Case Study

India is a country with more than two-thirds of its population residing in villages. The rural society of India is very backward and the rate of progress is very slow. Global Development Indicators speak that rural parts of the country are under-developed and need much attention. The major problems consist of agriculture, lack of education, unemployment, health services, lack of industries at the micro-level, etc, While the cities have grown immensely over the last 2-3 decades, rural areas have not seen a bigger picture of development.

According to the 2001 census, the Scheduled Tribe (ST) and Scheduled Caste (SC) population of Jharkhand constitutes 26.3 percent and 11.8 percent respectively of the total population. It holds the 14th position in terms of the Scheduled Caste population among all the States /UTs. The Scheduled population is primarily rural as more than 90 percent of them reside in villages. The literacy rate also indicates that the scheduled population is below the average literacy rate.

During the initial years after its formation, Jharkhand had been badly troubled by adverse initial conditions like low average income, very high incidence of poverty and little social development. Education and health indicators in Jharkhand are very unfavorable in comparison to the all-India average and the major Indian states. In Jharkhand, people have been facing problem of decreasing water level and shortage of safe drinking water. Despite a large workforce being involved in agriculture, the output has not been very fruitful. The state is gifted with rich mineral resources, but lags behind in development activities. The state is facing many problems like under nourishment, illiteracy, unemployment and naxalism etc. The state has a very long historical back ground and has witnessed several phases of growth of population. The existing distribution and density of population in different districts are mainly controlled by Physico cultural factors. The population profile is dominantly affected by the inner morphology of different districts of the state. Most of the people of Jharkhand getting their higher education in other states of the country because of lack of teachers and proper infrastructure in the educational institution. The work participation of females is not satisfactory in comparison to males in the state.

Considering the existing problems, CSIR-CIMFR proposed to develop an integrated Information Centre (IT) to provide various information regarding social upliftment in rural areas, facilitate different government schemes beneficial for the villages in fields of education, agriculture, health, business, etc.

Gramin Mitra is a project sponsored by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India for improvement of living of rural people of Jharkhand. It is currently undertaken and developed by CSIR-CIMFR, Dhanbad. Gramin Mitra provides a single platform where multiple beneficial information related to schemes on education, training, and employment, agriculture, health and e-marketing of local products for rural people of Jharkhand can be found. It also provides information regarding the improvement of village products using new technologies.

For the uplifting standard of living of the scheduled population in Jharkhand, Gramin Mitra aims to set-up an IT-based Information and Facilitation Centre. Its function is to give employability training of different fields, spreading of various government schemes, education facilities in schools and colleges, etc. It also emphasizes on improving agricultural productivity by providing sensor-based soil testing.
People will be getting benefited from this project in various ways. They can access the information related to various schemes on the web as well as buy and sell locally made indigenous products online through the e-bazar portal. People can get the information by reaching Facilitation center and get the solution instantly by interacting with the authorities. The Facilitation Center will be enabling the local population to connect to the mainstream of India as well as happening around the globe.
Training will be provided to the students from the information center. Farmers will get information about Water Harvesting and Fertilizer mapping process to improve the productivity of agriculture products using the latest scientific technologies like sensors.
Overall, this government initiated program will help in increasing the employment rate for the local people but also in improving the agricultural marketing of local made indigenous products. It’s a small step towards the upliftment of Rural People living conditions and if taken positively can affect their lives in a big positive way.