In a bid to ramp up its IT infrastructure, the Jharkhand government on Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding with US-based technology major Oracle to enhance delivery of services to citizens as well as make the State more attractive for startups.“We are ramping up IT infrastructure in the State and have initiated programs in this direction. We are undertaking continued efforts to bridge the gap between the government and the citizens through use of IT,” Raghubar Das, Chief Minister of Jharkhand, said at an event in New Delhi.He added that the government of Jharkhand and Oracle will jointly explore and identify areas in which Oracle’s cloud-based technologies can be used to support entrepreneurship.The CM also asked Oracle to explore the option of opening a state-of-the-art software development centre in the State.“We will collaborate to create proof of concepts and help new startups using Oracle cloud-based platforms to operationalize citizen services and startup centres that would further the vision of the CM to increase employment and alleviate poverty,” Oracle CEO Safra Catz said.Stating that India is one of the “greatest possible opportunity”, Ms Catz said that cloud is triggering broad innovation within the technology industry and will drive change and increase efficiency within emerging economies like India.Oracle’s cloud services will be used to support the State by providing transparent governance, the Jharkhand government said, adding that the tech giant’s expertise in areas of ICT infrastructure, real estate, health, education, housing for Ranchi smart city project will also be utilised.
The RuTAG had earlier provided technical assistance for upgradation of kilns in which clay griddles are baked and modified the product’s design and thickness to suit the requirement of gas stoves and heaters in the cities. The earthy scent of the black soil, procured mostly from ponds in Bharatpur district, is maintained in the griddles after they are baked.Clay pottery is both a traditional occupation and the only livelihood option for the Prajapat community, also known as Kumhars, in the region. The demand for earthenware has soared among the health-conscious people residing in cities, who believe that the nutrients of food items are protected when cooked in earthen utensils. The traditional potters belonging to the Prajapat community in Rajasthan’s Bharatpur district are being given technical training which is expected to help them hone their skills in their occupation.An ongoing tech-aided camp in Pahari town is training the youths in making earthen pots as well as terracotta decorative items which are in heavy demand in the southern States.The camp, being attended by two dozen Prajapat youths, will enable them make rapid strides in manufacturing cups, cutlery, mugs, pans, clay griddles, dishes, bowls and cookers.Master trainer Moti Lal, who learnt the technical applications at IIT Delhi’s Rural Technology Action Group (RuTAG), told The Hindu on Tuesday that the use of electric motors for the spinning of the potter’s wheel, innovative design interventions and new baking techniques would facilitate bulk production of earthenware quickly.Bharatpur-based Lupin Foundation has joined hands with RuTAG to provide technical assistance to the potters.Mr. Lal, 52, said the Prajapat community hoped that the government bodies, such as the Khadi & Village Industries Commission, would provide mechanised potter’s wheels in remote villages.Lupin Foundation’s executive director Sita Ram Gupta said that while the training would help promote pottery industry, the earthenware produced in the district would be sent to various fairs and exhibitions across the country and also sold online with the help of web portals operating from Jaipur. “The training will connect traditional artisans with modern technology and help increase their income,” he said.