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India on Intel priority list

Tindivanam (TN), Sept. 3: India stands a good chance of becoming one of the manufacturing sites of Intel. “When we need more capacity, India will be very high on our list of potential sites,” chairman Craig Barrett said today after launching two e-health pilot projects here.

Barrett said India’s physical infrastructure did not come in the way of Intel’s investment decisions here.

“Intel’s decision to invest in Vietnam and, more recently, in China was an outcome of discussions that were already on. This was even before the Indian government could formulate a well-documented plan to attract large investments in IT hardware manufacturing,” Barrett said, referring to the delay in finalising India’s semi-conductor policy.

Intel will now focus on engineering and on developing its software centre in Bangalore. It will also continue with its training and technical support activities for states and the Centre to deliver quality education and healthcare to rural India.

Barrett declined to put any numbers to Intel’s expenditure in the computer educational training and healthcare programmes.

The two e-healthcare projects launched by him and Union health minister Anbumani Ramadoss are extensions of Intel’s World Ahead Programme, a global initiative to provide people in developing countries the benefits of better, faster access to information and communication technologies, Barrett said.

Tindivanam’s Taluk General Hospital & Trauma Centre can now access the opinion of top medical experts abroad through the Internet.

The telemedicine project at the hospital will offer free-of-cost remote diagnosis and prescription on ophthalmology ailments from Sankara Nethralaya, Chennai, within 30 minutes and on cardiac ailments by doctors of cardiac hospital Narayan Hrudayalaya, Bangalore, within 7-10 minutes.

The government-aided St Philomena Girls’ Higher Secondary School will have a health monitoring project, run entirely by students, to plot the growth curve of girl students who suffer from malnutrition-related ailments.

The district and state health authorities can read the health reports of the school to address specific ailments among the girl students.

Intel had first started this project in rural Baramati near Pune last year. Several Indian hospitals and software companies, including TCS, are partners in this pilot project.

“This pilot programme is an initiation into a much larger National School Children Health Programme to be taken up in coordination with the HRD ministry,” Ramadoss said.

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