eGovernance in India

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Microsoft partners IDRCR for Rural Innovation Fund

Posted by egovindia on July 29, 2006

Microsoft partners IDRCR for Rural Innovation Fund
Rural Innovation Fund will help local software application development vendors in smaller towns to create and provide localized applications and solutions
 
Saturday, July 29, 2006

CHENNAI: Microsoft India under its sustainable and self-reliant rural market initiative, Project Saksham, today announced the launch of Rural Innovation Fund (RIF).

The Fund setup in partnership with IDRC’s telecentre.org initiative at the 3rd Annual meeting of the M S Swaminathan led Mission 2007 will help local software application development vendors in smaller towns to create and provide localized applications and solutions customized for the needs of the rural communities.

It will initially focus on verticals like telemedicine, education and agriculture, areas which are of maximum interest to the rural communities.

The fund is a collaborative effort between Microsoft and IDRC, a Canadian Development organization and will be managed by a committee set up under Mission 2007, comprising of eminent people from the industry, academia and government. The program committee will choose the various applications for the programs in the next 6 months.

The Rural Innovation Fund will have a two-pronged benefit. It will empower the local software industry by promoting individual or organizational endeavors towards low cost innovative applications and at the same time enable the development of rural applications in a few areas.

Commenting on the initiative Ravi Venkatesan, chairman, Microsoft India, said, “We are confident that this will generate a new generation of local IT entrepreneurs who will build localized and customized solutions for rural communities. The Rural Innovation Fund is yet another step in the direction of empowering people to achieve their potential.”

Prof. MS Swaminathan, chairman, Swaminathan Foundation added, “Microsoft and IDRC have taken tremendous initiatives to bring technology closer to the marginalized sections of the society, especially the rural communities who could immensely benefit by the proper utilization of technology. I am confident that the launch of this Fund will create an entire network of rural IT entrepreneurs who would develop local software specific to the needs of the rural communities. It will lead to an entrepreneurship revolution in rural India and will help to retain educated youth in villages. ”

Commenting on IDRC’s partnership, Dr Basheer Ahmad Shadrach, Senior Program Officer, International Development Research (IDRC) & Secretary, Mission 2007 said, “We are excited to be a part of the Innovation Fund which will create IT solutions for the rural areas and help build localized solutions for them. We look forward to this partnership with Microsoft towards enabling the rural ecosystem for building IT solutions for them. The idea is to scale innovations across networks.”

© CyberMedia News

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