic and Political Weekly, May 8, 2004).

12 Pattatucci [(ed.) (1998): Women in Science: Meeting Career Challenges. New Delhi, Sage Publications)] documents
research that shows that right from childhood women are discouraged from studying science. Parents are more willing
to send their sons to studying science and technology in higher education. Girls are encouraged to take up arts and
commerce. It is a perceived notion in the society that women are incapable of understanding the language of
mathematics. However, the enrolment of women in undergraduate courses in engineering and technology in India has
risen from a meagre 0.09% in 1971 to 10.09% in 1991. The proportion of women in total enrolment in pure science
subjects in colleges and universities rose from 7.1% in 1950-51 to 34.17% in 1996-97 [See: Chanana, Karuna (2000):
Treading the Hallowed Halls: Women in Higher Education, in Economic and Political Weekly, 35(12): 1012-22].
              entrepreneurs seldom run their kiosks during night hours, which can affect the
              profitability since this is the time during which chances of doing business is high; in the
              day time people will hardly come to the kiosks (they are highly dependent on male
              colleagues who are paid to work during night shifts)13; (i) Some of the women
              interviewed were very casual in their approach and were dependent on their husbands
              for running the kiosks; (j) Some of the women faced the problem of arranging credit
              from banks for opening up their kiosks.

     (ii)     Selection of Entrepreneurs: Although in the course of interview, the researcher
              found that most of the entrepreneurs had basic degrees in software and / hardware
              (and even electronic engineering) applications, but very few were formally trained as
              entrepreneurs. Some of the entrepreneurs were selected through the ‘backdoors’, thus
              giving rise to their problem of inefficient managerial capabilities. However, most of
              them were selected through interviews. The total number of kiosks came down from
              around 625 (when Akshaya started) to below 600 (during the time of field visit). Lack of
              training (for updating the knowledge base) as had been planned, could be another
              factor for closures of the kiosks. Some of the centres have been closed down since the
              entrepreneurs left for Gulf.

              Brief Profile of the Entrepreneurs Interviewed:

                Sex                 Location            Educational    Source/s of Credit
                Male                Malappuram          NA             Bank (name not available)
                Male                Kondotty            Diploma in     NA
                Male                Kuzhimanna          Diploma in     NA
                Male                Nilambur            Post           South Malabar Bank
                                                        Degree in
                Male                Mampad              NA             Keltron
                Male                Kolikkara           Doing          NA
                Male                Naduvattam          Diploma in     NA
                Male                Fakir   Beach,      NA             NA
                                    Tannur (Coastal

 However, one can see that the participation of children and females during the day time as a part of e-training and e-

         Female          Tirur   (coastal   Diploma in    Canara Bank
                         area)              Computer
         Female          Nilambur           NA            Keltron
         Female          Panthavoor         Post          South Malabar Grain Bank
                                            Diploma in
         Total No. of    8
         Total No. of    3

        Note: NA means not available

(iii)   State of Infrastructure: In some parts of the Malappuram town, there seemed to be
        high prevalence of power cuts. The state of electricity (power) in the state of Kerala
        seemed to have suffered, as was reported by some of the interviewees. The Akshaya
        entrepreneurs suffered when there were initial setbacks due to VSNL (Videsh Sanchar
        Nigam Ltd.) moving out from providing Internet connection. It took some time till Tulip
        (a Delhi based company) came into the picture.

(iv)    Lack of Knowledge: In one of the interviews conducted with a district level
        government official (name withheld), it came to the knowledge of the researcher that
        he lacked the information that State Government’s IT policy can be influential in
        promotion of IT. Instead he recommended for the influence of State Government’s IT
        policy for BPO industry (to make the BPO industry more gender sensitive in terms of
        better work environment; social security etc.)

(v)     Prioritization of Programmes: During the interview, it came to the knowledge that in
        the II Phase of the Akshaya, problems (political in nature) were encountered by the
        Akshaya officials in generating awareness about the uses of IT amidst panchayat/
        taluk/ district level workers. Some of the gram sabha /panchayat/ taluk/ district level
        workers demanded for giving priority to basic amenities instead of IT.

(vi)    Capacity Building: It was expected that e-literacy drive will lead to better demand for
        IT services by the community. However, in some of the areas (Nilambur, a tribal hilly
        belt, where rubber plantation and other such plantations take place), it was found that
            the kiosks could not target the population since they were illiterate and poor, and
            lacked basic facilities. Distance to the nearest hospital was more than 20 kms.

    (vii)   Preference for Private Institutes: In some cases it was found that the kiosks are not
            running well, since people prefer private institutes over Akshaya centres because of
            the quality of training imparted. Moreover, some of the private centres guaranty
            employment after the training is over (as was reported). Although some male
            entrepreneurs remarked that Akshaya provides a cheap and better quality education.


    (i)     Generating Employment: The Akshaya programme has generated employmentvi for
            the youths, particularly women for work like DTP, typing etc. It promises for utilisation
            of human capital left untapped in the state of Kerala. Trainees particularly women can
            search for better employment opportunities at the end of their course.

    (ii)     IT Literacy: Akshaya programme provides cheaper e-literacy courses to the people.
            The courses offered ranges from easier ones (like MS Office, DTP) to harder ones
            (like Diploma courses). Opening up of Akshaya centres in backward areas like Fakir
            Beach has helped backward communities to learn basic IT skills.

    (iii)   Enhancing Communication/s: Internet enabled kiosks are used by people to contact
            their relatives/ friends who are staying abroad (such as Gulf) or other states.
            Communication is also done for marketing of products.

    (iv)    Providing e-Services: Akshaya kiosks are providing a range of services like
            registration of births and deaths; collection and feeding of health related data (in a way
            acting as databanks) of the local population (by tying up with local panchayats/ PRIs)
            through FRIENDS survey; tying up with banks (like Western Union Money Transfer
            Bank) for e-transfer of money; working in collaboration with other private companies
            for data feeding (outsourced work)


There are always some plus and minus points, which emerges out when one does evaluation.
However, that helps in learning, and remodeling the framework for scaling up of such ICT
programme. Sustainability of the programme is the most difficult part in the long run, which requires
long-term vision. It is crucial to mention that there has been a healthy rise in the number of India’s
IT professionals over the last decade. From a base of 6,800 knowledge workers in 1985-86, the
number increased to 522,000 software and services professionals by the end of 2001-02, thanks to
the IT policy of the government and the role played by the corporate sector. It is estimated that out
of these 522,000 knowledge workers, almost 170,000 are working in the IT software and services
export industry; around 106,000 are working in the IT enabled services and over 220,000 in user

14   Accessed from: http://www.nasscom.org/artdisplay.asp?cat_id=303

i The term “digital divide” refers to the gap between individuals, households, businesses and geographic areas at
different socio-economic levels with regard both to their opportunities to access information and communication
technologies (ICTs) and to their use of the Internet for a wide variety of activities (Understanding the Digital Divide,
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2001)

Several ventures have been initiated in the past to bridge the “digital divide”. These ventures have enjoyed varying
degrees of success. Digital divide has multiple dimensions and challenges. To make sufficient impact, a holistic
attempt is needed to be made. Notable among the Indian initiatives are -

          Vidyarthi Computer Programme
          Antyodaya Computer Literacy Programme
          Gyandoot, Madhya Pradesh
          Warna 'Wired Village', Maharashtra
          Electronic Village, Pondicherry (by MS Swaminathan Research Foundation)
          Karnataka’s Bhoomi Project et al

Key Recommendations by NASSCOM for the growth of the IT sector in India.

[See: http://www.nasscom.org/artdisplay.asp?cat_id=303]

Some key initiatives which needs to be pursued by the Government are:

1. IIT / IIIT in every state

2. Important Courses to be offered by IIT / IIITs

3. Deemed University status for IIITs

4. More PhDs required

5. Train the teachers program

6. Bridge Courses: Reengineering the courses of engineering colleges

7. Providing IT Modules to every graduation course

8. Increasing the output of the engineering stream

9. Networking of Educational Institutes

10. Re-training industry experts

The potential contribution of information technology to employment generation can be both direct and indirect.
Directly, the growth of the computer hardware and software industries will generate new job opportunities in India.
Indirectly, the adoption of computer technology by other industries will expand the range of services they provide and
can stimulate more rapid growth of these sectors. The indirect impact of IT is far greater than the direct impact. In the
USA, it is estimated that for every direct job created in the IT industry, 3-4 jobs are created by indirect ones. Studies by
the National Research Council in the USA have found that IT has a fascinating impact on the growth of a wide range of
service industries.

In 1990 India’s IT industry generated $7.7 billion in revenues, 15 times the level in 1980. Exports rose from $150
million in 1990s to nearly $4 billion in 1999. With a compounded annual growth rate of more than 50% between 1991
and 2001, the India IT software and services sector has expanded almost twice so fast as the US software sector
though from a smaller base.


Phase-wise Implementation of the Akshaya Programme

I Phase: In the 1st phase, the idea of Akshaya Programme was conceived. Akshaya Centres were perceived as
community kiosks for serving the community and a storehouse of information for study and research activities.

II Phase: The concept of Akshaya was brought before the panchayat. Initially, there was discontentment among
panchayat members of giving priority to IT over other basic amenities such as water, shelter etc. However, by constant
engagement of the Akshaya officials with the panchayat level, block level and district level workers, misconceptions
about IT and its impact were cleared out. Efforts were made to build capacity for IT.

III Phase: During the 3rd phase, applications were invited from the potential Akshaya entrepreneurs. Out of 2000
applicants, 630 were selected after the interviews. Initially VSNL (Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited) was chosen to give
the Internet connection to the Akshaya entrepreneurs. But after three months of delay, the contract was given to Tulip
(a Delhi based Network Company). For the starting up of Akshaya Centres, collateral free loans were arranged for the
entrepreneurs. In some of the cases, Akshaya officials intervened directly to ease such processes. During this phase,
e-literacy campaigns were undertaken by the entrepreneurs. At least 1 member from each household was selected for
this e-literacy campaign. During the e-literacy campaign, 10 lessons, each costing Rs. 2/-, were taught. The entire
course consumed 15 hours of every individual, as a part of the capacity building. The advanced level training course
was which cost around Rs. 450 for 50 hours of training was also provided by some of the Akshaya centres.

IV Phase : The IV phase was about to start from June 2004 where the Akshaya Centres will provide services like
information on health, literature, education, law, career training centres etc. During the IV phase, FRIEND’s survey will
be undertaken by the entrepreneurs in order to know the community’s demand for important IT services. Such services
may include registration for birth, death and married certificates, payment of electricity and water bills etc. Around 45
such services will be given by the Akshaya Centres depending on the communities preferences. Under the 4th phase,
Akshaya built a partnership with INTEL to provide a short term IT course, costing Rs. 450/- (Rs. 100/- as the
examination fee + Rs. 350/- as the course fee). Through the FRIEND’s survey, health mapping of the entire community
will be undertaken. Grassroots level data can be fed into the Akshaya info bank that may later help in putting such data
into the Census and also for policy intervention. Till then (during the time of the field visit) only 2 panchayats have
completed the health mapping programme.

In the coming days, the number of access points is going to rise and competition is going to get tougher. Akshaya is
conceived on wireless connectivity because of the difficult terrain. Although initially there were around 630 Akshaya
centres but during the time of the survey, the number has come down to 582. Total number of female entrepreneurs is
around 25 to 30 that used to more 85.

  There are several other ICT related projects running in India. I am providing the minutes of one conference which I

attended, that can be of help to understand different models of ICT related interventions.
Minutes of the first day of the workshop named ‘Scaling Up ICT Use for Poverty Alleviation in India’,
26-27 February, 2004

Organised by Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad

Sponsored by Nasscom, World Bank and Ministry of IT, GoI

Bakul Dholakia, Director IIM-A

The inaugural session started with an introduction of IIM-A by the current IIM Director Mr. Bakul Dholakia. He informed
that IIM-A was established through the joint efforts of Government of India, State Government of Gujarat and Indian
industries. IIM-A was the brain child of Dr. Vikram Sarabhai. He said that IIM-A was conceived not to be purely a
business school, but a school of management. IIM-A has worked in other areas too apart from business, where
principles of management are required and can be applied. IIM-A opened the Centre for Management of Agriculture
after its inception. The Public Systems Group was started during the 1970s which looked into the areas of population
control, transportation, health care etc. Public Systems Group has also imparted training to the IAS officers and public
servants. Research carried out by Public Systems Group is widely recognized today.

The post-graduate programme in management and the fellow programmes are well recognized by the industrial
community. He informed that IIM-A ranks first among the management schools in entire Asia according to all the 7
surveys (2 international surveys and 5 domestic surveys) carried out in the year 2003. IIM-A is interested in looking at
the future from a global perspective.

Mr. Dholakia informed the audience that IIM-A is interested to compete with management schools of North America.
According to a survey of top business schools by The Economist, IIM-A ranks 45th.

IIM-A is not only interested in building institutions but also linking institutions. IIM-A is interested in research and
development too. IIM-A has been working on ICT for development for the last 2 decades. IIM-A has done a project on
ICTs in the tribal area of Dharampur. IIM-A has also done action research in Surendra Nagar in collaboration with CMC
during the mid-1980s. It has also done a project related to ICTs and dairy production in Panchmar district.

Finally during the 1990s, the Centre for Computers was opened in IIM.

Kiran Karnaik, President NASSCOM

Kiran Karnaik opened up his speech by bringing to everybody’s knowledge the enormous growth IT sector has seen
over the past 1 decade. The rapid growth in IT exports has made one to think whether India is really shining. He said
that IT sector has provided employment to urban youths coming from middle-class background. But he was critical
about ICT’s role in poverty alleviation. He said that despite the success of some ICT projects, there has been little
scaling up. He questioned why the Bhoomi project was not extended to the entire country. He informed about the
issues related to scaling up of ICT projects. He said that extension in rural areas is difficult because of the existing
social structure. There are groups with vested interests who will oppose the spread of ICTs. Although corporate sector
has taken initiatives but more efforts are needed. He informed about the NASSCOM Foundation which was established
almost a month back to create fund for the development and diffusion of ICTs in rural and backward areas.

He added that government has to play a big role in the expansion and scaling up of ICT projects. He informed that
Department of Electronics (now Dept. of IT) was established way back in 1970s by the Government of India to promote
the development of new technology. He said that government can’t be wished away. Central, state and local
governments have to be involved for the expansion of ICT in rural areas. He emphasized that corporate sector and
NGOs have to work together with the government machinery for getting desired results.

He finished by saying that action oriented projects are needed to spread ICT and to get desired results (poverty
alleviation and growth).
Subhash Bhatnagar, Co-ordinator of the Workshop Scaling Up ICT Use for Poverty Alleviation in India

Prof. Subhash Bhatnagar said that the new technology has enormous potential. He was hopeful about the scaling up of
ICT because of the positive experiences gathered by the pilot projects during the past few years. Although positive
results came up from small projects but there is need for scaling up. He emphasized the need for partnership among
government, NGOs and the corporate sector. He said that poverty should not be seen in a narrow sense but in a
broader sense. He further added that it is in the interest of corporate sector to remove poverty.

He said that government has now realized the advantages of working with NGOs and corporate sector for promoting
the expansion of new technology.

He later explained about the structure of the present workshop.

Mr. Robert Schware, World Bank

Robert Schware informed about World Bank and NASSCOM who worked together for a strategy to boost IT exports
from $60,000 million in 1990 to over a billion $ in the year 2000. However, due to the competitive spirit of the Indian IT
industry, the target of 1 billion $ exports could be achieved in the year 1995 itself. He emphasized that the current
workshop should search for a mechanism for moving the pilot projects to their second stage.

Post-Tea First Session
‘Where Does India Stand in terms of the Digital Divide and the Way Forward’

The post tea session was chaired by Mr. R Chandrashekhar, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Communication and IT, Govt.
of India. He said that India is quite often compared with a snake, with its head in the 21 st century and tail in the 18th
century. But India has done well in the area of ICT development and experimentation. The experimentations carried
out have led to huge stock of knowledge. However, India is facing the grim problem of digital divide.

‘Digital Divide: Where Does India Stand? And the Way Forward’--Prof. Subhash Bhatnagar, IIM-A

Prof. Bhatnagar’s paper had two parts: one addressing the relevance of scaling up of a large number of pilot projects
and another addressing the impact of ICT on rural areas. He said that ICT can play a vital role regarding: (i)
procurement of produce; (ii) spread of knowledge and information useful for economic activities; (iii) imparting training
and education for enhancing employment and economic opportunities and; (iv) supply of inputs. He said that ICT can
help in successful delivery of health and education services.

He informed the audience about the telecenter projects happening around in India. A chart displaying the different
telecenter projects is provided below.

Telecenter Projects running in India
Name                   No. of kiosks              Agency                   Years                    Activity
Bhoomi                 30                         Govt. of Karnataka       2                        Land title
e-chaupal              3500 (5)                   ITC                      2                        Procurement
Warna                  72 (54)                    NIC                      3                        Cane Factory
Akshaya                617                        Kerala                   1                        e-literacy
Melur, Nellikuppam,      200                      n-Logue                  1                        Internet kiosks

TaraHaat                 18                       Development              1                        E training, market
                                                  Alternative                                       information
Drishtee                 90-5states                Digital Partners          1                         Mandi prices, land
Milk Coops               5000                      NDDB                      5                         Milk collection
CIC (NE)                 30                        NIC, MIT                  1-2                       Internet access

While speaking on the lessons learnt from the pilot projects, he said that barring a few cases, in case of most of the
projects, success depend on efforts made by individual and experimentation done by NGOs. There are certain
disadvantages associated with these pilot projects. First of all, these projects concentrate on one or two things. Most of
the pilot projects have narrow objectives and are not multi-functional. They attract few users as services are not
valued. There is a problem of narrow customer base as people are illiterate and seldom understand the value for these
services. In certain cases, people may not be wiling to pay for the services if there isn’t true value addition. So in such
cases, pilots are unviable to begin with or do not sustain after the initial success. He said that there is lack of initiative
or leadership in gearing up for the success of projects. Success of a project does not depend necessary on individual
effort but on organizational effort. He added that the people involved in a project have to discover what can create
value. He said that some early successes, say gainful employment of rural youths in ICT sector, are essential for the
projects to continue. For measuring the success of a project one should not only take into consideration the viewpoint
of media and those who implemented it, but also those for whom the pilot project has been implemented. Involving big
organisations in these projects is essential not only for getting fund but also for gaining the managerial experiences of
such organisations.

He said that successful models for scaling up need involvement of big organisations, economic viability of projects, and
inclusion of rural entrepreneurs, intermediary organisations and NGOs. He said that large organisations (such as
Hindustan Lever dealing in FMCGs operating in rural areas derive values from efficient business transactions). If the
clients are benefited, then they will get attracted to the services provided by such organisations. In such cases, the
project will become economically viable. Citing the example of e-chaupal project which is operating in Madhya
Pradesh, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, Mr. Bhatnagar said that similar models can be started for
trading in milk, handicraft, leather and handlooms. He said that projects like Bhoomi (operating in Karnataka) and
Akshaya (operating in Kerala) are economically viable as they charge fees for valued services and consumers too are
ready to pay for that. He informed that Drishtee follow a different business model by partnering with providers of valued
services and rural entrepreneurs who create access points. He mentioned that the pilot projects carried out by NGOs
and individuals need to be scaled up.

While speaking on the economic viability of projects, he said that it is relatively easy to charge fee when individual
derive value. But when the society/ community derive value, fee cannot be charged since it is difficult to monetize such
values. He cited the examples of various projects some of which are economically viable and some economically non-
viable. But hardly any example was available where projects are run through participation or projects which have
objectives of empowerment and advocacy. He emphasized that simple publication and content development does not
mean empowerment. What we need are grassroots level organisations that can help in capacity building. Later
economic value will drive the movement.

According to Prof. Bhatnagar, four major steps required for bridging the growing digital gap are:
    (i)       Technology that makes rural access inexpensive and robust.
    (ii)      Applications that draw a large cliental who are ready for paying, thus ensuring the economic viability of
              the kiosks.
    (iii)     Content that empowers rural citizens, thus enabling the formation of communities.
    (iv)      NGOs and grassroot organisations that catalyze and manage the community building process.

While speaking about the major ingredients of success, he said that the presence of four elements are required:
access (presence of access points providing cheap services), content (which is lucid and valuable), intermediaries (like
Drishtee) and killer application (which is useful and produces value). He said that building up of partnership among
corporate sector, NGOs, civil society and various levels of governments, is one of the major requisites for success. He
said that telecom regulatory policies and privatization policies of the power sector are vital ingredients behind the
spread of ICT. The onus of creating the right kind of value for a service falls on the implementing organisation. The
onus of creating awareness and building capacity falls on the NGOs and other civil society organisations. A strong
political will of the government and a positive business attitude by the corporate sector are needed for building up an
efficient institution. Involvement of big and major organisations is needed for managerial skills and to channelize funds.

While analyzing the strategies to be followed for bridging digital divide, he provided a four quadrant chart. He said that
there are 4 different routes to spreading ICT depending on the size of village and economic potential/ viability of the
project. In the case of projects taking place in big villages and which have high economic potential/ viability, private
sector should enter first, to be followed by the government. In the case of projects taking place in big villages and
which have low economic potential/ viability, government should provide the leadership and the private players can
create access points. In the case of projects taking place in small villages but having high economic potential/ viability,
private players and NGOs can enter and work hand-in-hand. In the case of projects taking place in small villages but
having low economic potential/ viability, individual entrepreneurs should be encouraged and the content can then be
provided by few private players.

Since the workshop was meant to raise fund for the NASSCOM Foundation for the spread of ICT in rural areas, a
glimpse of the social applications fund was provided in a chart form, as shown below.

Some of the comments which were made after Prof. Bhatnagar finished his presentation are:

     (i)       Involvement of corporate sector in the projects should be given more priority compared to the
               involvement of government and the NGOs.
     (ii)      Use of ICT should target raising the productivity levels.
     (iii)     Venture capital should be given a chance in the pilot projects.
     (iv)      There should be movement from public private partnership to multi-sector partnership. More stress
               should be given on institutional partnership and less on individual relationship.
     (v)       Mr. Kiran Karnaik while replying to a comment said that NASSCOM is very much a part of the corporate
               sector and in no way anybody is undermining the role of the corporate sector. He said that working with
               other agencies is essential.
     (vi)      Chetan Sharma (CEO of Datamation) said that kiosk owners earn less. He said that issuing of land
               certificates is a one time revenue earning affair for the kiosk owners. He emphasized the need for
               developing multilingual and multicultural content for the rural citizens. He asked why the content of
               Development Gateway (a World Bank driven website) is not in Indian languages. He asked for starting
               ICT pilot projects for the benefit of urban poor.
     (vii)     Other questions raised are: Who will pay? Who will provide the services? Who should project what?
               Who should be the driver of projects? Are the citizens really ready to pay? What percentage of revenue
               will make the application viable? Are we looking for a programme or a paradigm?
Social Applications Fund at a Glance
Attributes                           Proposal                                        Remarks
Size                                 $ 200 million                                   Enable 40,000 telecenters covering
                                                                                     200,000 villages to be created
Scope: Nature of projects to be                    Scaling up of pilots                  Primary purpose of fund
supported                                          Replicating successful use            Continuous          need  for
                                                    in other geographies                      experimentation
                                                New pilots of significant
Scope: Activity to be supported                 Building content for delivery               Will not support provision of
                                                    of information and services               access to basic telephony
                                                Establishing access points                   and computerization of
                                                Training                     and             back end within govts.
                                                R&D for facilitating use
                                                    (less              expensive
                                                    connectivity, ease of use
Type of organisation to be supported      Pvt. Sector, NGOs and govts. in            Will promote pvt. initiatives and
                                          partnership      with    organisations,    public-pvt. Partnership
                                          Educational and R&D institutions
Nature of assistance                            Loans          at     subsidized            Subsidies for replacing and
                                                    interest rates for replication            scaling up in areas with low
                                                    and scaling up                            economic potential
                                                Grants for pilots                           Profit is not a motive but
                                                Interest free loans for pilots               sustainability needs to be
                                                                                              ensured by recovering
                                                                                              investments made through
Management and administration             Managed by MIT, GoI through a                      Donors will be most
                                          Board administered by NASSCOM                       comfortable with govt.
                                          through    a      multi-stakeholder                 managed funds
                                          committee                                          Can build the capacity to
                                                                                              provide        multi-purpose

Post-tea Second Session:
‘Challenges in Scaling up ICT Projects for Poverty Reduction and Education: Learning from Experience’

This session was chaired by Rashid Kidwai of Digital Partners, India. He said that initiatives can be taken up by the
government, private sector and individuals. He said that projects should identify needs. He asked whether
infrastructure developed by somebody can be used by anybody else. He spoke about the Bhoomi project’s
sustainability where villagers pay Rs. 25/- for getting a land certificate. Out of this Rs. 25/-, the kiosk owner keeps Rs.
10/- and pays the rest Rs. 15/- to the government.

‘Akshaya Program of Kerala’—Aruna Sundararajan, IT Secretary, Kerala

Ms. Aruna Sundararajan initiated her talk by saying that the objective of the Akshaya project, which started in June
2003, is to provide unlimited opportunities. She said that Akshaya is not a uni-dimensional but a multidimensional
project. Its goal is not only to spread digital literacy but also to bridge digital divide. The Information Technology
Department, Govt. of Kerala started Akshaya project for ensuring broad-based access to ICT, for providing e-literacy
and for making available content relevant to the local population in the local language. As a part of the initiative, at
least one person in each of the 65 lakh families in the state will be made IT-literate. However, the Akshaya project is
currently operating in Malappuram district (one of the most backward district in Kerala in terms of literacy) only. Eighty
percent of the Malappuram’s population is Muslim. Twenty five percent of the families in Malappuram have at least one
member who works in Gulf.

The Akshaya centres are run by private entrepreneurs. Akshaya centres are being set up within 2 km of every
household. Malappuram has a robust network of 617 e-centres catering to over 6,00,000 households in the district.
Each Akshaya centre educates at least 1 person from each of the 1000 families.

Before the Akshaya project was launched, a survey was conducted to find the penetration of computer and Internet. A
19 indices survey was done to find the ideal location of ICT/ Internet kiosks/ centres. Once the locations were found,
advertisements were given in local newspapers. IEC campaign also took place to spread awareness about the concept
of Akshaya. Ms. Sundararajan informed that by the end of training 1000 members, 40% of the capital invested by the
kiosk owner would be recovered. According to Ms. Sundararajan, scaling up is not possible without talking about
access points. She complained that the Government of India has not taken into consideration STD/ PCO booth models
while doing the pilot projects in India. She said that infrastructure is a bottleneck for the diffusion of ICT. She said that
electricity situation in Malappuram is quite poor.

She said that Internet can be used for: (i) communication; (ii) continuing education; (iii) public services provided by
government—e-governance; (iv) services provided by the corporate sector such as health etc.

There are two key things related to scaling up which she mentioned in her speech:
    (i)       The key to scaling up is economic viability of the project. In India, cost of accessibility is too high;
    (ii)      Existing content may not be useful. Today, 98% of the content available is irrelevant for the rural people.

She also mentioned about the challenges regarding scaling up:
    (i)       Government has to play a sensitive role. Government should not appropriate private sectors space.
    (ii)      There is need for convergence of ideas which will be provided by the corporate sector, the NGOs, the
              civil society and the government.
    (iii)     Political commitment is required for scaling up ICT projects.
    (iv)      The partners in a project should not go for a piecemeal type of effort.
    (v)       There is need for killer applications. Projects should produce some early results.

‘e-Chaupal’—S Sivakumar, CEO, ICT-IBD

Mr. Sivakumar informed about the e-chaupal effort taken up by ITC (Indian Tobacco Company) which places
computers with Internet access in rural farming villages. The case study discussed by Mr. Sivakumar focused on only
one crop i.e. soybean. At first he talked about the e-chaupal infrastructure. He said that ITC make investments to
create and maintain its own IT network in rural India and to identify and train local farmers to manage each e-chaupal.
Each ICT kiosk having an access to Internet is run by a sanchalak—a trained farmer. The computer housed in a
farmer’s house is linked to the Internet via phone lines or by a VSAT connection and serves an average of 600 farmers
in 10 surrounding villages within about a 5 km radius. The sanchalak bears some operating cost but in return gets
commissions for the e-transactions done thru his e-choupal. The warehouse hub is managed by the middle men called
samyojaks. The samjojak acts as a local commission agent for ITC. His/ her location is within tractorable distance from
the farmer’s crop field.

The e-choupal services include relevant and real time information about commodity value and local weather news. The
customized knowledge which is available can help in effective farm management and risk management. A supply chain
for farm inputs could now be created which can be screened for quality. Prices offered are competitive and thus can
help farmers as well ITC. Because of the direct marketing channel, transaction costs have come down and one gets
better value due to traceability.

Due to the e-choupal services, farmers have faced a rise in their income levels because of rise in yields, improvement
in quality of output and a fall in transaction costs. Even small farmers have gained too. Customised knowledge is
offered to the farmers despite heterogeneity. Farmers can get real time information despite their physical distance from
the mandis.
The e-choupal model is quite different from the other models. In fact, the farmers do not pay for the information and
knowledge they get from e-choupals. Transactions take place at the will of farmers. The e-chaupal model runs without
any subsidy. There is no government money involved in this project. The latent value is extracted from unevolved
market in emerging economies which means there is elimination of non-value adding activities at the first instance.
There is, in fact, creation of new value through traceability.

While discussing about the running of the e-choupals he said that the network orchestration is done through public-
private partnership. The objective is to deliver the benefits of a near perfect market to the disadvantaged, in an
otherwise incomplete market. The usage of ICT has helped in breaking the vicious circle of low risk taking ability, low
income and low investment of the small farmers. Competition is enhanced through partnership.

Speaking on the issue of scaling up, he said that in the e-chaupal project a flexible business model is followed to suit
the varying dynamics of different goods and changing condition of evolving markets. He informed that the four steps
which are required for scaling up: (a) elimination of non-value adding act; (b) differentiating product through identity
preservation; (c) value added products traceable to farm practices; (d) e-market place and support services to future

He also explained about the potentials of ICT. He said that ICT can create better supply chain by reducing transactions
cost and improving quality. ICT can help to access the underserved small market. ICT has created new IT enabled
business services in the area of health, education, entertainment and e-governance. The ICT infrastructure can be
used for reliable delivery mechanism for resource development.

He informed that there are 3500 e-chaupals working in 5 states of India of covering about 21,000 villages. Madhya
Pradesh has the largest network of e-chaupals. e-chaupals are mostly used for marketing and sourcing a range of
agricultural goods. In the year 2003-04, the transactions which took place via e-chaupals amounted to about US $100

ITC expects 20,000 chaupals in 15 states covering 100,000 villages by 2010, servicing 25 million farmers. ITC expects
that transactions through e-chaupals may rise to about US $ 2.5 billion.

While speaking on the financial viability of the e-chaupals, Mr. Sivakumar said that the wave 1 has been proven to be
successful. Waves 2 and 3 are beyond pilot projects. Wave 4 is ready for pilot. He informed that waves 5 to 7 (rural
marketing) tests were successful. The scaling up of the projects and the amount of transactions was in line with the
plan. During the project, there has been capacity building of people and processes (to deal with scale) as per the

While commenting on the key success factors he said that in the past insights were gained about the agricultural value
chain in India. The value addition of IT in the distribution business was also looked into. At present, managerial
competence of ICT is used to execute the complex model and to manage cost. In the future, emphasis will be given on
experimentation and learning culture. The bottom line will be---roll out, fix it, scale it up. The principle of the e-chaupals
will be to inform, empower and compete.

The major challenges while scaling up are:
              (a) Developing entrepreneurial capacity of sanchalaks and sanvahaks
              (b) There is need for a management capacity of ICT frontline by building a new cadre of agricultural
              (c) There is a strong need for infrastructure such as power and broadband
              (d) There is the requirement for policy reforms which includes laying out and passing the designs of
                   the Agricultural Marketing Act (to be able to buy directly from the farmers) and to moderate taxes
                   for a level playing field and for revenue build up.

The specific suggestions made by Mr. Sivakumar are:
Type I: Offset the cost of inefficient infrastructure
Type II: Subsidise cost of replication experiments
Type III: Support scale-up of successful models
Type IV: Subsidise services to the poorest.

‘Bhoomi Project’--- Mr. B.P. Kaniram, Deputy Commissioner, Bangalore (Rural) on behalf of Rajiv Chawla
(Secretary, e-Governance, Govt. of Karnataka)

Mr. Dhaniram informed that the Bhoomi project is taking place in Karnataka and there are 35 million beneficiaries of
which 7 million are farmers. 20 million land records have been gathered through this project. It has been found that 0.6
hectare is the average size of land holding in Karnataka. There are 177 project locations, from where Bhoomi project is
carried out. These project locations serve 27,000 villages. There is online maintenance of land titles.

Bhoomi project is about agricultural land record reforms. Moreover, it is a farmer friendly mechanism. The presence of
data on land records can help in stopping encroachment of land by powerful landholding people. Bhoomi has become
an instrument of social justice in two respects:
     (a) Poor records lead to litigation and social unrest. With the beginning of Bhoomi, this has stopped.
     (b) Bhoomi can indirectly help in good governance.
     (c) Bhoomi can also help in economic growth as now it is difficult to evict somebody from his or her own land.

The earlier manual system had infirmities since it was an opaque type of system where patwaris used to have the
monopoly of keeping land records. So there used to be manipulation of records. Farmers used to get discriminatory
type of behaviour from the patwaris and the powerful people under the manual system. This has reduced now. Scope
of harassment has come down. Manual system was ill suited for the civic needs. Seldom land records were updated.
Even getting the desired information was a difficult task earlier.

Mr. Dhaniram informed that under the Bhoomi project, 10,000 plus officials were employed for data entry after they
were trained properly. It took 20,000 man-months for accomplishing the data entry.

Under the Bhoomi, transparency has led to ensuring social equity. Gone are days of village accountants. People now
the right to information. The Bhoomi project is run by multiple stakeholders i.e. citizens, government, administration
and other stakeholders like bank and judiciary.

There are certain problems associated with Bhoomi:
    (a) There are only 177 distribution points as against 10,000 delivery points in manual system serving 30,000
    (b) Farmers have to travel an average distance of 25 kilometers.

There is need for private participation since government does not have the capacity to open and operate village kiosks.
The Bhoomi project, however, plans to increase the number of kiosks so that kiosks can become the delivery channels.

‘Drishtee- connecting India village by village’---Mr. S. Mishra, CEO Drishtee

Drishtee is working for the development of rural economy and society through the use of ICTs. Drishtee is providing
services in the field of computer education, commercial services, BPO and Photo studio and other services like rural
employment, e-health etc.

Mr. S Mishra said that Govt. is the enabler in the case of Drishtee project. Most of the earnings is non-network
dependent. He informed that kiosks are sustainable. Drishtee is planning to open another 6000 kiosks. He said that
entrepreneurship is the key behind success of the Drishtee project. Although the entrepreneurs has to partner with the
government, but they have to keep a safe distance. One has to categorize kiosks operators into various segments. He
said that Drishtee should focus on service development. He said that true entrepreneurs may not be those who have
money or who come forward initially. Then, it becomes important to identify entrepreneurs.

Drishtee has moved from model prescribed by the government to a model which is more participatory by including
health dept., education dept. etc. The service development process, according to Mr. S Mishra, looks into the certain
broad questions such as: What to sell? Where to sell? How to sell? Whom to sell? The partnering agencies in the
Drishtee are: RCSM, ICICI and DRDA? He said that in a typical village consisting of 1000 members, where 25% of
families do not have the ability to pay, the target market consists of 750 members. He informed that due to vertical
penetration, there has been growth in the number of kiosks under the Drishtee project.

‘n-Logue’---Mr. Gautam Mukherjee, Sr VP

Mr. Gautam Mukherjee of n-Logue said that the N-logue project is using the least cost technology. The aim of the
project is to develop all necessary support devices. Efforts have been made to develop robust, profitable and
sustainable business models. About 150 towns have been targeted for the growth of kiosks under the N-logue project.
About 1024 installations have been made by the end of January 2003. N-logue’s effort has been to prepare a business
model which is technology based and cost the least. corDECT technology which is prepared by the TeNet Group of IIT,
Chennai is used in the current project. The company goes to the local service provider which in turn goes to the help of
village kiosk operator during the n-Logue operation.

The business model of n-Logue emulates the success of the public call operators (PCOs). In every village that n-Logue
ventures into, it identifies an entrepreneur and help him/ her set up a kiosk equipped with a PC with multimedia and
web camera, a corDECT Wall set and accessories to connect to the Internet, printer, an uninterrupted power supply
and a suite of local language applications among others.

Essential Difference between call centres and kiosks (compiled by the author of the present article)

Call Centres                                                 Kiosks
1. Call centres mainly cater to the demands of the urban     1. Kiosks are mainly situated in rural areas and thus
population and are situated in urban areas                   cater to the demands of the rural populations such as
2. The work culture is mainly Westernised (can be said       2. The work culture is mainly Indian, and work is
also as Americanised), and is open 24X7.                     limited to only day time mainly.
3. Only the English speaking and urbane youths are           3. The kiosks can be run by ordinary rural youths,
mainly engaged in call centres. Women are mainly             middle aged males (mainly). However, females are
engaged for their better interaction capability with the     also engaged, as in the case of Kerala’s Akshaya
(global) customers.                                          programme.
4. Call centres which fall within the category of ITeS (IT   4. Kiosks cater to a lot of services such as: (i)
enabled services) cover a whole range of services, some      provision of e-services such as registration of birth
of which are: (i) Customer-interaction services including    and deaths; (ii) e-training; (iii) Information on prices of
call-centres; (ii) Back-offices, revenue accounting, data    commodities        (as       being        provided      by
entry, data conversion and HR services; (iii) Transcription  www.agriwatch.com) et al.
and translation services; (iv) Content development and
animation; (v) Other services, including remote education,
data search, GIS, market research, and network
5. The organisation structure of call centres is very 5. The organization structure of kiosks is simple and
complex and usually employs a large number of IT usually employs a lower number of IT workers.
Note: There are many more differences but they are case specific (such as the case of telematics). One should also
be aware about the case of NCDEX operating in India as a hub for forward market in commodities.

Preamble of the Kerala IT Policy

IT Industry Policy tries to delineate a strategy for harnessing the opportunities and the resources offered by Information
Technology for the comprehensive social and economic development of the State. The strategy has been conceived
keeping in view the fact that Information Technology constitutes the primary instrument for facilitating Kerala’s
emergence as a leading knowledge society in the region. The blueprint for IT development has been formulated
in the context of emerging developmental trends and imperatives that are relevant to the growth strategy of
the State:

The growth of Kerala in coming years will be increasingly driven by the knowledge and service-based sectors, where
ease of information transactions will be a key determinant of success. Recent trends in the convergence of
technologies have thrown up new opportunities and new services for the State, such as IT enabled services, e-
commerce and multimedia.

Kerala has a large traditional agricultural and industrial sector; and the infusion of IT into these domains would be
essential for its survival and growth in the face of imminent international competition.

IT has opened out new channels for service delivery in areas such as e-Governance, education, e-health and
information dissemination. IT can serve as the platform for widening the reach of the advances made by the State in
domains like health, education, and participative local governance.

Kerala offers fertile ground for the effective utilization of these new technologies; on account of its densely networked
communities which possess high awareness and literacy levels, its superior telecom connectivity, and its propensity for
quick technology absorption.

IT offers exciting possibilities for radically enlarging and improving human resource skills. Kerala’s core competence is
its near universal literacy and awareness levels, and this can be transformed into economically rewarding and
employable skills by deploying the tools offered by IT.

The primary impetus for growth in IT has to come from private enterprise and community energies. The I.T policy
accordingly envisages the role of Government as being primarily that of a facilitator for creating an enabling
environment where the energies of the private sector and of civil society can be most effectively deployed. The
objective of the Government is to put in place a package of policy measures and incentives, which will make
Kerala one of the most attractive investment destinations in IT.

v This report is field based, and thereby is heavily dependent on first person interviews. For evaluating and monitoring
a programme, one should rely on indicators.

Accessed from: http://www.itu.int/ITU-D/ict/

Key indicators of the telecommunication/ICT sector

The third World Telecommunication/ICT indicators meeting (Geneva, January 2003) v adopted the
following key indicators. In addition to a concise definition, examples with actual data are provided to
facilitate understanding. The primary source for the examples comes from an annual report issued by the
UK Office of Telecommunications (OFTEL). Examples from other countries are used in cases where the
indicator is not relevant to the UK situation or where a better example exists. The sources for the examples
are shown in the references at the end of this document.

Please address any questions or comments to indicators@itu.int.
      ITU      Indicator                     Definition                                                           Example
Telephone network
1     112      Main telephone lines in A main line is a telephone line connecting the subscriber's                35'701’000
               operation                     terminal equipment to the public switched network and which has      [OFTEL p. 18 Table
                                             a dedicated port in the telephone exchange equipment. This term      2]
                                             is synonymous with the term main station or Direct Exchange
                                             Line (DEL) that are commonly used in telecommunication
                                             documents. It may not be the same as an access line or a
                                             subscriber. Some countries include the number of ISDN channels;
                                             if so, this should be specified in a note.
2     117      Total capacity of local The total capacity of public switching exchanges corresponds to            47’400’000
               public switching exchanges the maximum number of main lines that can be connected. This            [India, 3/2002]
                                             number includes, therefore, main lines already connected and
                                             main lines available for future connection, including those used
                                             for the technical operation of the exchange (test numbers). The
                                             measure should be the actual capacity of the system rather than
                                             the theoretical potential when the system is upgraded or if
                                             compression technology is employed.
3     1142     Percent of main lines This percentage is obtained by dividing the number of main lines             100.0v
               connected       to    digital connected to digital telephone exchanges by the total number of
               exchanges                     main lines. This indicator does not measure the percentage of
                                             exchanges which are digital, the percentage of inter-exchange
                                             lines which are digital or the percentage of digital network
                                             termination points. Respondents should indicate whether the main
                                             lines included in the definition represent only those in operation
                                             or the total capacity.
4     116      Percent of main lines which This percentage is obtained by dividing the number of main lines       69.8
               are residential               serving households (i.e., lines which are not used for business,     [OFTEL,     p.      31,
                                             government or other professional purposes or as public telephone     Table 12]
                                             stations) by the total number of main lines. Respondents should
                                             indicate the definition of households that is being applied.
5     1162     Percent of main lines in This percentage is obtained by dividing the number of main lines          75.5
               urban areas                   in urban areas by the total number of main lines in the country.     [India, 3/2002]
                                             The definition of urban used by the country should be supplied.
6     1163     Number of localities with Localities are cities, towns and villages in a country. This             503’118
               telephone service             indicator reflects the number of localities that have telephone      [BSNL,            India,
                                             service. To enhance usefulness, the total number of localities       11/2002]v
                                             should be provided as well as the population of localities covered
                                             by telephone service.
7     1112     Public payphones              Total number of all types of public telephones, including coin and   146'300
                                             card operated and public telephones in call offices. Public phones   [OFTEL p. 46, Table
                                             installed in private places should also be included, as should       25]
                                             mobile public telephones. All public telephones regardless of
                                             capability (e.g., local calls or national only) should be counted.
                                             Where the national definition of "payphone" differs from that
                                             above (e.g., by excluding pay phones in private places) then
                                             respondents should indicate their own definition.
Mobile network
8     271      Cellular mobile telephone Refers to users of portable telephones subscribing to an automatic       46'283'000 [OFTEL,
               subscribers                   public mobile telephone service that provides access to the Public   p. 56, Table 35]
                                             Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) using cellular technology.
                                             This can include analogue and digital cellular systems but should
                                             not include non-cellular systems. Subscribers to public mobile
                                             data services or radio paging services should not be included. If
                                             this service has a name, please indicate in a note as well as the
                                             year the service commenced operation.
8.1    271p     Cellular mobile subscribers: Total number of mobile cellular subscribers using prepaid cards.         31'992'000 [OFTEL,
                prepaid                        These are subscribers that rather than paying a fixed monthly          p. 56, Table 35]
                                               subscription fee, choose to purchase blocks of usage time. Only
                                               prepaid subscribers that have used the system within a reasonable
                                               period of time should be included. This period (e.g., 3 months)
                                               should be indicated in a note.
9     2712      Digital    cellular    mobile Total number of subscribers to digital cellular systems (e.g.,          125'282'489 [CTIA,
                subscribers                    GSM, D/AMPS (TDMA), CDMA).                                             US, 2002]
10    271m      Mobile Internet subscribers Due to the recent introduction of this service, this indicator is         64’200        GPRS
                                               being developed. Comments are welcome. Possibilities include to        subscriptions
                                               measure the number of subscribers actively using a mobile              [Sweden, June 2002]
                                               browser (e.g., Wireless Access Protocol, WAP) or to measure the
                                               number of users subscribing to a high-speed mobile data service
                                               (e.g., General Packet Radio Service (GPRS).
11.1 271land    Percent coverage of mobile Mobile cellular coverage of the land area in percent. This is              86
                cellular network (land area) calculated by dividing the land area covered by a mobile cellular        [02, UK, 2003]
                                               signal by the total land area.
11.2 271pop     Percent coverage of mobile Mobile cellular coverage of population in percent. Note that this          99
                cellular              network is not the same as the mobile subscription density or penetration.      [02 UK, 2003]
                (population)                   The mobile population coverage measures the percentage of
                                               inhabitants that are within range of a mobile cellular signal
                                               whether or not they are subscribers. This is calculated by dividing
                                               the number of inhabitants within range of a mobile cellular signal
                                               by the total population.
Text/data network
12    311       Telex subscriber lines         A telex subscriber line is a line connecting the subscriber's          1’757
                                               terminal equipment to the public telex network and which has a         [OFTA, Hong Kong
                                               dedicated port in the telex exchange equipment.                        China 12/2002]
13    412       Private leased circuits        Refer to a two-way link for the exclusive use of a subscriber          441'000
                                               regardless of the way it is used by the subscriber (e.g., switched     [OFTEL p. 43, Table
                                               subscriber or non-switched, or voice or data). Private circuits also   22 & p. 45, Table
                                               referred to as leased lines, can be either national or international   24]
                                               in scope. In reporting this indicator, only the number of lines
                                               should be included, not the number of network termination points.
14    413       Total subscribers to public The number of subscribers to public data networks such as                 X.25:         21’041
                data networks                  packet-switched networks, circuit-switched networks and dial-up         Frame relay: 15’329
                                               data networks. Countries should specify in a note which networks       [Portugal, 2002]
                                               they are including.
15    4213      Internet subscribers           The number of Internet subscribers including dial-up, leased and       2'849'000
                                               broadband. A distinction should be made between paying and free        [Sweden, 2001]
                                               subscribers in countries where there are no Internet access
                                               subscription charges. It would also be useful to list only active
15.1 4213cab    Cable     modem       Internet Internet subscribers using modems attached to cable television         115'500      [Sweden,
                subscribers                    networks. Speed should be greater than 128kbps in at least one         2001]
15.2 4213dsl    DSL Internet subscribers       Internet subscribers using Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)               242'100      [Sweden,
                                               technology. Speed should be greater than 128kbps in at least one       2001]
16    4212      Internet users                 The number of Internet users. A growing number of countries are        22'300'000
                                               measuring this through regular surveys. Surveys usually indicate       [STAT,           UK,
                                               a percentage of the population for a certain age group (e.g., 15-74    10/2002]v
                                               years old). The total number of Internet users in this age group
                                               should be supplied and not the percentage of Internet users in this
                                               age group multiplied by the entire population. In situations where
                                               surveys are not available, an estimate can be derived based on the
                                               number of subscribers. The methodology used should be supplied,
                                               including reference to the frequency of use (e.g., in the last
16.1   4212f       Percent    female   Internet Share of females in the total number of Internet users. This is       48.6
                   users                        calculated by dividing the number of female Internet users by the     [STAT,           UK,
                                                total number of Internet users.                                       10/2002]
16.2   4212f%f     Female Internet users as Share of female Internet users in the total number of females. This       58
                   percent of female population is calculated by dividing the number of female Internet users by      [STAT            UK,
                                                the total number of females.                                          10/2002]
17     423         Public     Internet   access The number of facilities providing Internet access to the public.     281
                   facilities                   These can be Internet cafes and public facilities such as             [Tunisia, 1/2003]
                                                telecentres or libraries. Schools should not be included unless the
                                                general public can also use the facilities. v
18     424         PWLAN locations              The number of Public Wireless Local Area Network locations            3’700
                                                (i.e., hotspots). PWLANs are based on the IEEE 802.1b standard,       [INTEL US, 3/2002]
                                                commonly referred to as WiFi.
19     28          ISDN subscribers             The number of subscribers to the Integrated Services Digital          995'000
                                                Network (ISDN). This can be separated by basic rate interface         [OFTEL p. 25, Table
                                                service (i.e., 2B+D, ITU-T Rec. I.420) and primary rate.              7a]v
19.1   281         Basic rate ISDN subscribers The number of subscribers to the basic rate interface service.         911'000 [OFTEL p.
                                                                                                                      25, Table 7a]
19.2   282       Primary       rate      ISDN The number of subscribers to the primary rate interface service.        85'000 [OFTEL p.
                 subscribers                                                                                          25, Table 7a]
Quality of service
20     123       Waiting list for main lines  Un-met applications for connection to the Public Switched
                                              Telephone Network (PSTN) that have had to be held over owing
                                              to a lack of technical facilities (equipment, lines, etc.). It should
                                              be specified what is the normal period for responding to requests
                                              for a new line (for instance, no more than two weeks from the
                                              date of the request). If necessary, use the data of the largest
                                              operator measured by number of main lines.
21     143       Faults per 100 main lines The total number of reported faults to main telephone lines for the        35.8
                 per year                     year. Countries should specify whether faults due to faulty             [CTC, Chile 2002]
                                              terminal equipment on the customer’s premises are included in
                                              the indicator or not. Faults, which are not the direct responsibility
                                              of the public telecommunications operator, should probably be
                                              excluded. This is calculated by dividing the total number of
                                              reported telephone faults for the year by the total number of main
                                              lines in operation and multiplying by 100. If necessary, use the
                                              data of the largest operator measured by number of main lines.
22     141       Percent of telephone faults Percentage of PSTN faults reported that have been corrected by           60.14
                 cleared by next working day the end of the next working day. (i.e., not including non-working        [CTC, Chile, 2002]
                                              days (e.g., weekends, holidays)). If necessary, use the data of the
                                              largest operator measured by number of main lines.
23     1311m     Local telephone traffic Local telephone traffic consists of effective (completed) fixed              74'953'000'000
                 (minutes)                    telephone line traffic exchanged within the local charging area in      [OFTEL, p.       23,
                                              which the calling station is situated. This is the area within which    Table 5a]
                                              one subscriber can call another on payment of the local charge (if
                                              applicable). This indicator should be reported in the number of
                                              minutes. If the indicator is reported in calls or meter units
                                              (pulses), then an appropriate conversion figure to minutes of
                                              traffic should be supplied.
23.1 1313wm Fixed to mobile traffic Total incoming minutes to mobile cellular subscribers from fixed                 13'579'000'000
                 (minutes)                    network.                                                               [OFTEL, p.        23,
                                                                                                                     Table 5a]
24     1312m       National trunk telephone National trunk (toll) traffic consists of effective (completed) fixed 54'476'000'000
                   traffic (minutes)            national telephone traffic exchanged with a station outside the [OFTEL, p.             23,
                                                local charging area of the calling station. The indicator should be Table 5a]
                                                reported as the number of minutes of traffic.
25.1   132m        International       outgoing This covers the effective (completed) traffic originating in a given 7'935'000'000
                   telephone traffic (minutes) country to destinations outside that country. The indicator should [OFTEL, p.           23,
                                                be reported in number of minutes of traffic.                         Table 5a]
25.2   132mi        International       incoming Effective (completed) traffic originating outside the country with   7'574'400'000
                    telephone traffic (minutes) a destination inside the country. The indicator should be reported    [OFTEL, p. 47]
                                                 in number of minutes of traffic.
26.1   1311im       Dial-up Internet traffic The total volume in minutes of dial-up sessions over the public          137'969'000'000
                    (minutes)                    switched telephone network to access the Internet.                   [OFTEL, p. 23,
                                                                                                                      Table 5a]
27     133wm        Outgoing mobile minutes       Total number of minutes made by mobile subscribers (including       46'292'000'000
                                                  minutes to fixed and minutes to other mobile subscribers).          [OFTEL, p. 55,
                                                                                                                      Table 33]
27.3   133sms       SMS                           Number of mobile Short Message Service (SMS) sent.                  13'201'000'000
                                                                                                                      [OFTEL, p.55, Table
28     22           International     outgoing The number of charged outgoing full rate telegrams originating in      11,000       [OFTA,
                    telegrams                   a given country with a destination outside the country. Should be     Hong Kong, China,
                                                measured as the number of telegrams rather than the number of         2002]
29     4214         International      Internet Total capacity of international Internet bandwidth in Mega Bits       1209.875   Mbps
                    Bandwidth (Mbps)            Per Second (Mbps). If capacity is asymmetric (i.e., more outgoing     [NECTEC Thailand,
                                                that incoming or more incoming that outgoing), provide the            3/2003]
                                                outgoing capacity.
30                  Public data traffic (non- Traffic from public data services such as X.25 and frame-relay          Packet-switched:
                    Internet)                   (but excluding Internet) measured in megabytes per second             170’173’298
                                                (Mbytes).                                                             [Portugal, 2002]
Because most countries now have some form of competition in at least one market segment, there may not be a standard
tariff. In addition, tariffs within services may not be uniform (e.g., telephone subscription charges may vary across the nation).
The following guidelines may be useful. It is preferable to use the tariffs of the operator with the largest market share
(measured by subscribers or minutes). It is preferable to use the tariffs that the majority of consumers pay (e.g., if most of the
customers are in urban areas, use urban tariffs). It is preferable to include taxes and provide a note specifying whether taxes
are included and what the rate is. It is preferable to use the same operator each year to enhance chronological comparability.
It is preferable to report tariffs in national currency. If this is not the case, it should be specified in a note.
                      Fixed telephone
31.1 151              Connection        fee      for Installation refers to the one-off charge involved in applying for Rf 1,720 [Maldives]
                      residential telephone service basic telephone service. Where there are different charges for
                                                     different exchange areas, the charge for the largest urban area
                                                     should be used and specified in a note. Where there are different
                                                     installation charges for residential and business consumers or for
                                                     first and subsequent lines, these should be stated separately.
31.2 152              Monthly subscription for Monthly subscription refers to the recurring fixed charge for Rf 30 [Maldives]
                      residential telephone service subscribing to the PSTN. The charge should cover the rental of
                                                     the line but not the rental of the terminal (e.g., telephone set)
                                                     where the terminal equipment market is liberalized. Separate
                                                     charges should be stated where appropriate, for residential and
                                                     business subscribers or for first and subsequent lines. If the rental
                                                     charge includes any allowance for free or reduced rate call units,
                                                     this should be indicated. If there are different charges for different
                                                     exchange areas, the largest urban area should be used and
                                                     specified in a note.
31.3 153              Price of a 3-minute fixed Local call refers to the cost of a peak rate 3-minute call within the 0.75 [Maldives]
                      telephone local call (peak same exchange area using the subscriber's own terminal (i.e., not
                      rate)                          from a public telephone).
31.4 153o             Price of a 3-minute fixed Local call refers to the cost of an off-peak rate 3-minute call 0.75 [Maldives]
                      telephone local call (off- within the same exchange area using the subscriber's own
                      peak rate)                     terminal (i.e., not from a public telephone).
32                    National call prices           This is the cost of a 3-minute direct dialed (i.e., without operator v
                                                     intervention) call within the country but outside the local
                                                     exchange area. The rate should be supplied for peak rate time
                                                     calls and off-peak (discount) rate calls (if applicable). The cost
                                                     should be reported in national currency, with a statement on what
                                                     taxes are applied.
33              International call prices     This is the cost of a 3-minute direct dialed (i.e., without operator
                                              intervention) call from a destination within the country to a
                                              destination outside the country. The rate should be supplied for
                                              peak rate time calls and off-peak (discount) rate calls (if
                                              applicable). The cost should be reported in national currency,
                                              with a statement on what taxes are applied.
                Mobile cellular
34.1   151c     Mobile cellular connection The initial, one-time charge for a new subscription. Refundable           500 [Maldives]
                charge                       deposits should not be counted. Although some operators waive
                                             the connection charge, this does not include the cost of the
                                             Subscriber Identify Module (SIM) card. The price of the SIM
                                             card should be included in the connection charge. It is preferable
                                             to use the connection charge for pre-paid service to enhance inter-
                                             country comparability. A note should indicate whether taxes are
                                             included (preferred) or not.
34.2   152c     Mobile cellular monthly The monthly subscription charge for mobile cellular service. Due             0 [Maldives]
                subscription                 to the variety of plans available in many countries, it is preferable
                                             to use pre-paid tariffs. In that case, the monthly subscription
                                             charge would be zero. However in some countries, a monthly air
                                             time charge is applied even for pre-paid service. If so, that
                                             amount should be used. A note should indicate whether taxes are
                                             included (preferred) or not. The note should also specify the
                                             amount of free monthly minutes included if applicable.
34.3   153c     Mobile cellular - price of 3 The price of a three minute peak rate local call from a mobile          10.50 [Maldives]
                minute local call (peak)     cellular telephone. If operators charge different prices depending
                                             on who is being called (e.g., same mobile network, fixed network,
                                             another mobile network) these should be listed separately. In
                                             order to enhance inter-country comparability it is preferable to
                                             use pre-paid tariffs. A note should indicate whether taxes are
                                             included (preferred) or not.
34.4   153co    Mobile cellular - price of 3 The price of a three minute off-peak rate local call from a mobile      10.50 [Maldives]
                minute local call (off-peak) cellular telephone. If operators charge different prices depending
                                             on who is being called (e.g., same mobile network, fixed network,
                                             another mobile network) these should be listed separately. In
                                             order to enhance inter-country comparability it is preferable to
                                             use pre-paid tariffs. A note should indicate whether taxes are
                                             included (preferred) or not.
34.5   153sms   Mobile cellular – price of Price of sending a national Short Message Service (SMS)                   Rf 1 [Maldives]
                SMS                          message from a mobile handset.
35              Leased line charges          Connection charge and monthly rental charge. Costs
                                             should be specified for different speeds (e.g., 2.4, 4.8, 9.6,
                                             19.2, 56/64 kbit/s and 1.5/2.0 Mbit/s) and different distances
36              Data         communication Connection, monthly rental charge and call set-up charges for
                charges                      packet-switched data communication.
37              Internet charges             Connection, monthly rental and usage charges for Internet access        Dial-up:
                                             service. This should be provided for both dial-up and broadband         Connection:       0
                                             service (e.g., DSL and/or cable modem service). If additional           Monthly rental: 330
                                             charges are payable for telephone usage for dial-up use, this and       Free     hours:  15
                                             the amount should be specified in a note. A note should indicate        Peak minute: 0.55
                                             whether the subscription includes free hours and/or is flat-rate.       Off peak minute:
                                                                                                                     Monthly:        590
38    51      Full-time                Full-time staff employed by telecommunication network 259’000
              telecommunication staff  operators in the country for the provision of public [UK, 2001]
                                       telecommunication services. Part-time staff should be expressed
                                       in terms of full-time staff equivalents. As far as possible, staff not
                                       working principally for the provision of telecommunications
                                       services (e.g., those working in postal services or broadcast
                                       operations) should be excluded.
38.1   51f    Female telecommunication The number of full time telecommunication staff that are female. 53'300 [UK]v
38.2   51w    Mobile    communications Total number of staff employed by mobile cellular network 192’000
              staff                    operator. This refers to mobile operators building infrastructure [CTIA, US, 2002]
                                       and not staff employed by resellers.
39   75       Total revenue from       all This is the total telecommunication revenue earned. This should     48'580'000'000 [UK,
              telecom services             exclude revenues from non-telecommunications services.              2001]
                                           Revenue (turnover) consists of telecommunication service
                                           earnings during the financial year under review. Revenue should
                                           not include monies received in respect of revenue earned during
                                           previous financial years, neither does it include monies received
                                           by way of loans from governments, or external investors, nor
                                           monies received from repayable subscribers' contributions or
40     71     Revenue    from   telephone Revenue received from fixed telephone connection, subscription       13'139'000'000
              service                      and calls.                                                          [OFTEL, p.        18,
                                                                                                               Table 1]
40.1   711    Income from telephone Revenue received for connection (installation) of telephone                228’000’000
              connection charges    service. This may include charges for transfer or cessation of             [OFTEL, p.        18,
                                    service.                                                                   Table 1]
40.2   712    Income from telephone Revenues from recurring charges for subscription to the PSTN               4’050’000’000
              subscription charges  including equipment rentals where relevant.                                [OFTEL, p.        18,
                                                                                                               Table 1]
40.3   7131   Income from local calls     Revenue from local calls.                                            1’669’000’000
                                                                                                               [OFTEL, p.        18,
                                                                                                               Table 1]
40.4   7132   Income from national long Revenue from national long distance calls.                             1’514’000’000
              distance calls                                                                                   [OFTEL, p.        18,
                                                                                                               Table 1]
40.5   7133   Income from international This should include charges received from subscribers for placing      1’122’000’000
              calls                      outgoing calls, after deduction of the share of this income to be     [OFTEL, p.        18,
                                         paid to other organizations for outgoing telecommunication traffic    Table 1]
                                         (operators of the incoming and possibility transit countries) and
                                         after inclusion of income received from foreign telephone
                                         operators for completing calls originating in a foreign country.
                                         Payments from and to foreign telecommunication operators
                                         should be listed separately.
41     731    Revenue        from   data Revenues from data services such as data communications (e.g.,        3’825’000’000
              transmission               packet switching) and Internet access but not telegram or telex.      [Denmark, 2001]
42     732    Revenue      from   leased Revenue from the provision of leased lines (circuits).                1’645’000’000
              circuits                                                                                         [Denmark, 2001]
43     741    Revenue      from   mobile Revenues from the provision of all types of mobile                    8’628’000’000
              communications             communications services such cellular, private trunked radio and      [Denmark, 2001]
                                         radio paging.
44     74     Other revenue              Any other revenues not accounted for elsewhere for the provision      7’708’000’000
                                         of public telecommunication services. Responders should indicate      [Denmark, 2001]
                                         in a note what are the main sources or "other"
                                         telecommunications revenues.
 45                       Value-added           from Represents the revenue generated by telecommunication service          21'061’000’000
                          telecommunications          sector out of which is paid wages and salaries, the cost of capital   [UK, 2001]v
                                                      investment and financial charges, before arriving at a figure for
 46           81          Annual     investment    in The annual investment for acquiring property and plant. The term      203’500’000 [CTC,
                          telecom                     investment means the expenditure associated with acquiring the        Chile, 2002]
                                                      ownership of property (including intellectual and non-tangible
                                                      property such as computer software) and plant. These include
                                                      expenditure on initial installations and on additions to existing
                                                      installations where the usage is expected to be over an extended
                                                      period of time. Also referred to as capital expenditure.
 46.1         83          Telephone           service Annual investment on equipment for fixed telephone service.           35’800’000 [CTC,
                          investment                                                                                        Chile, 2002]
 46.2         841m        Mobile       communication Capital investment on equipment for mobile communication               71’100’0000 [CTC,
                          investment                  networks.                                                             Chile, 2002]

[BSNL] Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (India). See http://www.bsnl.co.in/vptstatus(monthly).htm
[Chile] CTC. Annual Report. 2002. See http://www.ctc.cl/investors/memoria/index.html
[CTIA]. CTIA (US). http://www.wow-com.com/industry/stats/surveys
[Denmark].      National      IT   and   Telecom Agency (Denmark).           Tele    Yearbook                         2001.
[India] http://www.dotindia.com/networkstatus.htm
[MALDIVES] http://www.dhiraagu.com.mv/tariffs/tariffs_rates_charges_general.html
[NECTEC] http://www.ntl.nectec.or.th/internet/int-bandwidth.html
[02] http://www.o2.co.uk/personal/productsservices/mobiles/ukcoverage.html
[OFTA] Office of Telecommunication Authority (Hong Kong, China). www.ofta.gov.hk
[OFTEL] Office of Telecommunications (UK). The UK Telecommunications Industry Market Information
2001/02. March 2003. Available at http://www.oftel.gov.uk/publications/market_info/2003/ami0303.pdf
[Portugal] Anacom. Data transmission/ Internet Services. http://www.icp.pt/template12.jsp?categoryId=7525
[STAT] UK National Statistics agency. See http://www.statistics.gov.uk/pdfdir/inta1202.pdf
[Sweden]         PTA.      The        Swedish     telecommunication         market       2001,      available               at:
[Tunisia] http://www.ati.nat.tn/stats

Comments: For the purpose of evaluation and monitoring of ICT related programmes (and even for those which are
aiming at e-literacy for the girl trainees), one must use the following indicators:

        (i)          Sex Ratio of both trainers and trainees at the kiosks.
        (ii)         Teacher to students ratio
        (iii)        No. of hours devoted per week for computer learning (for both boys and girls).
        (iv)         No. of hours devoted by students / trainees on various computer related activities such as writing,
                     surfing contents available on the Internet (of various types), games etc.
        (v)          Tests (online or offline) can be taken to assess the quality of training imparted as well as to know how
                     much the trainees have learnt (NEED FOR DEVELOPING SUCH SOFTWARES).
        (vi)         Psychometric tests can be performed on the students
        (vii)        Power supply (including battery backup)
        (viii)       Language of the content which can be comfortable for the learners and users

viEmployment generation is particularly important given the high unemployment rate in Kerala (particularly of females)
compared to the other states in India (see the following table)
                   Unemployment Rates by States and Union Territories, 1999-2000
        States                                       Rural                               Urban
                                            Male            Female              Male           Female
       Andhra Pradesh                        1.2               0.7               4.2              4.2
       Bihar                                 2.4               0.6               7.6              9.4
       Gujarat                               0.8               0.3               2.1              2.6
       Haryana                               1.3               0.5               2.7              4.6
       Karnataka                             1.0               0.3               3.0              4.7
       Kerala                                7.6              19.7               6.9             26.4
       Madhya Pradesh                        0.7               0.2               4.3              1.6
       Maharastra                            2.4               1.1               6.1              7.8
       Orissa                                3.1               1.6               7.2              6.7
       Punjab                                2.3               6.2               3.1              3.5
       Rajasthan                             0.8               0.2               2.7              3.7
       Tamil Nadu                            3.0               1.2               3.9              5.8
       Uttar Pradesh                         1.3               0.6               4.5              4.6
       West Bengal                           3.4               3.8               7.7             11.1
       All India                             2.1               1.5               4.8              7.1
Note:    Figures relate to usual status of individuals. The figures represent size of unemployment as percent of
          labour force.
Source: Manpower Profile India Year Book, 2002. (National Sample Survey Organisation, Employment and
          Unemployment in India, 1999-2000, 55th Round, Report No. 458).

To top