Kerala Mother NGO's and Field NGO's

>> Wednesday, September 23, 2009

MNGO Status in Kerala
Family Planning Association of India - Thriruvanathapuram & Kollam
Kerala Voluntary Health Services - Kottayam & Idukki
Socio Economic Unit Foundation - Thrissur
HiLDA Trust - Malappuram
Association of Welfare of Handicapped (AWH) - Calicut
Swami Vivekanadha Medical Mission - Swami Vivekanadha Medical Mission
KAIROS ( Kannur Association for Integrated - Kannur & Kasaragod
Rural Organisation and Support)

FNGOs under MNGO Scheme

1. Trivandrum Social Service Society
2. Institution for Rural Development
3. Community Welfare Centre
1. Punalur Social Service Society
2. Vayalar memorial Youth Club
3. All Kerala Youth Centre

1. Malakkapara Vana Samrakshana Samithy
2. Athirapally Vana Samrakshana Samithy
3. Anapantham Vana Samrakshana Samithy
4. Builders of Nation

1. Ayur Metro Foundation
2. Vandana Arts and Sports and Sports Club
3. Krishna Educational & Cultural Society
4. National Service Society
1. Mujahid Educational Trust
2. Centre for Overall development
3. Youngman Sports Club
4. SNEHA (Social Network for Education and Humane Action

1. Adivasi Yuvajana Samithy
2. Wayanad Sarwa Seva Mandal
3. Rural Agency for Social and Technical Advancement

1. Pazhassiraja Charitable trust
2. Jeevana Samsriti
3. Kannur District Homeopathic Hospital and research Society
4. Malabar Social service Society

1. PANTECH (Peoples Association for Non formal Education and Development in Technology)
2. Gandhi Smaraka Grama Seva Kendram
3. National Organisation for Consumer Education and Research India
4. Catholic Social Welfare Centre


  1. Centre for Environment and Development ;
  2. Rajan Pillai Foundation ;
  3. Integrated Rural Technology Centre ;
  4. Kerala Sasthra Sahitya Parishad ;
  5. Mithranikethan


A List of Needful Acronyms

>> Saturday, September 19, 2009

AFPRO -Action for Food Production
AIR -All India Radio
AMDA -Association for Medical Doctors of Asia
APEDA -Agriculture and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority
ASPEE -American Spring and Pressing Works Pvt Ltd
BARC -Bhabha Atomic Research Centre
CAbC -Community Agrobiodiversity Centre
CALP -Computer Aided Learning Programme
CCDP -Coastal Community Development Program
CFB -Community Food Bank
CFTRI -Central Food Technology Research Institute
CGB -Community Gene Bank
CGIAR -Consulate Group on International Agricultural Research
CGSGrB -Community Gene-Seed-Grain Bank
CIESIN -Centre for International Earth Science Infomation Network
COL -Commonwealth of Learning
CRIDA -Centre for Research in Dryland Agriculture
CSB -Community Seed Bank
CSR -Coastal Systems Research
CVC -Central Village Committee
CWDRM -Centre for Water Resource Development & Management
DAE -Department of Atomic Energy
DBT -Department of Biotechnology
DRDA -District Rural Development Agency
ECAS -Every Child a Scientist
FD -Forest Department
FMB -Farm Management Book
FRLHT -Foundation for Revitalization of Local Health Traditions
GoI -Government of India
GIS -Geographical Information System
GPS -Geographical Positioning System
HTF -Hunger Task Force
IARI -Indian Agricultural Research Institute
ICAR -Indian Council for Agricultural Research
ICRISAT- International Crop Research Institute for Semi Arid Tropics
ICT -Information Communication Technology
IDRC -International Development Research Centre
IFAD -International Fund for Agricultural Development
IFPRI -International Food Policy Research Institute
IGCAR -Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research
IIFS -Integrated Intensive Farming System
IMO -Institute for Market Ecology
INCOIS -Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services
INM -Integrated Nutrient Management
IPGRI -International Plant Genetic Resources Institute
IPM -Integrated Pest Management
ISRO -Indian Space Research Organisation
JMM -Joint Mangrove Management
JNKVV -Jawaharlal Nehru Krishi Vishwa Vidyalaya
KAU -Kerala Agricultural University
KVK -Krishi Vigyan Kendra
LEISA -Low External Input Sustainable Agriclture
MANAGE -National Institute of Agriculture Extension Management
MPEDA -Marine Products Export Development Authority
NAAS -National Academy of Agricultural Sceinces
NABARD -National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development
NASSCOM -National Association of Software and Service Companies
NCF -National Commission on Farmers
NGO -Non Government Organization
NSS -National Service Scheme
NVA -National Virtual Academy
OKN -Open Knowledge Network
PCR -Polymerax Chain Reaction
PGPR -Plant Growth Promoter
PGR -Plant Genetic Resources
PGUS -Panchabati Gram Unnayan Samiti
PPVFR -Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights
PRI -Panchayat Raj Institution
RIDF -Rural Infrastructure Development Fund
RSGA -Reddiyarchatram Seed Growers’ Association
RSVY -Rashtreeya Sam Vikas Yojna
RuTAG -Rural Technology Action Group
SBIRD -State Bank Institute of Rural Development
SDC -Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation
SHA -Swiss Humanitarian Aid
SHG -Self Help Group
SMNR -Sustainable Management of Natural Resources
SRI -System of Rice Intensification
THADCO -The Tamil Nadu Adi-Dravidar Development Corporation
THMRC -The Hindu Media Resource Centre
TNAU -Tamil Nadu Agricultural University
UDRC -Uttara Devi Resource Centre for Gender and Development
UNDP -United Nations Development Programme
UNESCO -United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation
UNFCCC -United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
UNWFP -United Nations World Food Programme
USO -Universal Service Obligation
VKC -Village Knowledge Centre
VMC -Village Mangrove Council
VRC -Village Resource Centre
VVV -Vikas Volunteer Vahini
WARDA -Wayanad Agriculture and Rural Development Association
WSHG -Women Self Help Group
WTO -World Trade Organisation


VRC's An Original ABSTRACT – ISRO Bangalore

>> Monday, September 14, 2009

A Step towards Reaching the Unreached

Hegde VS, Ganesha Raj K, Paul MA, Sethuraman K, Rayappa H

Indian Space Research Organisation HQ (ISRO HQ), Bangalore

The Village Resource Centre (VRC) programme was initiated by ISRO during the year 2004, to facilitate overall development at village/ community level, by delivering the variety of space technology enabled products and services directly to the grassroots. The first set of VRCs were set up in Tamil Nadu in association with MS Swaminathan Research Foundation, Chennai. Year by year the more and more VRCs have been set up and at present there are 473 VRCs spread over 22 states/Union Territories. The programme is being implemented in association with selected NGOs, Trusts, Universities/institutions and Government agencies and as of now there are 45 partner agencies involved in the programme. Major attraction of VRC programme is the knowledge connectivity, which is enabled through the two way audio video linkage to various expert centres. The expert centres provide services in the areas of agriculture, animal husbandry, skill development, floriculture, fisheries, water resources; tele health care; woman’s empowerment; supplementary education; computer literacy; micro credit; micro finance etc. So far more than 6000 programmes have been conducted and around 4,00,000 people have availed the services. The above services are provided at VRCs either through online or offline mode. Expanding the network requires additional satellite bandwidth, infrastructure, HUB, servers etc.; ISRO is working in this direction. It is also proposed to set up an exclusive Content Server for storing and retrieving Programmes across the network.

  • 1.0 Introduction

Indian Space Programme started in early 60s has become largely self-reliant with capability to design and build satellites for providing space services and to launch those using indigenously designed and developed launch vehicles. Over the years, India has achieved a notable progress in the design, development and operation of space systems, as well as, using them for vital services like telecommunications, television & radio broadcasting, meteorology, disaster warning, natural resources mapping, monitoring and management.

Space based services, emanating from Satellite Communication (SatCom) and Earth Observation (EO) satellites, holds considerable value to transform village community. Primary issues related to eradication of illiteracy, better health care, training on better jobs, enhancing agricultural productivity and ensuring proper drinking water management etc., can be facilitated by digital connectivity and remote sensing. Tele-education, for example, enables non-formal education, strengthens supplementary teaching mechanisms, and facilitates interactive training and skill development processes to the rural community. Similarly, tele-medicine facilitates specialist doctor-to-doctor consultations; doctor to patient consultations, besides strengthening medical extension and health care related training in the rural areas.

EO enables community centric spatial information in terms of geo-referenced land record, natural resources, suitable sites for potable/ drinking water as well as recharge, wastelands for reclamation through rural employment creation, watershed attributes, environment and infrastructure related information. Synthesizing spatial information with other collateral and weather information, EO also facilitates locale specific community advisory services. Disaster management support, community based vulnerability and risk related information, early warning and extreme weather information dissemination mechanisms provide reliable disaster management support at the village level.

To reach the benefits of Space Technology to the rural, distant and remote places, ISRO launched Village Resource Centre (VRC) programme in association with NGOs, Trusts, State Govt. Dept. as well as with academic/research institutions. The VRC programme aims to promote a single window delivery of need-based services in the areas of education, health, nutrition, agriculture, water, weather, environment and alternate livelihoods to the rural population.

First cluster of VRCs were set up in Tamil Nadu in association with M S Swaminathan Research Foundation, Chennai (MSSRF) in 2004. Prime Minister of India inaugurated these VRCs. From this modest beginning, at present, there are 473 VRCs spread across 22 States and Union Territories. At present there are 45 partners/associating agencies involved in the programme from NGOs, Trusts Government, Academic institutions. Each and every partner involved in the programme have got their own specializations and experience in the field of rural development.

  • 2.0 Space Technology Enabled Village Resource Centres (VRCs)

ISRO has piloted several socially relevant space application projects on mission mode basis. With the appropriate technological and institutional base, ISRO has taken up newer social missions, wherein space applications could be integrated with other IT and e-governance related services and brought closer to the community. The effort has now focused on to effectively disseminate the portfolio of services emanating from the space systems - as discussed above, as well as from other Information Technology (IT) tools, directly down the line to the rural communities, through the Village Resource Centres. Some of the other ICT initiatives taken up by the Government in India are setting up Village Information Kiosks like ‘Akshya’ in Kerala, ‘e Seva’ in Andhra Pradesh, ‘Gyandoot’ in Madhya Pradesh etc. Some of the other initiatives by private and NGOs are ‘E choupal’, ‘Village Knowledge Centre’(VKC), ‘Drishtee’, Common Service Centres (CSCs) of IT Department, Govt. of India etc. These Kiosk systems are being used for a variety of applications like information directories, customer self service terminals, internet access terminals etc. Experiences from these projects suggest that the information needs of the community should be thoroughly assessed before the launch of the project and knowledge connectivity is the basic requirement. ISRO’s initiative on Space enabled Village Resource Centre (VRC) is an effort in that direction.

The VRCs, aimed at serving essentially as Community Resource Centre and addressing the dynamic and critical needs of rural communities. The VRCs are linked to various expert centres in different states to provide information support to the Village Resource Centres in local language. VRCs can directly interact with the experts through two way audio video interactivity. The expert centres provide services in the areas of agriculture, animal husbandry, skill development, floriculture, fisheries, water resources; tele health care; woman’s empowerment; supplementary education; computer literacy; micro credit; micro finance etc.

The VRC communication network is Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT)-based and which has two way audio and video connectivity. It enables each expert node to multicast the advisory, and enables each of the participating VRCs to raise questions. Expert node software enables a video return link for each VRC in such a way that all participating nodes can listen to the expert and also the questioner, along with viewing them. The VRCs / expert centre / specialty hospital are equipped with a VSAT antenna of 1.8 m in diameter, with 2 W BUC and a satellite modem. As baseline start-up configuration comprises of 1 multimedia PC, 2 speakers, 1 amplifier, 1 cordless microphone, and 1 HandyCam with stand. This configuration is able to cater to 30-40 people as regards listening and conversation, and viewing tele-consultations and advisories on the PC screen. Each VRC is capable of transmitting 384 Kbps of multimedia traffic.

The major objectives of VRCs are to provide services in the following areas:

  • Tele education: Skill development, vocational training/capacity building, supplementary teaching, non-formal , adult education, computer training/education.
  • Tele health care: VRCs provide positive, preventive and curative health care services. Facilities are provided for Telemedicine consultations with specialist doctors. Awareness creation on malaria, dengue, chickungunya, AIDS, women and child health could be carried out. Discussions on traditional medicines/herbal medicines also organized. To bring the services of large/speciality hospitals and expert doctors closer, the VRCs provide connectivity to these hospitals. VRCs are also connected to the selected nearest district/speciality hospitals.
  • Land & Water Resources Advisories: VRCs provide spatial information on various themes such as land use/land cover, soil, groundwater prospects, and enable the farmers to get query based decision support. A simple software package - GRAMINS is provided for accessing and querying the natural resource information and related advisories, which enables people to get online decision support.
  • Interactive Farmers’ Advisory Services/Tele agriculture: VRCs enable online interactions between the local farmers and agriculture scientists working at Scientific Institutions. The advisory covers a wide range of subjects starting from alternate cropping systems, optimization of agricultural inputs – seeds, water, fertilizer, insecticides, pesticides and producer oriented marketing opportunities. Community centred advisories on soil and water conservation, on adopting water efficient cropping patterns, on practices related to rainwater harvesting/ground water recharge, on participatory watershed management, information on market/price, pests & diseases etc. also been made available.

Weather Advisories: Short, medium and long-term weather forecasts and agromet advisories from available sources (mainly from Agricultural Universities) are provided through VRCs.

Other services: Services such as governmental schemes on agriculture, poverty alleviation, rural employment, animal husbandry and livestock related services, services related to Self Help Group (SHGs) etc, are also been made available at VRCs.

  • 3.0 Mode of Operation and Responsibilities

Identification of partner agencies is the first and foremost thing involved in setting up the VRCs. State level interaction meets were held to explain about the VRC programme and the role and responsibilities of the partner agencies. Further, members from VRC team visited the interested partner agencies to assess the infrastructure facility availability, various programmes carried out and to understand their capability in community mobilization/organization, etc. After that a MoU is signed with the partner agency and a project execution document is prepared jointly with each partner agency.

Towards setting up a VRC, ISRO provides the communication and telemedicine equipments, satellite connectivity, and available/ customised databases of relevance to management of land and water resources. The partner agency provides the civil and other infrastructure to house the VRCs, manpower to run the VRCs, and also maintain the equipment and the facility after the warranty period. The responsibility of content generation and community mobilization is also the prime responsibility of the partner agency.

Rapid Rural Appraisal (RRA) and/or Participatory Rural Appraisals (PRA) have been conducted to assess the livelihood pattern, natural resources stock, and information needs for development by the partner agency. People-centered multi stakeholder participatory methods have been adopted in situational analysis, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the project. VRC is envisaged to follow an equal opportunities policy that will enable socially and economically disadvantaged sections like women, landless agricultural labour households, etc to get services. Gender mainstreaming is being ensured throughout the project cycle, by implementing the project activities through gender-sensitive approaches. Local Self Help Groups (SHGs) have been involved in VRC activities.

The various other local institutions such as traditional panchayats (grassroots level local institutions), local bodies, youth clubs, farmers associations, and womens’ associations are involved in defining the framework for implementation in some of the VRC areas. Concerned Line departments at the block level are also have got involved appropriately in some areas.

At present, about 45 partner agencies were involved in setting up VRCs. The VRC partners include

  1. MS Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF), Chennai;
  2. Mysore Resettlement And Development Agency (MYRADA), Bangalore;
  3. Karuna Trust, BR Hills, Karnataka;
  4. Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), Ahmedabad;
  5. Kutch Nava Nirman Abhiyan, Kutch; Development Alternatives (DA), New Delhi;
  6. Himalayan Institute Hospital Trust (HIHT), Dehradun;
  7. Development of Humane Action Foundation (DHAN), Madurai;
  8. School of Desert Sciences (SDS), Jodhpur,
  9. Tarun Bharat Sangh, Jaipur;
  10. National Centre for Human Settlement and Environment (NCHSE), Bhopal; Himachal Pradesh Voluntary Health Association (HPVHA), Shimla;
  11. Byrraju Foundation, Hyderabad;
  12. Gram Vikas, Berhampur;
  13. Peoples Rural Education Movement (PREM), Berhampur;
  14. Centre for Youth and Social Development (CYSD), Bhubaneswar;
  15. Agragamee, Bhubaneswar;
  16. Ramakrishna Mission, Kolkata;
  17. Assam Branch of Indian Tea Association (ABITA), Guwahati etc.
  18. Universities like University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS), Bangalore;
  19. Sathyabama University, Chennai;
  20. Amrita Viswa Vidyapeetham, Coimbatore;
  21. YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Solan and
  22. State Govt. Departments like Kerala State Planning Board;
  23. Nagaland State Council for Science & Technology;
  24. Sikkim Department of Science & Technology (DST) and
  25. Rural Management & Development (RM &DD) are also partners in VRC programme.

The VRCs are operated and managed by these partner agencies. In certain cases the VRCs are run by Community Based Organisations (CBOs), and they meet the expenses with limited support from the partner agency. Some other cases the expenses are borne by partner agencies from their own resources and by charging nominal fee for certain services.

  • 4.0 Activities at a Glance and Experiences Gained

The VRCs address several critical gaps in existing rural tele-centres. The lessons with regards to the services delivered from rural tele-centres demonstrate that interactivity, i.e. live video-conferencing, has had a greater impact on social and human capital, in terms of exchange of knowledge, skill development, information democracy, and field-level advisories, etc. The Knowledge Connectivity to Experts at Agricultural Universities, Vocational Training Universities and Research Institutes who provide immediate solutions/response to villagers questions/concerns is the unique feature of VRCs.

As envisaged variety of activities have been offered by VRCs. These activities can be broadly grouped into

(i) Agriculture/Horticulture/Floriculture

(ii) Education

(iii) Computer Learning

(iv) Skill development/ vocational training/ entrepreneurship dev.

(v) Health Care

(vi) Water Resources/Ground Water

(vii) Soil

(viii) Child & Women Related

(ix) Traditional Health/Ayurveda

(x) Live Stock (xi) Fisheries

(xii) Insurance

(xiii) Micro finance

(xiv) Career development

(xv) Alternate Livelihood practices

(xvi) Weather infn. etc.

So far more than 6000 programmes have been conducted and around 400,000 people have availed the services. The above services are provided at VRCs either online mode i.e. programmes conducted using satellite based (two way video audio) connectivity with expert centres like agricultural universities, hospitals etc or offline mode – VRC centric activities like health camps, skill development, computer training, micro finance, marketing of products of SHGs, land & water resources management etc. Diversified activities and good participation are observed from the clusters in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Orissa.

  • MS Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) VRC network, Chennai; Pondicherry Multipurpose Social Service Society (PMSSS), Puducherry; MYRADA in Karnataka, Ramakrishna Mission in West Bengal etc. have carried out a good number of offline activities.
  • Successful conduct of Skill development training through VRCs has proved the utilization of ICT in rural areas. One year duration courses on lab technician, nursing assistant, electrician, and automobile course conducted by Sathyabama University cluster in Tamil Nadu and house wiring course and disaster risk reduction course organized by SEWA/Abhiyan network in Gujarat are excellent examples of the same.
  • Amongst the various programmes conducted in Karnataka network, the unique programmes organized for children like “Learn with fun” i.e. Mathematics coaching class; spoken English classes, Summer camps on painting and crafts; kids fun time etc. were attended by more than 15000 students. Considering the demand from the children, the “Learn with fun” programme was separately held for 1st to 5th standard students in the morning on all week days and it shows the interest and success of the programme. The innovative “Learn with fun” programme of MYRADA VRC network has got the Manthan – Asia Award for the year 2008 for the ICT application in education.

  1. Agriculture, animal husbandry and livelihood related programmes has attracted a large number people in the VRC clusters namely,
  2. Kerala State Planning Board, Kerala;
  3. University of Agriculture Sciences, Bangalore;
  4. SEWA/ Abhiyan network in Gujarat;
  5. NCHSE network in Madhya Pradesh ,
  6. Assam Branch of Indian Tea Association, Assam and
  7. VRC network in Orissa.

There are 17 agriculture Universities /Research Centres in VRC network as of now (

  1. ICRISAT, Hyderabad, AP;
  2. ANGR Agri. Uni., AP ;
  3. Assam Agri. Uni., Assam;
  4. ABITA Gramin Krishi Unnayan Prakalpa, Assam;
  5. Rajendra Agri. Uni., Bihar;
  6. Anand Agri. Uni., Gujarat;
  7. Krishi Gram Vikas Kendra, Rukka, Jharkhand;
  8. Uni.of Agri. Sciences, Bangalore;
  9. Coffee Research Station, Chundale,
  10. Kerala; Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Andoor, Kerala;
  11. Kerala Agri. Uni., Mannuthy, Kerala; I
  12. ndian Institute Spices Research (IISR), Kerala;
  13. OUAT, Bhubaneshwar, Orissa;
  14. Acharya Narendra Dev Uni.of Agri. and Technology, Faizabad, UP ;
  15. G.B. Pant University of Agri. and Technology, Uttarakhand;
  16. CAZRI, Jodhpur, Rajasthan;
  17. YS Parmar Uni for H&F.Solan,HP )

across the country linked to the VRC network providing excellent services to the farmers. Some of the Agri. Uni. like

  1. UAS, Bangalore;
  2. AAU, Gujarat;
  3. ANDUAT, UP;
  4. AAU, Assam

are also providing agromet advisory services to the VRCs.

  • VRCs have enabled rural population to have access to quality health care.

Apollo Hospital Ahmedabad provides teledermatology, tele-ophthalmology and tele pulmonolgy consultations to Gujarat VRCs. Health awareness programmes are also conducted by Apollo Hospitals. Tele-ophthalmology consultations provided by Tarabai Desai Eye Hospital & Research Centre, Jodhpur is unique one with follow up free operations. MSSRF VRCs in association with Sankara Nethralaya also provide ophthalmology consultations. Tele health care programmes provided by Himalayan Institute Hospital Trust, Dehradun; Global Hospital, Mount Abu, Eras Medical College, Lucknow, and many others are the classic examples of usage of modern technology for the benefit of rural poor.

  • Vocational training, supplementary teaching on regular curriculum of school and colleges, Computer training etc. are conducted by
  1. Ramakrishna Mission, West Bengal;
  2. AMRITA Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Coimbatore and
  3. Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad.

  • Short term courses conducted by NCHSE in Madhya Pradesh on Remote Sensing and GIS to the planners, govt. officials and NGO representatives using the VRC network was well appreciated by many.

Convergence of VRC activities with other rural development initiatives, supported by other funding agencies like UNICEF, Azim Premji Foundation etc. are seen in School of Desert Sciences network in Rajasthan and MSSRF network in Tamil Nadu. This has helped in organizing a lot of activities towards improving health and sanitation system, health insurance, tele-education, capacity building etc.

  • VRC network has also witnessed a few national Virtual congresses, wherein, many intellectuals, policy/decision makers, academicians, Govt. Officials and General public discussed various issues face to face from various corners of the country.

  • National Virtual Congress on “Celebrating Women’s Contributions to Safeguarding and Strengthening Ecological Security” organized as part of the First Indian Youth Science Congress; ‘National Virtual Congress of Mahila Kisans’ organized during 95th Indian Science Congress; Discussion on traditional herbal medicines etc. are some of them.

Some initial results/ pointers, gathered through the activities of VRCs have been examined. Some of the interesting outcomes include farmers’ motivation towards scientific advisories and consultations, school children getting enthused - resulting into improved performance, implementation of education and healthcare programmes of the Government, improved interest in legal guidance,
  • Children benefiting from career guidance; treatment of patients for dermatology, ophthalmology and other problems and people getting cured of their problems after tele consultations at VRCs. People who attended skill development courses (which includes theory classes through VRC network and practical at nearby place) getting jobs or taking up own job; livestock advisories resulting into saving of cattle, poultry etc; agro advisories helping farmers in getting better production, adoption of new crops etc; use of natural resources data base at VRCs for wasteland reclamation, watershed development, extension of crops etc. However exact quantification of the benefits accrued has to be made.

At the same time, it is observed that some VRC clusters only are carrying out diverse programs/services and others are focusing on two to three services, while some does not carry out regular programmes. Use of Natural Resources data is also minimal. In many VRCs quality/adequate power (electricity) is not available. Manpower is also a matter of concern in some VRCs. Some Clusters are having sustainability plans while others yet to work on that. Efforts are made to address these concerns.

5.0 Future Plans

  • Expanding the network requires additional satellite bandwidth, infrastructure, servers etc; ISRO is working in this direction. It is also proposed to set up an exclusive Content Server for storing and retrieving Programmes across the network.

  • VRC programme will also become an integral part of the initiative ‘ Rashtreeya Gramin Gyan Abhiyan’ (National Rural Knowledge Movement) to provide connectivity to all the villages in India, in which, it is planned to provide satellite based VRC connectivity to almost 4000 blocks (sub District level) by the end of 11th Five year plan. Further, the last mile approach to the panchayaths and villages will be achieved by other ICT means like wireless, community radio, cell phones etc. This is planned with the participation from, government, civil society organisations, bilateral and multilateral donors, private and academic sectors.

Courtesy : Dr.Ganesh Raj ,ISRO ,Bangalore


Tarahaat-Tarakendra-Microsoft Unlimited Potential Community Learning

>> Thursday, September 10, 2009

There are more than 600,000 villages in India and around 700 million people live in villages. Many villages are relatively deprived in terms of basic amenities and services, especially those related to education, health, sanitation and empowerment. There is a need to improve the quality of life in villages to achieve overall national development.

  • Indian Space Programme started in early 60’s has become largely self-reliant with capability to design and build satellites for providing space services and to launch those using indigenously designed and developed launch vehicles. Over the years, India has achieved a notable progress in the design, development and operation of space systems, as well as, using them for vital services like telecommunications, television & radio broadcasting, meteorology, disaster warning as well as natural resources mapping, monitoring and management.

  • Department of Space/ISRO has evolved many useful applications emanating from the Space Technology. While Indian National Satellite (INSAT) system continues to provide regular services in the areas of telecommunications, business communication, broadcasting and meteorological services, several initiatives have been taken to expand the application of INSAT to new areas like Telemedicine. ISRO has also been a champion in demonstrating the use of space technology for societal good and has piloted several socially relevant space application projects like the Satellite Instructional Television Experiment (SITE), the Training and Development Communication Channel (TDCC) and the Jhabua Development Communications Project (JDCP).

  • With seven satellites, Indian Remote Sensing Satellite (IRS)-1C, IRS-1D, IRS-P3, IRS-P4, Resourcesat, Technology Experiment Satellite (TES) and CARTOSAT-I, in operation, India has the largest constellation of remote sensing satellites today providing data in a variety of spatial resolutions and spectral bands. The data is used for various applications in the fields of agriculture, forestry, ground and surface water, drought assessment and monitoring, flood mapping, land use and coastal studies etc. Space technology, as the powerful enabler, provides alternate route for holistic and rapid rural development. India has been among the world leaders, in the areas of developing end-to-end capability for both remote sensing and communication satellites. The space-based remote sensing will get further fillip with the launch of CARTOSAT-2 and Radar Satellite - RISAT.

  • ISRO has been interacting for the last three decades with the Planning Commission, Departments of Central Government and State Governments, District Authorities, academia, industries, NGOs and others to effectively utilize the space applications for national development

  • As mentioned above, space technologies - satellite based communication and remote sensing has demonstrated their capabilities to provide services related to health care, education, weather, land and water resources, agriculture etc. To provide these space-based services to the rural areas, Department of Space has initiated a programme to set up Village Resource Centres (VRCs) in partnership with concerned state, central agencies and NGOs.

  • Space based services, emanating from Satellite Communication (SatCom) and Remote Sensing satellites hold considerable value to transform village society. Remote Sensing enables community centric spatial information up to cadastral level in terms of geo-referenced land record, natural resources, suitable sites for potable/drinking water as well as recharge, incidence of wastelands for reclamation through rural employment creation, watershed attributes, environment, infrastructure related information, alternate cropping pattern, water harvesting etc. Synthesizing spatial information with other collateral and weather information, Remote Sensing also facilitates locale specific community advisory services. Disaster management support, community based vulnerability and risk related information, early warning and extreme weather information dissemination mechanisms provide reliable disaster management support at the village level. In order to disseminate the services emanating from the space systems as well as other Information Technology (IT) tools, to the rural communities, a partnership between ISRO and Development Alternatives was formed.

  • The Development Alternatives (DA) Group comprises Development Alternatives and its associate organizations in India: Technology and Action for Rural Advancement (TARA), TARAhaat Information and Marketing Services Ltd., TARA Nirman Kendra and Decentralized Energy Systems India Ltd. The DA Group, a pioneer sustainable development enterprise was established in 1983 as a not for profit research, development and action organization. With two decades of experience and over 400 professionals, the DA Group has had a profound impact on the creation of sustainable livelihoods, specifically in the innovation and application of appropriate technologies and their distribution through micro enterprises in rural India. It is recognized by the Ministry of Science and Technology as a scientific research institution.Over the years, the DA Group has built up several initiatives and networks at thefield level in different parts of the country. The partnerships established with over500 NGOs and rural entrepreneurs across Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh,Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar and Maharashtra will be of particular interest to the VRC Programme.
  • TARAhaat was established as a social enterprise dedicated to bridging the digital divide between rural communities and the mainstream economy. It provides village communities particularly the youth, access to information and livelihood opportunities comparable to those available in urban India. A broad portfolio of services is offered through TARAkendras – the community knowledge cum business centre. Initial focus has been on vocational training, community development, information and e-governance through a host of programmes customized for local communities. The next generation of services focuses on the promotion of micro and small enterprises through a unique Enterprise Development Programme.

  • The entire network is underpinned by a sustainable business model. Customers paya fair price while multiple revenue streams ensure financial viability of each TARAkendra.The unique franchising model ensures that the bulk of the profits reside with the local franchisee, accelerating growth of the centre. A robust training and support structure ensures the operational success of franchisees. At the same time, the social enterprise model ensures a balance between revenue and delivery of social services


Postal Address of Officer Incharge of Village Resource Centers

Noolpuzha Grama Panchayat,Wayanad.
Shri.Joseph Peter Patroz ,U.D.Clerk ;
04936 - 270635 ; 9349876885

2.Sulthan Bathery
Sulthan Bathery Block Panchayat, S.B.Post,Wayanad-673593.
Shri.K.S.Shaji,U.D.Clerk ;
04936 - 220202/221377 ; 9447326917

PWD Building,North Wayanad-673122.
Vasu.P ,Assistant Engineer ;
04936 - 202640 ;9448083078

Mananthavady Block panchayat,
Wayanad District-670645.
Shri.Gopalakrishnan ,Overseer ;
04936 - 240298/242622 ;9447317565

Meppady Grama Panchayat,
Wayanad District-673577.
Shri.Ashraf ,Secretary ;04936 - 282422

Supporting Countries


For Technical Support / Complaints at VRC / VREC :-

Call us in the TOLL FREE Number:
1800 4252 888
09880 149300

Please email to us all your valuable suggestions and comments regarding Village Resource Centre at


Postal Address of Officer Incharge of Village Resource Expert Centers

1.Kerala State Planning Board (KSPB)
Opposite Kendriya Vidyalaya, Pattom,
Trivandrum-695004. Shri.Dr.P.Rajasekharan,
(Agricultural Division)
0471 - 2540609/2453554 ;9895009402; Fax:0471 - 2531395
Shri.N.Sundaresan, Joint Director ;
Shri.P.Pramod,Officer in Charge-VRC;
Mob - 9446705151

2.Kerala Agricultural University (KAU)
Agricultural Technology Information Centre, Mannuthy,Thrissur-680651.
Dr.Sreevalsan,Asst.Professor ;
0487 - 2371340/2307711
Dr.Sheela(DE) ;0487 - 2370086/2337785;
Fax :0487 - 2370150

3.Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK)
Krishi Vigyan kendra,Ambalavayal.P.O-673593,Wayanad.
Dr.A.Radhamma Pillai,Associate Prof: & Head ;04936 - 260411/260432;
Fax: 04936 - 260411

4.District Hospital,Mananthavady (DHM)
Govt.District Hospital, Mananthavady.P.O-670645,Wayanad.
Dr.T.P.Suresh Kumar, Ortho ;
04935 - 246776 ;9447275220

5.Regional Coffee Research Station (RCRS)
Regional Coffee Research Station,Coffee Board,Chundale.P.O-673123,Wayanad;
Dr.M.Selvakumar,Deputy Director ;
04936 - 202256 ;Fax: 04936 - 202256

6.Indian Institute of Spices Research(IISR)
Indian Institute of Spices Research,Marikkunnu.P.O-673012,Calicut.
Dr.P.Rajeev,Senior Scientist ;0495 - 273294/2373162;Fax: 0495 - 2731187

7.Medical College,Calicut (MCC)
Govt. Medical College Hospital,
Dr.Varghese Thomas,Nodal Officer ;
0495 - 2351152;Fax: 0495 - 2355331

8.Sree Chitra Thirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST),
Dr.Jawahar ,Administrative Medical Officer;
0471 - 2524640 ,2440790

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