Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will inaugurate a village resource centre (VRC) project, established jointly by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF), on October 18. The satellite-based project, which will provide locale-specific information to villages, will be inaugurated by satellite link.
The ISRO-MSSRF partnership, which aims at harnessing space-based services and IT tools for the benefit of rural communities, will initially be launched from four nodes located in Tamil Nadu: Thiruvaiyaru, Thankachimadam, Sempatti and Chennai. The central nodal agency will function from the MSSRF office in Chennai.
The VRC will use space-based services provided by communications satellites like INSAT and earth observation satellites like Indian remote sensing satellites to provide information specific to a rural community in the form of geo-referenced land records, natural resources, suitable sites for drinking water as well as sites for recharging ground water, water harvesting, wasteland reclamation, rural employment creation, watershed development, environment, infrastructure, alternate cropping patterns and so on.
By collating such information with the information collected from ground-based and weather-related information, locale-specific advisory services could be provided like community-based vulnerability and risk-related information, provision of early warning, dissemination of weather-related information for disaster management etc. The project aims to connect more than 600,000 Indian villages and will function through a totally interactive VSAT-based network. The network will use one of the Extended C-band transponder of the INSAT-3A satellite. Persons located at one node of the network can fully interact with others in other nodes through audio and video links.