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Technology is good only if used for public good: Uddhav Thackeray

Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray Thursday said that technology can be termed as a success only if it is used for public good.

He was speaking at a function where an MoU was signed between information technology firm Streamcast and state-run telecom major BSNL to provide educational content through set-top boxes free of cost.

“E-learning and tele-medicine are the most important technological revolutions. Technology is good only if used for public good,” Uddhav said, adding that e-learning and tele-medicine need to be popularised.

He said that an attempt was made in civic schools in Mumbai to give relief to students from carrying heavy school bags by providing them tablet computers.

Thackeray said that virtual classrooms, which have been set up in some civic schools in the metropolis, should be replicated across the state.

“Such classrooms should be set up in different parts of the state. The state government should tie-up with educational institutions from within the country and abroad to connect virtual classrooms. This will help exchange of ideas and studies,” he said.

The MoU between BSNL and Streamcast was for the launch of a digital education platform called “Edmission” which will be available through set-top boxes using a BSNL sim card.

It will be first launched in Sindhudurg district in the state’s Konkan region.

Minister of state for Home Deepak Kesarkar, who is also the guardian minister of the district, said, “The beneficiaries will be identified in a month’s time. People will have to submit KYC documents for obtaining the sim card. Anyone who can’t afford internet will get benefit as they will only have to pay Rs 65 as monthly rent for the sim card.”

Streamcast chairman Nimish Pandya said his firm is investing Rs 35 crore for provision of five lakh set-top boxes in Maharashtra as well as Rs 5,500 crore to build a data centre in Banda in Sawantwadi.

Speaking about the educational project, Pandya said, “Edmission will deliver varied learning content in multiple languages including English. Users will be able to access Edmission content through three devices in the house.”

Kesarkar informed that a human resource development centre, being developed in Sawantwadi at a cost of Rs 100 crore, will serve as training centre for students to appear for examinations.

The HRD centre will be supported by Streamcast.

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