New Delhi: To demonstrate the potential of satellite technology for development of rural areas, ISRO established Village Resource Centres (VRCs) on a pilot scale.
"VRCs have provided various space technology enabled services such as tele-healthcare, tele-education, natural resources information, advisories related to agriculture, career guidance to rural students, skill development and vocational training etc", Dr Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Department of Atomic Energy, said in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.
About Rs 18 crores was spent for establishing 473 VRCs. The project is running in association with selected NGOs, Trusts and State Government Departments.
ISRO had earlier said that there are 461 VRCs at present set up in 22 States/Union Territories, namely Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Delhi, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Orissa, Puducherry, Rajasthan, Sikkim. Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and A & N islands.
The 461 VRC nodes include 81 Expert Centres.
Over 6500 programmes have been conducted by the VRCs so far addressing the areas like, Agriculture/Horticulture development, Fisheries development, Live stock development, Water resources, and Tele health care.
Other programmes include Awareness programmes, Woman’s empowerment, Supplementary education, Computer literacy, Micro credit, Micro finance, Skill development/Vocational training for livelihood support etc. S
"So far, over five Lakh people have used VRC services", ISRO said.
The feasibility of incorporating advancements emerged in the area of communication technology into future VRCs is being studied.
Based on the outcome of the study, utilization plan and interest of NGOs and State Governments, further expansion of VRC network would be considered.
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