US-India Institute and Digital Empowerment Foundation Join Hands for Digitalization of Indian Villages

An agriculturist uses the internet in rural Maharashtra (Satish Bate/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Caravan News

NEW DELHI – US-India advocacy group US India Policy Institute (USIPI) and Digital Empowerment Foundation, a group working for empowering the marginalized digitally, joined hands to digitalise remote villages and town of India.

USIPI partnered with DEF to empower marginalized communities in rural and remote locations of India. The two organizations have signed an MOU to set up digital centers in remote villages and towns and to conduct action research that can inform the government’s policy affecting these communities.

Two-fold focus for the collaboration includes: Setting up Community Information Resource Centers (CIRC) in rural and remote locations of India for digital empowerment of the communities and Gathering data and carrying out action research projects through the CIRC to generate evidence based policy options for the government.

DEF has established over 600 digital centers in remote locations spread over 125 districts in India. These centers are information hubs that create information-empowered and equitable communities across the country. The centers offer digital literacy, digital services, information services, citizen services, besides facilitating access to government schemes and entitlements, to create information-rich society under a sustainable model.

Established in 2002, DEF aims to connect unreached and underserved communities of India in an effort to bring them out of digital darkness and equip them with access to information.

USIPI’s researchers said that they would leverage DEF’s infrastructure to evaluate interventions on the ground, identify loopholes and recommend the road ahead to improve the socio-economic conditions of marginalized persons living in rural and remote locations of India. They would also leverage the knowledge and data gathered by DEF over the last 16 years and also work to gather new data and empirical evidence to create policy options.

USIPI envisions that citizens of India and the United States and the world at large are economically, educationally, politically and culturally engaged and have equal access to freedom, justice and opportunity without any prejudice. It is working to stimulate a deep US and India relationship committed to sustainable development


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