Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Google makes large grants to improve public services in India

Google.org, the philanthropic arm of the firm best known for its Internet search engine, will spend over $25 million in grants and investments over the next five to 10 years, the company announced here Friday.

In India, Google.org will provide grants and work closely with NGOs to improve essential public services for the poor. It will give $2 million to the NGO Pratham to conduct an all-India annual status of education report (ASER) as well as for large-scale assessments in the education sector.

Pratham has carried out three ASERs already and is planning to strengthen the process.

The group will give $765,000 to the Centre for Budget and Policy Studies, a Bangalore-based analysis group, to create a budget information service for local governments, to facilitate better district and municipal-level planning throughout India.

The think-tank Centre for Police Research (CPR) will be given $660,000 to increase the debate on issues of urban local governance and urban service delivery.

CPR President Pratap Bhanu Mehta said: 'The focus areas of our partnership - urbanisation and legislative research - are vital for India's future as a large and rapidly growing democracy. How we manage our urban spaces, and the extent to which we can promote good governance of our public institutions, will significantly influence the nature of growth and development in years to come.'

Chennai-based Institute for Finance Management and Research will be given over $1 million to collect district level data on development issues and map this information.

PRS Legislative Research of Delhi will be given $880,000 to track the performance of members of parliament.

Larry Brilliant, executive director of Google.org, said: 'These five initiatives are our attempt to address some of the hard problems we as a world need to face in the coming decade.'

Source: http://www.indiaprwire.com/businessnews/20080118/26759.htm


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