Microsoft Aims For IT Saksham Rural India

by CXOtoday Staff    Feb 01, 2006

Microsoft India has unveiled a scalable and self-sustaining kiosk model initiative, Saksham, aimed at taking the benefits of IT to rural India.

Microsoft will also develop a rural portal powered with content and applications aimed specifically for the rural segment by working with regional and local Independent Software Vendors (ISV).

‘Saksham’ will enable local entrepreneurs to set up and manage these kiosks and provide the local ISV community with the opportunity to develop rural content and applications. The rural portal that is under development currently, will bring all of these services together in a comprehensive manner at the front end, and provide a seamless experience to the end user.

Ranjivjit Singh, Group Director, consumer business, Microsoft India said, “Our research across 350 kiosks across six states in India showed that users are looking for a mix of online and offline services to access government records, agriculture related information, entertainment and communication services, commercial services such as astrology and matrimonial services, education and learning etc. However there is a gap between what they want, and what the existing models are able to offer. With ‘Saksham’ we aim to enable the rural ecosystem to deliver solutions to these needs.”

The services offered by the kiosks are:

* Government to citizen services
* Health services
* Agriculture services
* Commercial services
* Communication services
* Entertainment content & services
* Desktop publishing
* Education content and services

To roll out these kiosks across the country Microsoft has partnered with three organisations Drishti, Jai Kisan and n-Logue.