Samadhan Kendra – Integrated Information System for Rural Development

Indian economy is mostly agrarian, as majority of its population is concentrated in the rural areas. Growth in agriculture sector can boost the economy of the country, which can be achieved through precision agriculture. Scientists are often encouraged to focus on rural development programmes. One such initiative is the Samadhan Kendra, an integrated internet-based, user-friendly software for the benefit of rural population.

The CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, Hyderabad initiated the development of Samadhan Kendra as a pilot project in Pratipadu village of Tadepalligudem Mandal, West Godavari district, Andhra Pradesh. With financial support from the Union Ministry of Information and Communication Technology, CSIR-IICT developed an integrated information system using audio, video and graphics for rural applications.

Samadhan Kendra aims at addressing the various issues of the rural population for a sustainable development and provide a linkage with the administrative machinery to facilitate knowledge exchange. One of the objectives of Samadhan Kendra is to gradually enable villagers to access the information on agricultural aspects of that region.

Samadhan Kendra is unique as it is a one-stop platform for information on agriculture, health, administration, banking and healthcare. The ease of usage is unparalleled as the icons, diagrams and audio are easy to understand and navigate. The technology was successfully transferred to various agencies for subsequent establishment of many centres in Andhra Pradesh. Another Samadhan Kendra was set up at Muppavarapu Foundation, Venkatachalam, Nellore district.

Each Samadhan Kendra is established in a centrally located village that is easily accessible by people residing in neighbouring villages. Each Kendra caters to the needs of 20 villages and a Kendra covers a population of approximately 5000 persons in each village. It is estimated that a total population of one lakh will be covered by each centre.

Information in the Kendra is in local language, and the software is upgraded as per the requisite of the local needs. The Kendra gives complete information on interest rates offered by the credit cooperative societies in their respective villages. Farmers have access to information on government authorized dealers for seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, insecticides etc., along with the information about subsidies.

Integrated pest management section offers information about the various pests and diseases related to the particular crops grown in the given area with a solution to their respective problems. Picture and voice representation of the pests and diseases are available for farmers to easily identify the pest or disease associated with their crop. The audio files are available in Telugu and English languages.

Apart from the agricultural information, the Kendra has information on schools, colleges, primary health care centres, government schemes for the welfare of the farmers and banks loans offered for education etc. The data contained in this web application is very easy to access.

Srinivasa Rao Mutheneni and Ambica Vankamamidi
CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, Hyderabad