Indian Employment Web Site Targets Rural Youth

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A new online recruitment Web site in India plans to target the country's rural youth, who have been cut off from jobs in the cities due to a lack communications infrastructure.The site,, set up by recruitment firm Monster, will take advantage of a vast network of Internet kiosks in rural areas to help farmers access information on crops, weather, agricultural demand and pricing. The network, called e-Choupal, was set up by diversified company ITC to aid its procurement of produce for its agriculture products business.The Web site will help employers who are planning to expand their operations in rural areas, besides providing opportunities in urban markets for rural people, Sanjay Modi, managing director of Monster India, said on Tuesday.The tie-up with ITC gives Monster access to about 40,000 villages in nine Indian states. Potentially 1 million job seekers could reside in these villages, Modi said.ITC e-Choupal is expanding quickly, and is connecting three to four new villages every month, Modi said. This provides Monster an opportunity to continue expanding in rural markets, he added.Sanchalaks, the farmers who manage the e-Choupal kiosk for farming communities, are now being trained to help young people submit resumes online, apply for jobs and explore other career opportunities. There are lots of employment sites, but villagers lack access to the Internet, Modi said. The e-Choupal network helps Monster address a large section of youth looking for jobs in the cities and even in rural areas, he added.Monster currently gets about 25 percent to 30 percent of applications on its main recruitment Web site from small cities, but there is very little activity from the villages. The company's aim is to target all the job seekers in India, whether in the cities and towns, or villages, Modi said.Monster India and Dishtv, a direct-to-home television company, last month announced a partnership to offer an interactive online job search service "MonsterJobs Active" via television. The service targets users in small cities and towns who lack Internet access. Monster and ITC decided on a separate Web site for rural job seekers rather than an extension of the mainstream Monster India recruitment site. After surveying rural markets, Monster found that the needs of rural job seekers and the kind of jobs in rural markets are distinct, and required a separate Web site, Modi said. The site is managed by ITC e-Choupal and Monster, which will share in the revenue. The site will charge employers, but will not charge job seekers, Modi said.

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