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Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Project (Akshaya)
Institution: Department of IT, Government of Kerala
Theme: E-Participation, Information Access (and sharing)
Implementation Date: Jan 01, 2002
Summary:

Akshaya - or perpetuating prosperity - marked the beginning of a driven to ‘Bridge the Digital Divide’ by enabling thousands of ordinary citizens access relevant information in Malayalam over the Internet.

 

Starting at the grass-roots level in panchayats, the project nucleated a robust digital network in Kerala, which lowered the information access barrier faced by the common man. The Akshaya Centres equip at least one member in each of the 64 lakh families to handle computers and provide the basic grasp of information and communication technology. Akshaya Centres also have a set of contents relevant to the common man in Malayalam. Addressing the issues of access, skill sets and content, Akshaya help develop Kerala into India’s foremost knowledge society.

 

Akshaya, is considered the flagship ICT for Development project for the Kerala State IT Mission. The Project is piloted in the Malappuram district, that is established in about 600 Akshaya and Centres connected through a wireless internet infrastructure Akshaya in now rolling out to seven other districts in Kerala as the second phase of state wide roll out. In the third phase Akshaya will be implemented in the remaining six more districts.

 

Akshaya - Salient Features

 

  • Nine thousand Multipurpose Community Technology Centres (Akshaya Centres) throughout Kerala - one centre within 2km of any household, even in the remotest of areas
  • Sixty-four lakh families to benefit - one computer literate member in each family
  • The common man to have instant access to relevant e-content in Malayalam
  • Public service information now at every citizen’s fingertips
Faster, more accurate, cheaper communication technologies
Impact:

Over the past years the Akshaya Project has received several awards recognizing that it addressed the issue of digital divide in the state in an integrated and holistic way. It provides ICT access to all sections of the society, even those located in the remotest part of the state. The development of minimum skill sets to all the people through functional IT literacy training and the creation of local content to benefit all the interest groups are also key components. Akshaya also received the honor as a project that succeeded in integrating multiple objectives of mass e-literacy, entrepreneurship development, ICT interventions and community uplifting.

The Akshaya project was selected for the Golden Nica award of Prix Ars Electronica in the Digital Community category for the year 2005; the project was among the six winners of Prix Ars Electronica Award 2006 instituted by the Austria-based Ars Electronica, a platform for digital arts and media, and won the Silver Icon award in Innovative Operations and Best Practices - New Entrants for Exemplary Implementation of e-Governance Initiatives for the Year 2004.

If we look at the specific impact, in terms of ‘e-literacy’ more than 5.9 lakh people (out of the 6.5 lakh households) were trained in ICT of which 65 % are women; in terms of employment creation, nearly 3000 direct employment opportunities were created; and in terms of hardware penetration, it is estimated that more than 20,000 computers and accessories were sold as  part of the direct impact of Akshaya Project in Malappuram.

For detailed figures in the impact of the project log on to: http://210.212.236.212/akshaya/impact

Source: E-government Toolkit for Developing Countries, UNESCO
Project Home URL: http://www.akshaya.net
Documents:
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