Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has established 473 Village Resource Centres (VRCs) in 22 states across the country. The centres, which have been established in association with selected NGOs, Trusts and state government departments on a pilot scale, will demonstrate the potential of satellite technology for development of rural areas.

Addressing the Lok Sabha on Thursday, 8 February, Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh said in a written reply that around Rs 18 crores has been spent for establishing the 473 VRCs.

According to ISRO, the VRCs provide various space technology enabled services for the development of rural areas.

The services include improvement of drinking water facility, panchayat planning, telemedicine, teleeducation, weather information, market information, etc.

The services are helping over 5 lakh villagers in the development of agriculture, horticulture, fisheries development and livestock.

It is also empowering women and increasing the literacy in the rural areas through computer ad supplementary education.

ISRO states that the expansion of the VRCs will be done based on the outcome of the pilot projects. Till February 2014, before the Modi government came to power, 456 VRCs had been set up.