Intel ropes in ILFS to take computers to rural India

Monday, 23 July 2007, 07:00 Hrs
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Jaipur:Intel Corporation, a chipmaker has roped in Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services (IL&FS) Ltd to take personal computers to rural India through community service centres (CSCs) in 650,000 villages across the country, a top company official said here Friday.

"We have signed an agreement with IL&FS to address capacity building, ecosystem and technology support for setting up ICT-enabled CSCs in about 100,000 villages initially in the next 12-18 months," Intel South Asia director (marketing) John McClure told reporters at a company event here.

Promoted by the Central Bank of India (CBI), Housing Development Finance Corporation Ltd (HDFC) and Unit Trust of India (UTI), IL&FS is India's leading infrastructure development and finance firms.

The CSC project will be executed nationwide by IL&FS as the national level service agency under the union ministry of communications and IT in a phased manner.

"IL&FS will draw the framework and standards for CSCs, while Intel will provide education consultancy to identify relevant ICT-enabled programmes for the community.

"We will also provide consultancy services for integrated service delivery at the centres, help identify other areas of services and enable ecosystem development," McClure said at the inaugural session of Intel's two-day Satrang conclave.

Intel's association with the ambitious project to transform rural India technologically by the power of computing comes under its World Ahead Programme (WAP) launched in the subcontinent last year.

"Through this collaboration, we will provide access, connectivity, education and content under the WAP to thousands of villages across India as envisaged by the ICT ministry," McClure added.

As part of its WAP, Intel has facilitated the setting up of about 5,000 CSCs on a pilot basis in Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Bihar, Karnataka, Haryana and West Bengal over last 12 months.

Wipro Infotech and HCL Infosystems are the hardware vendors for the project.

Over the years, IL&FS has broad-based its shareholding and inducted institutional shareholders, including State Bank of India (SBI), Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC), ORIX Corporation of Japan, HSBC, and the Singapore government.
Source: IANS
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