Andhra village gets first rural cyber centre

Monday, 20 January 2003, 08:00 Hrs
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HYDERABAD: The native village of Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP's) national president M. Venkaiah Naidu Friday became the country's first village to have a Cyber Grameen Centre, or rural cyber centre.

Venkatachalam in Andhra Pradesh's Nellore district witnessed the launch of first of its kind rural broadband project. The project is promoted by a Chennai-based non-profit organisation, Swarna Bharat Trust.

Aimed at bringing benefits of IT to the rural people, the cyber centre boasts of several features like telephony service, telemedicine, distance learning, high speed internet, e-mail in the local language, retail store, agriculture and horticulture services, banking, insurance, video conferencing, digital entertainment and e-governance.

Venkaiah Naidu launched the project in the presence of a number of union and state ministers. Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu participated in the launch through video conferencing.

Media baron Ramoji Rao and London-based liver transplant surgeon Mohammed Rela also participated through video conferencing.

Ananth Kumar, federal Minister for Urban Development and the Ministers of State Sumitra Mahajan and Rajesh Maharia were present during the launch.

Swarna Bharat Trust, headed by Tripuraneni Krishna Prasad has associated with several others for the implementation of the venture.

They include Global Hospital, Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences for telemedicine, Andhra Bank and Indian Bank for banking services.

United India Insurance Company would provide its insurance services while IT education institution SSI-CMTES would train people in IT.

The trust plans to implement the project throughout the state at a cost of 1.2 billion. Under the plan, around 70-100 such centres are expected to come up in the state's 23 districts.

The chief minister said that local women's self help group will benefit extensively from this broadband facility as they will be able to market their products through the Internet.

He said the state government would tie up with these cyber centres and provide them franchise to operate e-Seva centres to provide citizen services and collect taxes and utility service charges from the people.

Source: IANS
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