Disruptive technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) will enable organisations to deliver a million midday meals to schoolchildren in India, said a top official of software major Accenture on Thursday.
"We have applied AI, IoT and block-chain to exponentially increase the number of midday meals served to children in state-run schools under 'Million Meals' project with NGO Akshaya Patra," said Accenture Labs Managing Director Sanjay Podder in a statement.
Block-chain is a distributed database that compiles a growing list of ordered records called blocks.
The US-based Accenture collaborated with the city-based Akshaya Patra Foundation, which operates the government-funded MidDay Meal Scheme in state-run and state-aided schools, in implementing the novel project with new IT products and solutions.
"The project has also demonstrated how new technologies can help address challenges in mass meal production and delivery by revolutionising supply chain and operations," asserted Podder.
As the research and development arm of Accenture, its labs specialises in solving complex social problems under its 'Tech for Good' programme, using innovative technologies.
"We have executed the project for six months in the NGO's Bengaluru kitchen and found that efficiency and timeliness in delivery can be improved 20 per cent," noted Podder.
AI, IoT and block-chain were used in collecting school feedback, tracking food delivery, measuring the quantity of food, supplies to be purchased and monitoring meal production.
"The initiative not only enhanced efficiency of our operations, but also ensured that quality standards are met while increasing the number of meals served," said Foundation Chief Executive Officer Shridhar Venkat in the statement.
The process enhancement has enabled the NGO to improve its auditing, attendance recording, invoicing, payments and food preparation, besides expanding production capacity and making a blueprint for operating other base kitchens.
"We will expand our reach to millions of children with the help of such technologies and in collaboration with firms like Accenture," added Venkat.