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    Categories: Tech & Trends

AISECT Successfully Transforms Semi-urban and Rural Lives through Innovative IT Solutions

Bhopal-based AISECT is an ICT skills-based education, training, services and e-governance solutions provider that has fostered IT enabled social benefits amongst millions of rural Indians
– Adeesh Sharma
With a spread of over 13,000 centers across 27 states and 3 union territories, AISECT has till date transformed the lives of over 16 lakh rural population and generated over 12,000 rural entrepreneurs in the country. After being listed in a World Bank-IIM (A) Joint Report as ‘the most sustainable and scalable form of IT penetration & popularization in India’, AISECT has been honored with numerous prestigious awards & recognitions at various international and national platforms.
Business challenges faced
Rural areas are typically characterized by the lack of continuous power supply and connectivity. The organization overcame this hurdle by switching to a flexible schedule of centers’ timings. Also, since most of the available books were in English, Mr. Choubey (Founder and Chairman, AISECT) and his peers set themselves the task of coming up with good Hindi content. Since the organization did not have adequate marketing funds to build the brand across India, it had to rely on word of mouth, referrals and direct contact to open centers. This considerably slowed down the organization’s growth. Training of 25,000 faculty members across 13,000 centers is a herculean task. For a long time AISECT was unable to fund trainers who could go and train all of these faculty members.
Solutions deployed
The organization has used ICT in providing basic computer education and skills training to the students of semi-urban and rural India. Various products and services, including skill development programs, placement assistance, banking facilities, mobile recharge, internet access and G2C services, were also mounted over the years to the AISECT Center’s offerings. AISECT became the pioneer of IT content creation in Hindi and other regional languages. It partnered with Govt. agencies and departments for executing ongoing developmental programs in the areas of literacy, education, ICT proliferation, watershed management and health. SuchnaMitra software was developed to provide information services at the block and panchayat levels. Panchayat Information Centers could then be connected through this software onto the Intranet and both citizen and e-governance services could be provided on this network. The last mile problem was solved by adding WLL technology onto this network.
AISECT’s portal empowers students with anywhere, anytime access to education, thereby fostering a collaborative and interactive approach to learning. The organization has launched a rural job portal ‘rojgarmantra.com’ which is focusing on fulfilling the entry level job requirements of private and public sector enterprises at the small town, district and block levels. It recently launched Eduvantage PRO Interactive Multimedia Content with the objective of bringing in a low cost, high quality multimedia classroom solution for K-12 school students at the small town, district and block levels. The product has been assembled in the form of a pen drive thereby making it affordable for both private as well as Government schools. It partnered with the State Bank of India to offer mobile banking services in Madhya Pradesh. Mobile vans fitted with ATM would go to the village thereby providing the unbanked population the ease of cash transactions right at their doorsteps.
Benefits gained post deployment
AISECT has been able to set up 13,000 multipurpose ICT and skills based training, education, services & e-governance centers at various district, block and panchayat levels across 27 states and 3 union territories of India. More than 12,000 rural entrepreneurs have been generated who are contributing towards the IT revolution in the country. Around 50,000 people employed within the AISECT network. Lakhs of rural families have benefited from the citizen services delivered to them through more than 6,000 AISECT centers across Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Punjab as part of the organization’s initiatives under the Common Service Center (CSC) Project. AISECT has trained 8,000 women under the innovative digital literacy programme by E-Vidya in the two states of Punjab and Chhattisgarh. It has also successfully established 20,000 banking kiosks, opened more than 30 lakh bank accounts which have done transactions worth Rs. 1500 crore. AISECT’s Indira Suchana Shakti Yojana (ISSY) programme has trained over one lakh girls in ICT skills in about 1297 schools of Chhattisgarh.

Adeesh Sharma: