The project will focus on the five key areas of health, education, livelihood, governance and finance
Nokia aims to develop 500 digitally integrated and sustainable smart villages across India in line with the government’s vision of Digital India.
Phase one of the Smartpur project has seen pilots rolled out in Haryana and Tamil Nadu with the Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF) as the implementation partner to develop 10 such villages in each state in a hub-and-spoke model.
According to the International Telecom Union ICT Facts and Figures, 20 per cent of households in developed countries and as many as 66 per cent of households in developing countries do not have internet access, leaving almost four billion people from developing countries offline. Nearly a billion of these unconnected people live in India, and mostly in rural India.
Nokia aims to create a sustainable ecosystem where community members can leverage digital tools to bring efficiency in daily lives, transparency in governance, economic prosperity for households and ease-of-access to various government services and information.
The project will work under the five key areas of development — health, education, livelihood, governance and finance — to build a holistic, digitally integrated village.
Tain village in Mewat district, Haryana, and Asoor in Kanchipuram district, Tamil Nadu, will serve as hubs which will host a digital centre with telecom connectivity to provide ICT-enabled, primary services across each of the five pillars to rural community. The spoke centres will further extend these services to nine other villages.
In phase two, the project will be scaled-up to up to another 80 villages across various states. Subsequently, it will be extended to another 400 villages over a period of five years.
“At Nokia, we believe connecting the unconnected opens up opportunities in many areas and has tremendous potential to enable socio-economic empowerment of individual as well as communities,” said Sanjay Malik, head of India Market, Nokia.
“The Smartpur initiative is our contribution to delivering the benefits of broadband infrastructure and services to the ‘telecom-dark’ areas and support the government’s vision of Digital India for a more inclusive growth.”
Nina Vaskunlahti, Ambassador of Finland, who inaugurated Tain village, stated: “India is on the brink of a phenomenal digital journey which can only be successful if it is all inclusive.
Smartpur project is a significant step in that direction which will integrate these villages and rural communities, providing digital tools and internet connectivity for social and economic impact that truly makes a village smart and fosters a digitally inclusive society.”