Evaluating the Akshaya Project from a Gender Perspective: A Ground Level Reality By Shambhu Ghatak1 INTRODUCTION 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: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 1000) State Male Female Male Female Total 2002* 2002* Andhra 62.79 65.00 64.00 60.00 62.00 20.70 8.10 Pradesh 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 Pradesh 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 Nadu Uttar 63.54 64.09 76.00 84.00 80.00 31.60 9.70 Pradesh West 66.08 69.34 53.00 45.00 49.00 20.50 6.70 Bengal 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 Taluks 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 trainee (xi) Block coordinators 6 (xiii) Panchayat / Municipality 105 Coordinators (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 Printing 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. --Taken from PROPOSAL FOR AN INTEGRATED PROJECT ON BRIDGING THE DIGITAL DIVIDE CAMPAIGN (Culminating into Sustained e-Literacy and Mass Employment Generation), A Draft Report LOOPHOLES IN THE AKSHAYA PROGRAMME8 (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 Qualificatio n Male Malappuram NA Bank (name not available) Municipality Male Kondotty Diploma in NA Multimedia Male Kuzhimanna Diploma in NA Electronics Engineering Male Nilambur Post South Malabar Bank Graduate Degree in Chemistry Male Mampad NA Keltron Male Kolikkara Doing NA Graduation Male Naduvattam Diploma in NA Computer Application Male Fakir Beach, NA NA Tannur (Coastal area) However, one can see that the participation of children and females during the day time as a part of e-training and e- 13 mailing. Female Tirur (coastal Diploma in Canara Bank area) Computer Application Female Nilambur NA Keltron Female Panthavoor Post South Malabar Grain Bank Graduate Diploma in Computer Application Total No. of 8 Male Entrepreneurs Total No. of 3 Female Entrepreneurs 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. POSITIVE FEATURES OF THE AKSHAYA PROGRAMME (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) CONCLUSION 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 organizations14. 14 Accessed from: http://www.nasscom.org/artdisplay.asp?cat_id=303 Endnotes: 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. ii 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 iii 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 Baramati TaraHaat 18 Development 1 E training, market Alternative information Drishtee 90-5states Digital Partners 1 Mandi prices, land titles 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 scale 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. entrepreneurship development R&D for facilitating use (less expensive connectivity, ease of use etc. 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 telecenters 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 exchange. 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 million. 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 schedule. 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 graduates. (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 villages. (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 farmers. 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 consultancy. 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. 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. iv 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 email@example.com. ITU Indicator Definition Example codev 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 subscribers. 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] direction. 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] direction. 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 month). 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 v 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. Traffic 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 34] 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] words. 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] Tariffs 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. v 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. v 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 v 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: 0.55 ADSL: Monthly: 590 [Maldives] Staff 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 staff 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. Revenue 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 deposits. 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 profit. Investment 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] References [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. http://www.itst.dk/static/teleaarbog2001/index.htm [India] http://www.dotindia.com/networkstatus.htm [INTEL] http://www.intel.com/pressroom/archive/releases/20030304corp.htm?iid=ipp_mobiletech+cities_press_announc& [MALDIVES] http://www.dhiraagu.com.mv/tariffs/tariffs_rates_charges_general.html [NECTEC] http://www.ntl.nectec.or.th/internet/int-bandwidth.html  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: http://www.pts.se/index_eng.asp?avdelning=hem_english&language=eng [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).
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