The Akshaya project, first started in the rural Malappuram district of Kerala, India, and now spread all around the state, was the first district-wide e-literacy project in India and one of the largest known Internet Protocol (IP) based wireless networks in the world. In November 2002, the state government of Kerala put into place a project, piloted in Malappuram, with the goal of at least one person in every family to be computer literate in that district. Malappuram is now what is said to be India’s First E-literate District. The mission continues to make Kerala the First E-literate state in India.
In Malappuram district alone, Akshaya has conducted one of the world’s largest computer literacy drives, claiming to reach over 600,000 households, representing more than 3.6 million people, in less than 6 months. The project has created a unique brand of state-funded computer access centers, and simultaneously led to a massive wireless infrastructure, providing a wide range of services and making way to many future opportunities.
The project offers lots of services like: E-Pay (electronic payment of utility bills like electricity, land phone, drinking water, university fees etc.); E-Krishi (for farmers to provide online agriculture trading and information portal, A to Z Solution); E-Vidya (advanced IT learning for e-literates and others); E-Ticketing (online train, flight, bus ticket reservations); PMRY online registration; online passport registration; a village kiosk for transparent collectorate program, online communication providers for expatriate Indians; an online medical transcription course, with extension programs for all the above-mentioned services.
In the nineties of the last century United Nations ratings for the different regions of the world recorded Kerala as an economic miracle. In several social parameters the State was at par with the developed West. This unbelievable feat was achieved in spite of a lesser per capita income and lack of industrial back up. The great economist Amarthya Sen attributed this achievement to the spread of education to a wider level in Kerala society. A section of educated among Keralites utilised the services of information technology for further economic development.