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From mini telecom revolution in AP village to tech innovation -- pioneering work done by DMs honoured

twitter-logoPTI | August 21, 2019 | Updated 23:31 IST

(Eds: Adds a para) New Delhi, Aug 21 (PTI) Villagers from Chaparai in Andhra Pradesh's Left Wing Extremism-affected East Godavari district had to walk for kilometres to get any help due to lack of telecom connectivity, but all that changed with District Magistrate Kartikeya Misra's out-of-the-box idea following diarrhoea deaths there in 2017. Misra used Google X's FSOC technology to take telecom connectivity to the remote village and bring about a "mini telecom revolution" there. For innovative thinking and setting an example of good governance, Misra along with 14 other District Magistrates were honoured with The Indian Express Excellence in Governance Awards on Wednesday. Awards were given out in 16 categories ranging from Agriculture to Education and Technology to Women Development. Misra won the award in two categories. Union ministers Nitin Gadkari, Ram Vilas Paswan, Ravi Shankar Prasad, and Jitendra Singh gave out the awards to the IAS officers. Former Chief Justice of India R M Lodha, former cabinet secretary K M Chandrasekhar, former foreign secretary Nirupama Rao, and former chief information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah comprised the jury that picked the winners from 249 entries received from 84 districts in 24 states. All the winning entries were inspirational -- from Misra's telecom revolution in the Andhra Pradesh village to Tukaram Mundhe's Integrated Intelligence transport system of Navi Mumbai that had more people switch to public transport. The winning projects included a cluster of solar panels installed on a hillock as an alternative energy source, a neo-natal unit in the heart of Maoist territory, and an anti-corruption drive along the international border. Misra, the only DM to win awards in two categories, said there are a lot of hamlets and villages on the Eastern Ghats where mobile connectivity is very limited and any people have to travel for kilometres for information to reach district quarters. It was essential to create a telecom network in that area, Misra told PTI after receiving the award. "Telecom network due to Left Wing Extremism was difficult as laying fibre optic cable was difficult. Telecom service providers were not willing, it was not cost effective also," he said. "We used Google X's FSOC technology to take telecom connectivity to the remote village. Basically you need to carry Wi-Fi technology to a certain place and from there you can take connectivity to the next 20 km. We were able to provide triple play -- phone connectivity, internet and TV," Misra said. He said most people where the telecom connectivity was established had not seen a functional phone before. "For the first time telecom revolution connectivity came into these lives. We saw in 2-3 months of introduction (of the project), from a single village 20,000 calls emanating. This helped us deliver services better," he said. Misra said it was diarrhoea deaths in that village in June-July 2017 that prompted him to think out-of-the-box idea and by January 2018 the communication network was in place. FSOC technology can provide wireless internet connectivity with as much as 20-gigabit speed and to a distance of up to 20 km. Sandeep Nanduri (Implementation of Central schemes), Ayyaj Tamboli (Health), Astik Kumar Pandey (Community Involvement), Raj Kumar Yadav (North East districts), Vivek Yadav (Energy), A Sharath (Education), Prashant Bholanath Narnaware (Agriculture), C R Kharsan (Inclusive Innovation), Rakesh Kanwar (Social Welfare), Madhavi Khode Chaware (Child Development), Ashish Saxena (Women Development), Shahid Iqbal Choudhary (Jammu and Kashmir districts), and S Lakhmanan (Border districts) were the other winners. "The award is a new vehicle to tell a whole new set of stories," Viveck Goenka, Chairman and Managing Director, The Express Group, said. PTI ASK ASK SMN SMN SMN

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