Bhopal:Monday, January 18 : The prestigious Manthan Award for the year 2009 has been awarded to Dr. Syed Haider Rizvi. Under the category of ‘e-Enterprise and Livelihood Development’ bagged by ‘KHETI” (Knowledge Help Extension Technology Initiative) pioneering research project called Rural e-Services Project in India undertaken in Sironj block of Madhya Pradesh was experimented and implemented in India by Dr. SM Haider Rizvi and his British colleague Dr. Andy Dearden, who have been working for the development of this technology for the last 3 years The project was a joint initiative of Sheffield Hallam University, The University of West England and the Oxford University. The project. The KHETI has now attracted the attention of the policy makers and planners interested in ensuring development using ICTs (Information Communication and Technologies) from all over the world.
Dr S M Haider Rizvi who is currently Director (Policy Analysis) at School of Good Governance and Policy Analysis, Bhopal received this award at a function organized by Digital Empowerment Foundation, New Delhi in collaboration of Ministry of Information Technology, Government of India and important players in the sector. Dr Haider had piloted the project successfully and has already done a short feasibility test of KHETI with a cooperative formed and managed by small and marginal farmers in Sironj.
The KHETI functionalities is speeding-up communications amongst stakeholders especially Agriculture Specialist, farmer representatives and farmers. They, now with the help of mobiles, could create a multimedia package (known as Short Dialogue Strip or SDSs) using 6 high resolution images and 1.5 minutes voices at their fields/ villages and send to Agriculture Specialist by uploading on the web to get back responses on their queries, problems and other areas of interest. The system is generating knowledge bank and spreading it at large for wider usage, benefits and empowerment of the poor agriculture community.
The unique feature of the initiative is that technology has been developed in a participatory manner, involving the farmers as co-designers and focusing on the capacity building and empowerment of the stakeholders. The technology has proved of vital importance to improve income, livelihoods and empowerment of farmers. In KHETI trial run itself over 200 queries were handled and some significant risks to harvest (and house hold economies) were mitigated. The technology could very well be applied to enhance communications and information exchanges in other sectors, as well.
School of Good Governance and Policy Analysis, Bhopal is discussing possibilities of scaling up the technology applications in India particularly in Madhya Pradesh along with Sheffield Hallam University, UK.