ICICI Bank develops India’s First Digital Village at Akodara, Gujarat

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Rusen Kumar from Akodara

AKODARA,GUJARAT: Digital village is now a reality in India. ICICI Bank, India’s largest private sector Bank, has developed a digital village in the state of Gujarat.

In line with Narendra Modi’s vision of Digital India, Bank has partnered with the Government to transform Akodara into a Digital Village.

In this village, technology acts as a catalystg for development, enabling local business opportunities, education and improving health & welfare. ICICI Bank has setup digital facilities in financial services, education and healthcare services within the village.

Local financial transactions happen through mobile banking, debit cards and internet banking instead of the conventional mode like cash. All the transaction points in the village for purchase or selling activity have been digitized to make it a cashless village.

The schools in the village use technology to impart education to village students through integrated projector cum computer with smart board interactive features provided by ICICI Foundation. Teaching happens with the help of audio-visual content mapped to the Gujarat State Board curriculum in the classrooms.

Schools have also been provided School management software to manage academic and administrative tasks such as student details, student attendance, school time-table & examination scheduling and examination results.

Villagers have access to quality medical advise in the village through e-health centre. Medical Diagnosis happens in the e-health centre in the village which is transmitted to medical experts who then analyze and provide medical advise accordingly.’ICICI Digital Village’ at Akodara in Sabarkantha district of Gujarat enables villagers to use technology in various aspects of life including banking, payments, education and healthcare among others.

Here, financial transactions are cashless, text books are paperless, children read books on LED monitors and Tabs, patients can avail the facility of telemedicine and wi-fi connectivity is available across the village. The digital village initiative has three dimensions. The first dimension is to enhance access to banking and provide seamless banking services.

It  is using pioneering technology of tab banking to open savings bank account. Tab Banking allows customers to open accounts without submitting physical documents. The accounts are being serviced by a dedicated branch and an ATM. All adults in the village now have saving accounts.

The Bank is providing technology-enabled banking services to the villagers including statements, alerts, remittances and fund transfers on the mobile phone. The villagers’ accounts are also being linked to Aadhar to enable direct transfer of government benefits into savings accounts.

ICICI is creating a cashless, digital payment ecosystem for the village. It has created an end-to-end payment solution leveraging Rupay cards and SMS banking at the village shops, at the mandi for sale of agri-produce and at the cooperative society for sale of milk. The second dimension of the initiative is to leverage technology in the social sectors for improvement in the lives of the villagers.

For that, The Bank is digitizing school attendance and school records and implementing a school management software in the village school .The Bank is providing smart boards, integrating projector and computer at the school and the anganwadi, with audio-visual digital content for classes 1 to 10

It will provide digital access to telemedicine via mobile or video conference, giving villagers access to medical expertise .It will bring its skill development programme to the village through the ICICI Academy for Skills.

The third dimension of the strategy is to create enabling infrastructure to make technology available, and access and disseminate information.

The key elements of this are: High speed broadband connectivity throughout the village via wi-fi using a wi-fi tower Enabling farmers to access the latest information on prices of agricultural commodities on NCDEX.

 

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