Nokia has announced a new project that aims to develop 500 digitally integrated and sustainable villages across India in line with government’s vision of Digital India.
According to the ITU, 20% of households in developed countries and as many as 66% of households in developing countries do not have internet access, leaving almost 4 billion people from developing countries offline. Nearly a billion of these unconnected people live in India, and mostly in rural India.
With the Smartpur project, Nokia aims to create a sustainable ecosystem where community members can leverage digital tools to bring efficiency in daily lives, transparency in governance, economic prosperity for households and ease of access to various government services and information. The project will work under the five key areas of development – health, education, livelihood, governance and finance – to build a holistic, digitally integrated village.
In phase 1 of the Smartpur project, a pilot has been rolled out in Haryana and Tamil Nadu with Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF) as the implementation partner to develop ten such villages in each state.
Twenty villages will be digitally integrated in Haryana and Tamil Nadu in a hub and spoke model. Tain village in Mewat district, Haryana and Asoor in Kanchipuram district, Tamil Nadu will serve as hubs which will host a digital center with telecom connectivity to provide ICT-enabled, primary services across each of the five pillars to rural communities. The spoke centers will further extend these services to nine other villages.
In phase 2, the project will be scaled-up to up to another 80 villages across various states. Subsequently, it will be extended to another 400 villages over a period of five years.