SOURCE: E-BOOK ON SUCCESS STORIES RELEASED BY THE PRIME MINISTER ON CIVIL SERVICES DAY 2017
Not even a year old, the digital literacy programme in Jhalawar, Rajasthan, has already garnered over 1 Terabyte of educational data from various sources. In the present era of digitisation, relevance and importance of internet cannot be underrated, but affordability, availability, security and consistency are also key aspects. Based on an open media server, e-Gyankendra is an effort to create an ecosystem for community empowerment and smart citizen through Digital Learning. Today every educated person (Student, Career Aspirant, Teacher, Government Official, Citizen) wants to access the internet to mleverage best of the knowledge content.
In rural areas, however, unavailability or unaffordability of the internet or lacklustre speed of network connectivity often proves to be a struggle. A need of innovation which provides digital content to the public (especially villagers) free of cost without internet dependency or mandatory smartphones, was strongly felt. Thus open Media server based e-Gyankendra is the most appropriate solution to the above issues. It provides best of knowledge content of internet through a local server. It also provides a Wi-Fi network through routers and point to point access. The content is available on an open media server that can be regularly updated. At select venues, tablets have been provided in the libraries for citizens to access the content.
It has preloaded open source content on open media server comprising of e-Books, Educational Videos, Government Schemes, and information details, etc. Open media server (OM Server) empowers users to access preloaded content on Wi-Fi enabled devices like Tablets, Mobile Phones, Laptops, Computers, etc., without internet dependency.
First e-Gyankendra of Rajasthan has been set-up in Sunel Panchayat Samiti campus of Jhalawar District. Current setup gives access within 1.5 km radius. To facilitate the local community, a lab of 5 tablets has also been established in Panchayat Samiti Campus. e-Gyankendra, hosts and supports open media content in the form of video, documents, pdf, animation, images etc. Around 1 TB data of primary information includes multilingual Wikipedia, Quiz Academy, TED Talks, Worldwide maps, Project Gutenberg (45000+ books), Khan Academy (KA Lite), multilingual NCERT resources, to name a few.
Most of the relevant and important information related to Government schemes, forms and application of various departments and other e-Governance related content, has also been included.
Students are the greatest beneciary of e-Gyankendra. They can access important content of their course curriculum, namely NCERT Books, QuizAcademy content, Science Video and simulation, Khan Academy, etc. It not only creates an ecosystem for technology based quality education but also supports digital empowerment and skill development of students.
Wi-Fi network has also been provided to a couple of government schools from where students can access e-Gyankendra content. Hotspot zones have been created through the deployment of access points and routers in important public areas like bus stand, hospital, schools, banks, main market, etc., so that a local resident of Sunel village can access e-Governance services as well.
Sunel Village may be an experiment, but once Sunel Village may be an experiment, but once proven, it can indeed carve a digital path for entire rural India, terrain and geography notwithstanding.