UPSC Exam Preparation: Topic of the Day – Village Resource Centres (VRC)
Village Resource Centres provide space-based services in the rural areas. They are one of the unique initiatives that use Satellite Communication (SATCOM) network and Earth Observation (EO) satellite data to reach out to the villages to address the needs of the local people in villages itself.
Applications of Village Resource Centres:
A wide variety of services are provided by the Village Resource Centres in t5he rural areas:
- Tele-medicine concept connects the sick people in villages, to the doctors, who located in cities/urban areas or the Super-speciality hospitals through Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) network, for providing health services.
- The Tele-education uses Satellite Communications (SATCOM) to provide a virtual classroom facility to far-flung villages or remote areas in the country that helps in imparting education to the needy.
- Advisories related to agriculture like crop pest and diseases, fertilizer/pesticides, organic farming, crop insurance etc.; livestock/poultry, career guidance to rural students.
- It helps in the skill development and imparting vocational training to the rural population. Other areas of application include Panchayat planning, Weather information, Marketing information, Watershed Development, Drinking water etc.
Importance of Village Resource Centres:
- The peaceful use of satellite technology for the development of rural areas is demonstrated with the use of Village Resource Centres.
- The Village Resource Centres have conducted over 6500 programmes so far, addressing the areas like, Agriculture/horticulture development; Fisheries development; Livestock development; Water resources; Tele health care; Awareness programmes; Woman’s empowerment; Supplementary education; Computer literacy; Micro credit; Micro finance; Skill development / vocational training for livelihood support etc.
In association with selected NGOs, Trusts and State Government Departments, the Indian Space Research Organisation ISRO has established around 473 Village Resource Centres (VRCs) on a pilot basis. However, there is a need to upscale the VRCs and link all the village Panchayats. This will help in efficient exploitation of the available resources at the villages and also reduce distress migration from villages due to lack of basic health, education and information asymmetry.
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