Government inks MoU for 100 smart villages

Our correspondent
Itanagar, June 14: The Arunachal Pradesh government has inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Andhra Pradesh-based Smart Village Movement (SVM) to facilitate relevant technology innovations, R&D, open innovation, technology interventions and curriculum development in selected villages of the State.
The MoU was signed by State Council for IT & e-Governance director-cum-member secretary Neelam Yapin Tana on behalf of the government and SVM project director Shreya Evani on Wednesday in the presence of Chief Minister Pema Khandu, Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein, chief secretary Satya Gopal besides IT, RD and PR secretaries and other officials, official sources stated on Thursday.
Prof. Solomon Darwin, Executive Director, Garwood Center for Corporate Innovations, University of California (UoC), Berkeley, who is behind the SVM, was also present and will be the advisor of the core team.
UoC trained core team will focus on large-enterprise innovations, paying particular attention to implementation issues and development of new business models to capture value of innovative products and services. The project will focus on solving ‘pain-points’ (or challenges) in rural segment by developing platforms driven by open innovation approaches.
Not to confuse with ‘smart village’ term, Prof Darwin explained that this movement is basically a digital platform and not to be understood as a scheme for creation or establishment of infrastructure in village per se. Smart village is a community empowered by digital technologies and open innovation platforms to access global markets, he said.
“SVM’s open innovation approach will integrate technology and indigenous rural practices to generate sustainable revenue for constituents, thus increasing overall standard of living and quality of life, simultaneously creating economic, social and environmental value of the villages,” Prof Darwin explained.
Evani said that SVM would immediately start the project, which would involve the first six months (July-December 2018) in preparing the core team and do the ground work like capacity building, awareness and research, reaching out to universities, corporate pivoting and getting approvals for pilots. “To begin with, we would select 100 villages spread over 60 assembly constituencies in consultation with the State government for SVM,” she said, adding that advertisements have been floated in local newspapers for recruitment of core team members.
The SVM basically will offer a digital platform highlighting ‘pain-points’ challenges of the villages based on local inputs and researches, which will be accessed by universities and research institutes across the globe, who in turn will put back their solutions on the platform.
These solutions will be accessed by corporate or start-ups, who will express their interest to offer the technology to solve the pain-points. The core team will then validate the offers and in consultation with the state government invite the selected company or start-up to implement its technology at the ground level.
It may be recalled that on April 12 last, Khandu had met Prof Darwin at San Francisco, where both had agreed to implement the Prof’s SVM project in Arunachal.