This digital access point leverages BharatNet’s rural broadband connectivity and the power of future technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things to provide a multitude of community centred services such as quality education, improved healthcare, increased agricultural output and enhanced security.
$ 5 trillion economy hinges on inclusive growth
Presenting the Budget 2019-20, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman talked about India achieving a $5 trillion economy by 2024. This is possible only if we are able to improve rural lives and catalyse the rural economy. To achieve this dream we need to do a lot more than making the internet live. BharatNet, the world’s largest rural broadband project is aimed at providing fibre-led broadband connectivity to 2.5 lakh gram panchayats. But is this enough to transform millions of lives? How do we move from connectivity to transformation? The answer to this lies in ‘applied infrastructure’. We need to provide integrated digital infrastructure and services to rural communities to bring BharatNet to life.
STL Garv – Innovation where it matters
STL GARV is a rural development initiative of Sterlite Technologies Ltd (STL). It is a digital access point for villages which enables access to multiple digital infrastructure and services for rural communities.
Garv, meaning ‘pride’ is designed to instil a sense equality in people of rural India. STL Garv aims to utilise BharatNet to improve the quality of lives in rural India and to bridge the rural-urban digital divide.
STL Garv platform has a host of features like – WiFi hotspot, interactive screen, biometric check, power backup with fast charging, camera and multi-directional microphones, ultra sound sensor for gestures, ultra HD display screen, CCTV solution, IoT board and voltage regulators. It provides a complete suite of applications through a strategic partnership model, to meet the requirements of entire cross section of villagers and this is bound to increase as the project gathers steam.
Presently, STL Garv’s pilot is running in Jansa village in Varanasi district of Uttar Pradesh, Thummaluru village in Rangareddy district of Telangana and Kalambeshwar village in Akola district of Maharashtra. STL Garv has created tangible impact in these areas through meaningful digital services, user friendly interface and easy accessibility.
A ‘Garv’ future
Describing his experience with Garv, Ram Maurya, a resident of Jansa village in Varanasi said
“BharatNet was present earlier too. But it was when STL Garv arrived that we realized the benefits of data connectivity and now we will continue to use it.”
Presently, STL Garv platform supports Hindi, Marathi and Telugu but in future it will support all official Indian languages. Not only this, Garv will also support Wi-Fi Connectivity, AR/VR Training, and many others. Using Garv, local operators can provide wireline or wireless connection to villagers with the click of a button. Using haptic devices, villagers can train themselves on different skill sets as per their choice in an AR/VR environment.
Once the pilot is over, STL is planning to launch the product in villages with the support of state and central governments. STL Garv will maintain the kiosks and will focus on hardware and software updates. The company will also be open for content partnerships —both with government and private entities — for e-Governance, tutoring, e-Health, e-Education and much more. Going forward, people can avail the services on a pay per use model.
STL Garv enables villages to have access to more than 85 different functions and features in an easy to use, easy to maintain form factor with effective usage of AI, IoT (Internet of Things) and cloud computing to create a solution tailor-made for BharatNet. STL Garv can be configured to meet the needs of rural communities by providing city like services to rural people at a fraction of the cost as the platform is robust, resilient and meant to function in rural operating conditions with minor tweaking of services depending upon local requirements.