Lack of trained professional, electricity and difficulty in reaching out to tough terrain has a negative impact on imparting digital literacy training in rural India. The digital divide in India is increasing with lack of proper training on digital literacy to rural youth which results in improper use of Internet and practically no use of productivity programs and Internet in the developmental process in rural India.
To counter this Edimpact, a company based out of Jharkhand, has developed a mobile computer lab that is powered by solar energy and does not require electricity. The Maruti EECO van has been redesigned with a 1KVA inverter and battery powered by solar panels on the roof. The vehicle interiors have been redesigned to power 5 laptops and one demo computer and is equipped with Wi-Fi Internet. 6-7 students can sit and learn. The system has a backup of 6-7 hours in case of solar energy is not available else it runs directly on solar energy.
According to the director of Edimpact, Mr. Sanwill Srivastava, the vehicle will have a driver and trained professional who will go to rural villages and impart training on Computer Basics, Internet, Email, Cyber Security, Productivity Programs and using Cashless Transactions. According to Mr. Sanwill, the company also plans to provide basic govt. services to rural citizens in future like UID registration, PAN registration, certificates, applications and result printing so they do not have to travel to offices.
Edimpact has also partnered with Don Bosco to provide skill development training in rural areas through Project Surya Kiran. Fr. Noble George from Don Bosco said that Project Surya Kiran vehicle will help providing skill development training in rural areas through video conferencing and practical knowledge.
The flexibility in design and functionality enables the Project Surya Kiran vehicle to be used as a mobile health centre, cybercafé, an IT classroom and hold community trainings.
In the first phase from Oct-Nov 2018, Edimpact is launching Project Surya Kiran project in Jharkhand, Odisha and Assam.