By Namrata Nadkarni:
Seeing Abhishek Bachchan’s face plastered across innumerable bill-boards throughout the nation propagating the idea of 3G, rural India too has the word on its lips. With 3G technology entering every field of our daily lives attempting to ease things out, it is indeed overwhelming to see this technology try and assuage rural dilemmas in India and elsewhere.
The rural masses are deprived of education infrastructure and facilities. Education being the very foundation of a developed nation, it is highly important to establish a strong literate foundation in our country. Harnessing the Indian talent in the right fashion is the need of the hour, to propel our nation towards becoming a developed entity.
With the Indian telecom market booming and our country being poised to become the second largest telecom market globally, rural India is the best bet for phone companies where more than 70% of India’s population resides. The key objective of 3G programs being launched in villages in India and abroad is to mainly ensure education in the field of agriculture, health and various location specific sectors.
Surveys regarding the villagers’ requirements and constraints are carried out and information is transmitted solely through mobile handsets to main servers via SMS, MMS and video transmission and the villagers acquire continuous feeds. This data pertaining to agriculture, health and farming is stored, updated and broadcasted at regular intervals.
With m-education being on the rise and a mobile handset adorning every second hand in rural India, cultivating information for the rural folks is becoming an achievable task. Making best use of a mobile handset, which comes cheap and is portable, is a well enough start. When it comes to dealing with the rural women, it is necessary that they seek direct use with the 3G facility. Innovation is a key element in enlightening rural women about the benefits of 3G so as to put it to immediate use. Women vendors take orders by the dozen via their 3G handsets, hence increasing their earnings manifold.
Efforts are being taken to improve educational technology through K-12 teachers and mobile learning. Phone based models of Mobile Education Learning Systems are being used to provide various resources in rural areas.
Coming to the basic primary education in villages, agencies like Wireless Reach have collaborated with Azim Premji Foundation to provide wireless Internet access to nearly 40 Government schools across the states of Gujarat, Karnataka, Orissa and Rajasthan. Through the use of wireless broadband, students use latest technology to enrich their learning environments.
The agencies worked to provide web-enabled and regionalized educational content that can be easily updated and broadly disseminated. The project was proof enough to portray the use of wireless broadband and the integration of web-enabled educational content can truly change the quality of education in India’s government-run schools.
With mobile penetration in rural regions across the world reaching sky high figures, it is highly instrumental to tap this available resource and make the best use of the accessible 3G technology at our disposal and establish a strong rural foundation in fields of Agriculture Health and Farming amongst many more, by providing education in these aspects and moving a notch up on the ladder to propel India towards becoming a developed nation.