Kerala project wins global IT award

Austria-based Ars Electronica has selected Akshaya, a unique project that seeks to achieve e-literacy for the prestigious Golden Nica award.

india Updated: Aug 27, 2005 19:50 IST

The Austria-based Ars Electronica has selected a unique Kerala project that seeks to achieve e-literacy in the state for the prestigious Golden Nica award.

Ars Electronica, a platform for digital arts and media, selected the Akshaya project in the Digital Communities category. The award carries a cash prize of 10,000 Euros (around Rs 550,000).

"I am leaving for Austria to receive the award," said state IT secretary PH Kurian. The award ceremony will take place on September 2.

Kurian said the award was a great honour because "we have been selected from several other unique similar projects which participated in the competition".

Geeta Pious of IT Mission, which runs the Akshaya project, said the award was considered on par with the Oscars.

"While for the films it is the Oscar, for digital arts it is the Golden Nica, which is the most prestigious one. This is the first time that this award has gone to an Asian project," added Pious.

President APJ Abdul Kalam had in November 2002 kicked off the Akshaya project in Malappuram district.

The Akshaya centres aim to provide IT literacy training to one member in every household at a cost of Rs 120, of which the student has to contribute Rs 40. The village council will give the rest.

Each person would be given lessons on the basics of computer training.

Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy early this month rolled out this programme in seven other districts. He said that by the end of 2007 Kerala would become a 100 percent e-literate state.

First Published: Aug 27, 2005 16:57 IST