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Arunachal inks MoU for implementing Smart Village project
Correspondent
 ITANAGAR, June 13 - Arunachal Pradesh Government today inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Andhra Pradesh based Smart Village Movement (SVM) to facilitate relevant technology innovations, R&D, open innovation, technology interventions and curriculum development in select villages of the border State.

The MoU was signed by Director-cum-Member Secretary of State Council for IT & e-Governance, Neelam Yapin Tana on behalf of the State Government and Project Director of SVM, Shreya Evani in presence of Chief Minister Pema Khandu, Deputy CM Chowna Mein, Chief Secretary Satya Gopal and others.

The man behind SVM, Prof Solomon Darwin, Executive Director, Garwood Centre for Corporate Innovations, University of California (UC), Berkeley, who was also present during the MoU signing, will be the advisor of the Smart Village Core Team.

UC, Berkeley-trained Core Team will focus on large-enterprise innovations, paying particular attention to implementation issues and development of new business models to capture the value of innovative products and services.

Not to confuse with the term ‘Smart Village’, Prof Darwin explained that this movement is basically a digital platform and not to be understood as a scheme for creation of infrastructure in the village per se. Smart Village is a community empowered by digital technologies and Open Innovation platforms to access global markets, he pointed out.

“SVM’s Open Innovation approach will integrate technology and indigenous rural practices to generate sustainable revenue for constituents, thus increasing overall standard of living and quality of life, simultaneously creating economic, social and environmental value of the villages,” Prof Darwin explained.

Project Director Evani informed that SVM would immediately start up the project, which would involve the first six months (July-December 2018) in preparing the Core Team and do the ground work like capacity-building, awareness and research, reaching out to universities, corporate pivoting and getting approvals for pilots.

“To begin with, we would select 100 villages spread over 60 Assembly Constituencies in consultation with the Government for the SVM,” she informed.

Basically, SVM would offer a digital platform highlighting ‘pain-points’ or challenges of the villages based on local inputs and researches, which will be accessed by universities and research institutes across the globe, who in turn will put back their solutions on the platform. These solutions will be accessed by corporates or start-ups, who will express their interest to offer the technology to solve the pain-points. The Core Team will then validate the offers and in consultation with State Government invite the selected company or start-up to implement its technology at the ground level.

Two months back, on April 12, Khandu had met Prof Darwin at San Francisco, where both agreed to implement the Professor’s Smart Village project in Arunachal Pradesh. At the moment, the project is being successfully implemented in Andhra Pradesh.

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