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Que.

Government of India initiated ICT project for improving quality of life and
means of livelihood. Reading a concept note highlight why ICT should be focused
upon? ITC e-choupal was launched with this objective in mind critically evaluated
whether e-choupal is a successful initiative or failed one? Highlight whatever
points you are emphasize on.
Ans.

ROLE OF ICT

Information and Communication Technologies play a vital role in development of economic


growth of rural India. It aims to increase citizens quality of life and improve the efficiency and
quality of the services provided by governing entities and businesses. ICT is the mechanism that
transmit information and knowledge to individual to widen their choice about economic and
social empowerment. In future people will carry computer in their hand with internet
connectivity, so it will help them in getting the information about the world at just one click.
Government of India is planning that citizen and government could interact at all level by the
electronic mode (e- Governance) by 2020.

ICT focus on three areas of expertise:


1. Leveraging information to make better decisions
Advanced analytics solutions, or an interactive model of the relationships that exist among the
rurals core systems, including the economy, housing, education, public safety, transportation,
healthcare, government services and utilities that make it easier to understand and to act at every
level of city administration.
2. Anticipating and resolving problems proactively
Advanced analytics solutions can help city leaders discover patterns and trends in structured or
unstructured data efficiently and cost effectively.
3. Coordinating resources to operate more efficiently

The complexity and interconnectedness of rural systems can often mask inefficiencies that can
be easily addressed. By sharing information across agencies, such as metrics, events and
processes, and by collaborating in real time, cities can better anticipate and respond to situations
while optimizing city resources.
A successful ICT application in e-Governance giving one-stop solutions for rural community is
the need of the hour. ICT is crafted to enable the Electronic Governance through wireless
communication, thus its integrally interlinked and knitted.
India is a country of villages and to improve and develop these villages for giving competitive
edge in world National E-governance plan (NEGP) seeks to lay the foundation with various
projects, starting from the grass-root levels, and provide impetus for long-term e-governance
within the country. At current stage this project is at pilot stage and by implementing it in some
of the villages Government try to find out the advantages and disadvantages of it and by giving
some information about this project and its benefits they are trying to develop the villages. By
implementing some of the scheme in rural India they have improved the government service
immensely.
Instances like Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA),
warana project in Maharashtra Online Income Tax, Online Central Excise, Unique ID and Eoffice has accelerated growth of respective areas and contributing to countrys economic
development. Similarly at the state level government has introduced some E-Governance project
like SETU project in Maharashtra through which they are trying to prove excellent service and
saving time & money of people and government and contributing in socio-economic
development of rural India.
Being ICT a significant instrument in E-Governance and Rural Development, appropriate
infrastructure/design is mandatory for proper functioning as follows: As designed of citizen centric services, and dependable service delivery mechanisms.
Selection of appropriate (dependable, maintainable, cost effective) technologies for rural
connectivity, and information processing solutions.
As designed of cost effective delivery stations (kiosks) to build new services.

Demonstration of transparency and efficiency to remove distrust and build confidence among
the citizens on functioning of service delivery mechanisms.
Invite private participation to reduce the burden on the central servicing agency, bring in the
expertise, enhance the speed of implementation, and offer better value proposition to the citizens.
The appellation e-governance focuses on the use of new ICTs by governments as applied to the
abounding ambit of government functions. Thus e-governance is the appliance of information
and communication technology for carrying government services, exchange of information,
communication, transactions, integration, assorted stand-alone systems, and casework amid
government and citizens, government and business as able-bodied as aback appointment
processes and interactions aural the absolute government anatomy work. The government getting
the account provider it is important to actuate the advisers for carrying the casework through
ICT. E-governance seek to accomplish Efficiency, Transparency, and Citizens Participation.
Enabling E-governance through ICT contributes to Good Governance, Trust and Accountability,
Citizens Awareness, and empowerment, Citizens Welfare, Democracy, Nations Economic
growth. ICT is the better enabler of change and action reforms achromatize in face of what ICT
has accomplished in few years.
ICT infrastructure for rural E-Governance Application

Source: http://www.iimahd.ernet.in/egov/documents/ict-and-egovernance-for-rural-development

E-governance service through ICT accredit to transactional service that take local, state or
national government. ICTs acts in dispatch up the breeze of advice and ability amid government
and citizens and transforming the way in which governments and citizens interact. According to
the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) the claiming for all countries is to actualize
and advance a system of government that promotes supports and sustains human development.
Governments in abounding locations of the apple accept fabricated huge ICT investments aimed
at improving governance processes.
The rural ICT applications attempt to offer the services of central agencies (like district
administration, cooperative union, and state and central government departments) to the citizens
at their village door steps. These applications utilize the ICT in offering improved and affordable
connectivity and processing solutions. Several Government-Citizen (G-C) e-Government pilot
projects have attempted to adopt these technologies to improve the reach, enhance the base,
minimize the processing costs, increase transparency, and reduce the cycle times to half.
A large number of rural E-Government applications, developed as pilot projects, were aimed at
offering easy access to citizen services and improved processing of government-to-citizen
transactions. The idea that the primary and the sheer object of ICT in e-governance and rural
development is individuals motivation to collective mobilization for an integrated rural
development.

E-CHOUPAL

ITCs E-Choupal is a successful initiative for them because first ITC entered into the rural
market (untapped) by understanding the problem faced by the farmers and they were able knew
that immense opportunity lies within the rural market and second thing is proper implementation
of rural marketing strategy.
The farmers basically suffered from:

Less organizational support


Lack of information of about best practices of farming
Price discovery (farmers were not getting actual price of their crops)
Handling loss because of lack of quality input
Middlemen were taking more commission

ITC help farmers in following way:

Price discovery before selling of crops


Freedom of choice for transaction
Cash on delivery
Information on best practices of farming
Sanchalaks has built tremendous trust and credibility in villages
High quality products and solution of usage

Rural Marketing strategy of ITC for E-Choupal


Rural marketing strategy includes following components:

Availability
Affordability
Acceptability
Awareness

Availability
It deals with the availability of goods and services to the end consumer and for ITC end
consumer are farmers. In the case of e-choupal the products are available continuously to the
farmers because sanchalaks maintains continuous inventory and maintains aggregate demand.
Affordability
It deals with the price of the goods and services. ITC buy goods directly from the farmers at the
last day closing price and even providing them facility of transportation. They are using
electronic machine for weightiest of goods and hence farmers are no more cheated as they used
to be previously. Hence it is a win-win situation both for farmers and the company.

Acceptability
It deals with convincing of customer to buy the product. ITC E-Choupal is giving the real time
information about weather, providing them lower transactional cost, knowledge about farm
management and risk management related to farming and financial services in terms of life,
health and crop information.
Awareness
It deals with making aware people about the product. It is providing active servicing up to rural
outlets. It is providing them with wide range of product categories. Moreover it has made
entrepreneurs out of farmers as they are managing most of the work, it instills in them the sense
of ownership.
Positive response from framers encouraged ITC and they are planning to expand this initiative in
another 15 states across India. On the anvil are plans to channelize other services related to
micro-credit, health and education through the same E-Choupal infrastructure.
Presently ITC working on E-Choupal project with the farmers as partnership that has
revolutionized and transformed the rural agricultural sector. A unique rural digital infrastructure
provide an efficient and effective supple chain that creates and delivers immense value across the
agricultural value chain. One of the largest exporters of agri products from the country, ITC
sources the finest of Indian Feed Ingredients, Food Grains, Edible Nuts, Marine Products,
Processed Fruits, Coffee & Spices.
Critical factor for the success of the ITCs E-Choupal initiative are ITCs sufficient knowledge
about the agriculture, giving importance to the local partners, commitment to transparency and
farmers and local partners are treated with respect and fairness.