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Archive for April, 2006

… will drive thirst for content in indian languages.


From rediff – How Anil Ambani plans to woo rural India

If you thought customers in semi-urban and rural markets were using mobile phones only to make calls, think again. If Reliance Communications Ventures Ltd is to be believed, this is a myth, which has been broken.

Much to its surprise, the company realised that a sizeable portion of its customers in the towns and villages of the Bimaru (Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh) states were using cellphones to log on to the Net, stream video clippings and for infotainment.

[…]

So what is the road ahead? The company expects to invest Rs 1500 crore (Rs 15 billion) annually on broadband over the next three years. Reliance executives, however, are not willing to disclose any fresh targets.

[…]

But to cater to the rural market would need specialised content apart from the popularity of entertainment (movie clips, song downloads, etc). The company has already worked out a bevy of such services – like online price of cops in mandis, weather report at local levels and of course introduction of virtually all the regional languages to surf information.

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aAqua stands for Almost All Questions Answered. It is a multilingual online question and answer forum developed by IIT Mumbai.

It is deployed successfully in 11 kiosks covering 44 villages (supported by Ministry of Communications and IT, Development Gateway Foundation and an ICT R&D grant awarded to us by the Pan Asia group) since December 2003. The farmers of Pabal and the vicinity are aware of the aAQUA Q&A forum and have sent more than 850 questions so far with total number of posts exceeding 2000. Farmers in Pune district and around use aAQUA forums on a regular basis in aAQUA clubs. Kiosk operators charge farmers Rs 10 per query for the consultancy. Almost all of the questions have been answered in the local language (Marathi) with English answers given to people posting from outside the state. Local farmers trust the aAQUA service and are sensitive to the time it takes for the answers to arrive (current average is 1.2 days). The key to their success is that their technology enables services with people residing where they are, leveraging existing skill sets and minimizing the need of a separate team. This makes the aAQUA service scalable by stakeholders including the government, NGOs and Agri-business companies. In the current deployment farmers have to approach kiosks to send their questions. Plans for having farmers questions answered at their farm are being firmed up in Nagpur and Yeotmal Districts.

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… and that translates to new windows opening up for rural India for online content. More opportunities for Langulin to provide knowledge from other languages to Indian native languages.

Read this news from Sify.

Friday, 07 April , 2006, 08:37

Hyderabad: Radiant Infosystems Ltd has announced its tie-up with Intel Corporation to reach out its eGovernance solutions in India. The company is in the process of setting up 1,500 Internet kiosks by July end, which will serve as single-point interface to access host of government services over the Internet, besides services from private players.

Addressing a press conference here on Wednesday, the CEO of Radiant, Venu Myneni, said, “We have partnered with Intel that helps us offer their community PC platform.”

The Director of Emerging Technologies, Intel Corporation, Joydeep Bose, said, “Intel actively supports efforts to provide computer technology to places where it has not previously been available.”

Intel recently announced a new initiative to provide a community PC platform suitable for usage in rural areas. Such a system would be ideal for eGovernance and eLearning initiatives, Bose said.

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