Gyandoot is an intranet in Dhar District that connects rural cyber cafes catering to everyday needs of the masses. Some of the services provided, using the software applications developed by NIC, through the kiosks set up in the villages of the rural district include Commodity/Mandi Marketing Information System, Income Certificate, Domicile Certificate, Caste Certificate, Driving License, information regarding Rural Markets etc.10. Backend e-Governance SolutionsThe success of how efficiently the ICT services are delivered to the common man depends largely on the extent of backend computerization.
Some of the back-end rural informatics solutions developed by NIC are as Follows:a. Ruralsoft RuralSoft is a solution that helps capturing monthly progress of various poverty alleviation schemes sponsored by the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) and State Rural Development Departments (SRDs). b. Monitoring Software for DDWS Schemes The Department of Drinking Water Supply provides funds to the states for rural drinking water supply and sanitation programmes.ITC – Echoupals ITC is setting up eChoupals across the agricultural belt in India to offer the farmers of India all the information, products and services they need to enhance farm productivity, improve farm-gate price realization and cut transaction costs.
Farmers can access latest local and global information on weather, scientific farming practices as well as market prices at the village itself through this web portal – all in Hindi. Choupal also facilitates supply of high quality farm inputs as well as purchase of commodities at their doorstep.This has been done in a phased approach. In Phase I, the business goal was to create a physical infrastructure of eChoupals at the village level and create local level ownerships through the identified Sanchalaks. At this stage the business goal was supported by creating a local language portal, which provided the required information to farmers such as local weather, market prices and best practices. In Phase II, the business goal was to get the farmer registered and transacting by selling directly to ITC Ltd. through the virtual market. This goal was supported by creating a B2B site, which integrated the transactions directly to the back-end ERP and ensured that there was no latency in processing any of the procurement by the processing units.In Phase III, the business goal was to create a full fledged meta-market. In this phase, the market would facilitate other operators like inputs providers and rural distributors to work effectively through the eChoupal to deliver and procure goods from every participating village. The technology road map to support this phase was to have a secure, consolidated Farmers database with all information pertaining to their holdings and credit worthiness to be available online. This database, along with identification provided by smart cards would enable support for online transactions through the eChoupal leading to integration with participating financial institutions such as banks, insurance and credit agencies.A more detailed description of the ecosystem being created by the eChoupals comes from a note on the World Resources Institute Digital Dividend Knowledge Bank site: This reorganization of the role of middlemen results in lower procurement costs for ITC, despite having to pay higher prices to the farmers. Transaction costs are also minimized for the farmer by buying output at the farmers’ doorstep, and through transparent pricing and weighing practices. A substantial quantity has already been procured through this channel, resulting in overall savings. The savings are shared between buyer (ITC) and seller (farmer). On the marketing front, ITC is able to maintain and grow the trust of its farmers by enhancing their productivity and wealth. ITC leverages this position of trust among farmers, as well as its distribution capabilities, to market its own consumer good brands and those of partner companies offering products and services that ITC does not. Sales of consumer goods through the e-Choupals have been particularly successful because the cost-savings associated with dealing directly with the manufacturer allow Sanchalaks to offer goods at lower prices than other village-level traders or retailers can afford to doA Digital TransformationThe following have been some of the initiatives of e-choupal ћ ITC began the silent e-volution of rural India with soya growers in the villages of Madhya Pradesh. For the first time, the stereotype image of the farmer on his bullock cart made way for the e-farmer, browsing the e-Choupal website. Farmers now log on to the site through Internet kiosks in their villages to order high quality agriinputs, get information on best farming practices, prevailing market prices for their crops at home and abroad and the weather forecast ” all in the local language. In the very first full season of e-Choupal operations in Madhya Pradesh, soya farmers sold nearly 50,000 tons of their produce through the e-Choupal Internet platform, which has more than doubled since then. The result marks the beginning of a transparent and cost-effective marketing channel. No doubt, this brought prosperity to the farmers’ doorstep. ћ Farmers grow wheat across several agro-climatic zones, producing grains of varying grades. Though these grades had the potential to meet diverse consumer preferences, the benefit never trickled down to the farmers, because all varieties were aggregated as one average quality in the mandis. ITC’s e-Choupal intervention helped the farmers discover the best price for their quality at the village itself. The site also provides farmers with specialised knowledge for customising their produce to the right consumer segments. The new storage and handling system preserves the identity of different varieties right through the farm-gate to dinner-plate’ supply chain encouraging the farmers to raise their quality standards and attract higher prices.ћ ITC’s Aqua Care Centre in Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh, has revolutionized the concept of shrimp seed testing. Its sophisticated laboratory detects the deadly White Spot virus in the shrimp seed and advises farmers on appropriate remedial action.ћ echoupal.com has become popular among coffee growers as an effective platform for global trade. Coffee planters in India have for years been tossed between the highs and lows of the international coffee market. The information needed to manage risks in the volatile global coffee market, price updates and prevalent trends in coffee trading were just not available to them. Launch of e-Choupal.com has equipped India’s coffee planters with appropriate knowledge base and risk management tools. The site arms them with the latest prices posted on commodity exchanges like CSCE in New York and LIFFE in London. Planters have access to technical analysis by experts to