VRC

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Village Resource Centres

Village Resource Centres (VRC)

Village Resource Centres (VRC) are facilities developed for Tele-reach applications established in rural areas of India. They work as modified libraries and information centers and provide expanded services to support Disaster Risk Management (DRM) activities. VRC integrate space technology and terrestrial infrastructure to provide improved access to data on natural resources, land and water resources management, Tele-medicine, Tele-education, vocational training, DRM, climate change adaptation, health, and family welfare. The basic cost to setup one VRC in a rural location is ~10000$ (CAPART, 2006), plus costs due to capacity building and training of the local community. Nearly 500 VRCs have been established in the country since 1989, and there are plans to have about 2000 installed until 2012 (Mercado and Ravichandra Rao, 1992; ISRO, 2007).

VRC tele-reach schematics (Source: M. S. Swaminathan Research Foundation, 2009)

An important lesson identified from early VRC implementation was to incorporate indigenous knowledge into the information delivery to the end user. At evaluation time, only 20 – 25 percent of delivered information contained local knowledge. (Mercado and Ravichandra Rao, 1992). The main benefits of the VRC program are to provide bandwidth, network, outreach, and sustainability for delivering interactive applications to remote areas in India.

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