The Kisan Call Center is a synthesis of two hitherto separate technologies namely, the Information & Communication Technology (ICT) and the Agricultural Technology. To optimally utilize the strengths of both these systems, it was proposed to take full advantage of professionally managed Call Centre mechanism and dovetail it with the specialized knowledge of Agricultural Scientists and Extension Officers, so as to facilitate its reach to the farming community. Accordingly existing specialized infrastructure of Call Centers (which are normally industry-driven and serve to high-end and many a times, mission critical service sector) are made available to the Subject Matter Specialists of Agriculture, Horticulture, Animal Husbandry, Marketing and other related areas. The Kisan Call Center, consists of three levels – namely Level-I (the basic Call Center interface, with high quality bandwidth and local language proficient Agriculture graduate), Level-II (Subject Matter Specialists on concerned important crops and enterprises, connected through good bandwidth telecom and computer connectivity) and Level-III (the Management Group to ensure ultimate answering and resolution of all the farmers’ queries which are not resolved at Level-II, connected on off line mode).
Level –I: The call coming to the call center is picked up by an operator (level –I functionary) who after a short welcome message takes down the basic information and the query of the caller. These details are fed into a computer located next to the operator by the operator himself. At the first level, receiver of the call would also feeds into the computer the question being asked by the farmer.
The first level operators preferably would be an agricultural graduate with rural background knowing local language. They should also posses’ good communication skills. They would be in a position to answer a majority of the questions likely to be asked by the farmers.
Level-II: The level –II consists of Subject Matter Specialists (SMS) who are located at their respective place (Research Stations, ATICs, KVKs, Agricultural colleges), of work. In case the first level operator is not able to answer the question, the operator forwards (in call sharing mode) the call to the concerned Subject Matter Specialist. The data relating to the caller including the question asked is also be transferred to the Level-II functionary on his computer along with the call. Hence, when the specialist takes the forwarded call, his computer also shows the data and question asked so that there is no repetition. It is envisaged that in normal cases, the entire spill over questions from the first level get answered at this level. In case, it is not possible to answer, there is a system to revert back to the caller by post / fax / e-mail or by telephone in 72 hours.
While selecting the specialists, it would be important to first identify the major crops in that state and the issues on which the questions are likely to be asked. These specialists should be such that they will answer most of the questions that are likely to be asked. There could be two options available on the selections of the specialists.
One option could be to select commodity wise specialist, that is, every question related to a particular crop or commodity would be directed to that specialist, who would in turn answer that question. Other option could be to select general specialists who would deal with various subjects likely to arise. The specialists should ideally be located within a city. They should have good communication skills and should know the local language. These specialists should have at least a minimum of 10-15 years of field experience in their respective specialization.
Level – III: The level –III consists of a dedicated cell located at the Nodal Office. This would receive the questions that have not been answered at the first and the second levels. Appropriate replies to these questions whould be then framed in consultation with the concerned specialists available within or outside the State, by the nodal cell. The replies would be sent to the farmers promptly by post/e-mail/fax/ telephone etc. within 72 hours of receipt of the question.
Knowledge Management System
The Knowledge Management System is a software tool which has been developed by the Telecommunications Consultants India Ltd. (TCIL) a Government of India enterprise. The Kisan Call Centre shall be accessible on identified telephone number will provide all technical assistance to the caller and will record the queries along with the personal details.
The Knowledge Management System shall be supported by the data base built up using the asked questions and their answers. The Kisan Call Centre report generation software will be provided the user interface forms in which the call Centre Agents has to put the parameter according to which he want the report to get generated. The report/data generated like date wise, crop wise, location wise, district wise, state wise, problem wise, level wise, call type wise, All India level wise will be available at the users end. The data generated through this Knowledge Management System will be available on internet after hosting.
Flowchart of Kisan Call Centre opertion