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Microsoft grants Rs 8 cr for rural IT project

April 27, 2006 18:48 IST

Microsoft on Thursday announced the roll-out of fourth round of funding under its 'Unlimited Potential - Project Jyoti' programme that seeks to impart IT skills among village communities to help them improve their earning potential.

"Under this round of funding, the company would grant Rs 8 crore (Rs 80 million) in software and monetary aid to four NGOs, to help establish Community Technology Learning Centres across rural India," Microsoft Corporation India chairman Ravi Venkatesan said.

Under the Project Joyti, launched in August 2004, the company has made grants of up to Rs 27 crore (270 million).

In the first three rounds of funding the company had given Rs 5 crore (Rs 50 million) as cash and donated software worth Rs 13 crore (Rs 130 million).

The Unlimited Potential programme is being implemented by Microsoft worldwide. So far, the company has spent $167 million on it.

"As many as 600 organisations in 99 countries have benefit ted from it," Microsoft senior director and worldwide head of community affairs Akthar Badshah said.

Four NGOs, Development Alterenatives, Drishtee Foundation, Grameen Sanchar Society and the Indian Society of Agribusiness Professionals, have been made beneficiaries under the funding.

The company said to provide IT education in local languages, it will make available 'Unlimited Potential' programme curriculum in four Indian languages -- Hindi, Tamil, Malyalam and Gujrati.

Microsoft also plans to launch refurbished personal computer programme in India. "The programme is already running in many countries. Under this, the used computers donated by corporations will be refurbished for use by NGOs in programmes like Unlimited Potential," Badshah said.

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