Ignatius Pereira

Courtesy the Akshaya project

Kollam third district in the State to become e-literate

First phase over with achievement of e-literacy

KOLLAM: Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan will declare Kollam a fully e-literate district at a function here in the first week of July.

District Collector A. Shajahan told The Hindu that the distinction was achieved through the Akshaya project.

After Malappuram and Kannur, Kollam is the third district in the State to become e-literate.

The Akshaya project aims at making Kerala the first e-literate State in the country. The project was launched in the district on December 13, 2005. At present, there are 143 Akshaya centres in the district.

Mr. Shajahan said that with total e-literacy, the first phase of the project had been completed in the district. Its aim was to make one person per house e-literate. Already 90 per cent of the target had been reached and the remaining would be achieved by the end of the month.

Second phase

Mr. Shajahan said Akshaya was now going ahead full steam with the implementation of the second phase government-to-citizen (GTC) and business-to-citizen (BTC) projects.

Reju Tom Lal, assistant district coordinator of the project, told The Hindu that several programmes for the benefit of the people had been listed under the GTC project. These included e-Krishi, online payment of commercial taxes, and e-payment of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd., Kerala Water Authority and Kerala State Electricity Board bills round the clock. The e-Krishi project was expected to be revolutionary.

Mr. Reju said the second phase included an e-learning programme. It was not only a computer literacy but also an information and communication technology-enabled education programme. The target was to develop community welfare-based projects. Nearly 1,200 students had already been trained under the programme. Of them, two would take part in a national-level Intel programme.

The duo selected was trained at the Akshaya centre at Nellikunnam grama panchayat. Their projects were based on the food security programme, Mr. Reju said. Under the food security programme, the Akshaya project will encourage vegetable farms on five to 10 cents in schools, he said.

Payment of taxes

For payment of commercial taxes, the Commercial Taxes Department will entrust Akshaya with preparation of the required data entry for the Form-10 procedures. Only 30 per cent of the commercial taxes payment in the district has gone online. The aim is to make it 100 per cent. Mr. Reju said the Akshaya project could be used to monitor and get feedback on the progress of Union government schemes. Recently, Akshaya completed taking identity card photographs of the beneficiaries of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme.

From June 22 to 26, Akshaya will conduct guidance and counselling for students and parents on the single-window system for Plus One admissions. The programme will be held through its centres in the district. Under the BTC programme, insurance coverage under the Life Insurance Corporation will be promoted.