Google felicitates Panchayats for innovative work in rural India

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New Delhi: Google India has felicitated Gram Panchayats from Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka for their innovative work in the fields of education, social work, health care and sanitation. To recognize the role of local governments in providing services to citizens in rural India, it has constituted an award, the Gram Panchayat Puraskar (GGPP). Google invited applications from Gram Panchayats and over 100 of them submitted their innovative ideas that have some impact on the provision of the following public services: education, health and nutrition, water supply, rural infrastructure, rural electrification, and resource mobilization. A panel of judges then judged these ideas on various criteria such as scalability and inclusiveness of their development scheme. Based on their exemplary work 10 winners were selected from Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. These Panchayats have been awarded 500,000 each to re-invest in their communities for further development. Kirgur Panchayat in Virajpet Taluk in Kodagu district of Karnataka, one of the winning Panchayats, was recognized for its innovative effort in the field of providing valuable education to the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes. Another one, Gangadevipalle Gram Panchayat in Gesukonda district of Andhra Pradesh was recognized for innovation in the area of Water Supply. Other innovative initiatives in the areas of sustainable agriculture, health care and sanitation, the provision of street lights, and the introduction of computer literacy among many other social causes also won the award. Since the Gram panchayats are the closest tier of government to the people of rural India, this competition provided an opportunity to publicize the good that panchayats are doing and create incentives for the successful development schemes for citizens.