Lucknow, December 09, 2016: The Government of Uttar Pradesh and Tata Trusts today announced their joint initiative to leverage the current digital revolution in the country and strengthen the public distribution system (PDS) in the state.
Tata Trusts have successfully installed electronic Point of Sale devices (ePOS) to ensure the operation of an Aadhar enabled Public Distribution System (AePDS) in the Fair Price Shops (FPS) of the entire urban region of Lucknow. This will assist FPS owners to service their customers using Aadhar authentication leading to the improvement in efficiency and transparency. With over 8 lakh transactions already through the ePOS devices, a coverage of 667 fair price shops and an overall Aadhaar authentication rate of approximately 60 per cent, this is another instance of a successful technical collaboration between the Trusts and the state government announcement. As the first steps towards achieving complete coverage, ePOS devices including SIM cards, and operating support for 5 months have been given to the FPS, and the owners have been oriented on digitization in batches.
On November 25, the Trusts and the Government had also announced the launch of Double Fortified Salt (DFS) to address iron and iodine deficiencies prevailing amongst the population of UP.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister, Government of Uttar Pradesh, Shri Akhilesh Yadav, thanked Mr. Ratan Tata for his presence at the event and said, “It was about a year back when the Government of Uttar Pradesh and Tata Trusts signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to work together in several sectors including agriculture, health, nutrition, education, migrant labour etc. The ePOS scheme is a part of this MoU with Tata Trusts.” He further added that, “The name ‘Tata’ is synonymous with credibility and trust in India. The Tata Trusts has played a significant role in the execution of various schemes under the MoU.”
Mr. Ratan Tata, Chairman, Tata Trusts, said, “With technology at the helm, our partnership with the Government of UP aims to mobilise resources and be a catalyst of change. A change that will be experienced by generations for generations to come. We hope our work towards poverty alleviation, job creation, increasing income, education and health will help create a new, Uttar Pradesh.”
Adopting a ‘Data to Digital Literacy’ approach to development, the Tata Trusts are working towards harnessing technology to address key developmental challenges, an approach that finds its roots in the shared vision of Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, and Mr. Ratan Tata that technology can act as a force for good.
Uttar Pradesh remains one of the focus geographies for the Tata Trusts’ developmental work. Here, the Trusts are also implementing “Internet Saathi”, a programme jointly developed with Google India that aims at promoting awareness about the Internet among rural communities with a strong focus on women. The objective of this initiative is to help bridge the gender divide in Internet usage. The ‘Internet Saathi’ programme aims to cover 36,000+ villages in UP, reaching over 4.5 million beneficiaries by March 2017, in line with the Government of India’s Digital India Initiative.
Similar programmes have been initiated to make a difference to education, health and livelihoods sectors in the state. Through its ‘Direct Education Program’, Tata Trusts seek to enhance access to quality education through imparting 21st century skills and learning; improving curricula in schools and madarasas; and facilitating teacher training and technology integration in course modules and pedagogy. Spread across 8 Blocks of 4 priority districts, the Tata Trusts’ own teams will reach more than 9500 Women, children and adolescents; while implementation partners will reach another 42000 individuals. With a view to bringing prosperity to farmer households, Tata Trusts have helped in improving productivity of specific crops while developing end to end value chains for selected high value crops. By establishing high-tech nurseries, solar water lifting, and a women-owned milk producer company, Tata Trusts along with the Government of UP, have assisted in creating farm based enterprises with well-developed value chains. Joint health schemes and projects like the 108 Samajwadi Health Service and the 102 National Ambulance Service, are also rendering remarkable services to people in need, in far flung areas and interior regions.
Mr. Tata also called upon the Hon’ble Governor, Shri Ram Naik, to appraise him of the development efforts, mentioned above, which Tata Trusts are implementing in collaboration with the government in Uttar Pradesh. Shri Naik appreciated Tata Trusts’ initiatives in UP and looked forward to continued support in the progress of the State.
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