Intel plans to conquer rural India with portable PC for school children

Intel marketing veteran John McClure likes to tell the story of an unschooled Indian farmer who wanted to catch and store rain to water his crops but didn’t know how to go about it. The farmer’s daughter figured out a way by researching the subject at an Internet-equipped community centre in their village after school hours and helped him design a “rain-harvesting solution,” he says. Intel the world’s largest microchip maker, whose products power eight out of 10 computers sold globally, has tied up with state governments and Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services (IL&FS) in a programme to spread computer literacy in the countryside. Intel unveiled a portable personal computer designed for school children on Saturday which will provide technology support, educational content and wireless connectivity to 100,000 rural community centers over the next year.

Intel will also help lay a broadband network across rural India and develop local-language Internet content. Intel is betting that children in the villages who experience first-hand the benefits of technology will buy a computer when they grow up and take up a job or go into business.