Microsoft India has entered into a partnership with Hughes to create a self-sustaining IT infrastructure in rural areas by deploying broadband enabled ICT kiosks in about 200 towns and villages across the country.
The company will roll out about 5,000 such kiosks, which will be operated on a franchisee model and enable new entrepreneurs across the rural landscape to use technology for e-Commerce, education and e-Governance. It will lead to better communication and access to information through all round connectivity and offer people a platform to acquire skills sets, undertake e-Literacy programmes for ordinary citizens. Microsoft, as part of its rural computing initiative 'Project Saksham', will work with Hughes to set up the ICT kiosks across blocks, talluqas and villages. Microsoft aimed to drive technology access at the grass root level to enable socio economic development of rural communities, Microsoft Head – Rural Computing Tarun Malik said. Hughes India CEO and President Pranav Roach said, the ITC kiosks would not only provide a platform for exchange of information and knowledge but also serve as a platform to create over 15,000 jobs and self-employment opportunities.