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GPC furthers its GeoVillage Concept in India

SolarPanel IndiaGPC is currently involved in several initiatives in India both to tap into the country’s growing wealth of skilled geospatial and ICT professionals through strategic partnerships, as well as to offer its unique blend of GeoSmart methods, tools and data for implementation within the India market. The GPC team recently deployed a mission to visit several states and organizations across the country.

As part of this visit, GPC has entered into an MOU with ‘Desi Power’, a community electrification organization that has pioneered a unique approach to the development of renewable energy power plants and micro grid distribution which provides electricity to remote villages that previously did not have the services. The company has also created a foundation to leverage this infrastructure for community economic and social development; Desi Power has requested GPC's support in bringing the GeoVillage concept and community engagement process to achieve this objective. The mission visited several remote villages and had an opportunity to talk with Community leaders, shop owners and people on the street regarding their special needs, priorities, and how access to electricity and services such as micro-finance, remote banking, agricultural extension, telehealth, telemedicine, and other such services can now be provided online. The objective is to utilize the renewable energy power plant not only to support household uses but also to empower businesses, agricultural pumps and other machinery, and ultimately to power telecommunications cellular towers that can provide access to online GeoVillage services. The foundation has also developed the concept of a family farm enterprise that allows several families to combine the resources for the development of intensive and unique crops intended to reach selected markets and thereby increase the income of local families. Desi Power and GPC have initiated a program for the promotion and development of GeoVillage for Bihar District and will be collaborating in the implementation of this program in the coming months.

The GPC mission also visited the ICRISAT facility in Hyderabad.  Since 1972 ICRISAT has been a leading pioneer in agricultural innovations for the tropic drylands areas of South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, and is an important member of the CGIAR network of applied research facilities around the world.  The organization is becoming involved in several state-wide efforts that will involve the integration of the agricultural sector with many other sectors and interdisciplinary collaboration towards a more holistic approach to development. Given the prominence of agriculture in the economies of developing countries, the interdisciplinary holistic approach being developed by ICRISAT will contribute significantly to more effective development interventions throughout the organization's area of interest. GPC is working with ICRISAT to help shape the methodology that includes regional and local geospatial and related information resources and a multi-stakeholder engagement process to achieve the holistic development intervention objective. 

GPC has developed the concept of GeoVillage and has been actively promoting its development in several countries and regions around the world. The state of Kerala in India has developed its own version of a similar provision of the government services to local communities through its ‘Akshaya Centres’. The Centres are run by private entrepreneurs in local communities and provide the local people with assistance on how to access and utilize the government services from the state. GPC visited the agencies that are responsible for the development and support of Akshaya centres which include more than 600 across Kerala State today.  GPC also met with government officials responsible for administering state-wide spatial data infrastructure to learn from their experiences and to share experiences from Abu Dhabi and other places where GPC has been involved in Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) implementation. For more information on GeoVillage, click here: http://bit.ly/GPC_GeoVillage

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