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Home > News > Report

Malappuram to become India's
first e-literate district

George Iype in Kochi | February 14, 2003 03:25 IST

The sleepy, backward, Muslim-majority Malappuram district in Kerala is all set to become India's first e-literate district with the stategovernment kicking off its ambitious Akshaya project.

For the first time in India, global information technologygiants like Microsoft, Intel and AMD and leading Indian computer makers like Wipro, Zenith and BPL Computers have launched a marketing blitzamong the mostly rural populationof thedistrict to sellcomputers at the cheapest rates.

The Kerala IT Mission, with support from local village councils,is buying as many as 6,000 computers to be set up in the 600-odd Akshaya telecentres acrossMalappuram. Nearly 1,000 local youths have been appointed'Akshaya e-entrepreneurs' to set up the multi-purpose community centres across the district.

Theseentrepreneurs have been given the power to negotiate with the computer companies to buy the PCs they need for the telecentres. "Each entrepreneur has some 10 orders for PCs and their negotiation skills have forced leading PC makers to slash their prices,"Malappuram district councilpresident M Ummer said.

So AMD has announced that it is slashing processor prices by 25 per cent for the Akshaya e-project computers. Branded computers of Wipro, BPL and Zenith are priced as low as Rs 17,000. Microsoft representatives are negotiating with the Akshaya entrepreneurs to sell the company's products at the cheapest rate.

"This is the biggest e-literacy project that is making waves in Malappuram," Kerala IT Mission director M Sivakumar told "We will start similar campaigns across all Kerala districts to make the state the country's first truly e-literate state."

According to Sivakumar, the Akshaya e-initiative strives to make Kerala,which was India'sfirst fully literate state,the first state in the country to provide 21st century skills to allits citizens. "Our idea is to teach computers to at least one member of each family in Kerala," he said. "The multi-purpose community telecentres run by the Akshaya entrepreneurs will make every Kerala family computer literate in 100 days."

Sivakumarsaid the e-literacy project waslaunched in Malappuram because itis among the most backward districts in Kerala. As part of thecampaign, the IT mission has released the CD of the computer literacy programme prepared byC-DIT for imparting 15-hour training to at least one memberfrom each of the 500,000-odd families inthe district.

IT companies say they are pitching for theproject because when itgoes across Kerala in the next few months, there will be a demand for nearly 200,000computers. "It is a huge market that we want to cash in on," a Wipro representative said. "We are expecting to getorders for some 1,000 computers soon."

Many believe Kerala's ambitious e-literacy project will become amodel for other states to follow. For instance, the 600 Akshaya centres set up across Malappuram alone are expected to create about 35,000 job opportunitieseven as theymakerural folk IT-literate.

More reports from Kerala

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Number of User Comments: 7

Sub: Its great hear such events !

Its really great and to be proud of being a Keralite who working outside of our state hearing this news. We need to give employment ...

Posted by cp santhosh, Mumbai

Sub: E-literacy

Being a keralite, it is pleasure & proud feeling to here such news from rediff that, the God's own country is going to become an ...

Posted by Sivadas

Sub: malappuram E- Literacy

ItIs Something Great to happen In The backward District of Kerala. the governmant & Citizen Should Equally Share the responsibilty. one more thing i would ...

Posted by Henry C A

Sub: Appreciation.......

Being a keralite, it is pleasure & proud feeling to here such news from rediff that, the God's own country is going to become an ...

Posted by Prathish Menon

Sub: comments

A fantstic project and appreciation to be showered to IT mission & Hon.minister Mr.Kunjali kutty who has established his capability by organising successfull GIM at ...

Posted by P.M.IQBAL



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