Press Releases

  • TERI's knowledge centre - a boon at the tougher terrains

    12 June 2007

    TERI has been working in the field of Energy, Environment and sustainable development for more than 25 years. TERI's rural ICT (Information and Communications Technology) initiative is a natural extension of its work. It is envisioned as an integrated initiative towards nurturing and building capacities among village communities.

    Around 10 kms from Mukteshwar (Uttrakhand), lies a village called Supi where TERI had its first presence around 5 years back (2002) by setting up an agriculture testing field in its 7 hectare of land. Ever since then, TERI has been serving the local community/villages around that area by creating awareness in terms of conducting researches and demonstrating how better can the existing crops yield be increased and also the scope of herbal, medicinal and aromatic plants.

    In September 06, TERI felt that there is a need for wider dissemination of knowledge and also to make some utility services available in the region through which the people of the region can benefit from. The establishment of a knowledge center near the TERI's farm was the answer. The knowledge center is an ICT enabled infrastructural set up which provides online and offline services to the community around it.

    TERI selected a local entrepreneur from the community and trained him on the operations of the knowledge center.

    There have been various services which the knowledge center has rolled out during this time. Service spanning from computer education, digital photo-graphy, DTP, library (for children and women), astrology and matchmaking, agri-query. There have also been capacity building and information providing exercises from time to time on agriculture & health. Subsidized computer learning for children has been of help to the low income groups who would like their wards to know how to operate computers.

    Children are very much interested in computers as they try out new things there. Painting, copying files, operating multimedia is what interests them much. Instructor help is needed very little while they are let on their own on the computer. Helping each other and learning is how they explore the computer. There are around 18 children who are currently registered with the knowledge center who use the computer and the library services there.

    The library service was started keeping in mind the children and the women who can make use of this service and gain knowledge. Presently, there is a collection of over 200 books covering children story books, comics, women's magazines, short stories and novels. Children come after school hours and issue or read books at the knowledge center.

    Provision of a water testing kit at the knowledge center enables the entrepreneur to collect water samples from the local community, test it and provide an analysis of the sample. The kit is handy and does not require any sophisticated equipment or even electricity.

    The centre is also a meeting ground for the farmers for information on agriculture produces and also exchange ideas and knowledge with the TERI experts.

    Objectives of setting up a TERI knowledge center are:

    • A scope of self-employment for the rural youth, creating local entrepreneurs.
    • A long-term horizon towards a systemic change in the rural environment - A participatory approach involving the rural stake holders
    • Enable the TERI Knowledge centre to be the 'single window' to the village community for accessing opportunity to better livelihood by building their capacity and providing customized services.
    • Facilitation of adaptation of improved and innovative technology options. Incubation and transfer of technologies incorporating the best practices

    TERI is aiming to set-up more of these centers in different geographies and serve the population around the catchment area of the geography with its expertise knowledge and services. TERI aims to use 'pull' mechanisms (capacity building, local services, vocational training, etc.) - which pull the people to the knowledge center rather than 'push' mechanism (sale of insurance, mobile cards, etc.) which are services that strive more on sales.

    TERI's endeavor is to create a platform in rural India which can be used as means for communication, education, sharing local knowledge, improving economies, and incorporating best practices for development.