M S Swaminathan Research Foundation conducted the interdisciplinary dialogue on “New Technologies: Reaching the Unreached” in 1990 with the generous support of International Development Research Centre (IDRC). The concept of Village Knowledge Centre could thus be traced to the dialogue in 1992. Since 1998, the MSSRF has been doing action based research programme called “Village Knowledge Centre”. During 1998-2007, IDRC is supporting the project called “Impact of ICTs on Poverty Alleviation in Rural Pondicherry, India (Phase III), Centre File:102340-001. This project is testing different technologies, developing several standardized operating systems in many areas such as connectivity, content, capacity building as well as methodology of setting up community based Village Knowledge Centre. This project leads to several other initiatives / testing different applications such as Village Resource Centre (VRC) programme, Jamsetji Tata National Virtual Academy (NVA), Knowledge on Wheels, Fisher Friend Mobile Application, ICT-based curricula’s such as Microsoft Unlimited Potential Programme, Intel Learn Programme, Computer Aided Learning Programme, NVA Fellows, etc. This initiative also led to a nation wide movement called “Grameen Gyan Abhiyan (GGA-Rural Knowledge Movement) – Mission 2007: Every Village a Knowledge Centre”. GGA is a multi-stake holder partnership, facilitating national and regional events related to ICT-enabled rural development activities. Some of the GGA partners are testing different technologies and developing applications for VRCs and VKCs. Academicians, Corporate Sectors and Policy Makers could use this platform for knowledge and technological empowerment. GGA secretariat is hosted by M S Swaminathan Research Foundation. This is also partially supported by IDRC. MSSRF is grateful to the IDRC for its support in the initial stages to make a small beginning that has now become a national movement.


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