Modi Govt clears digital India, mobile project for naxal-hit areas
It seeks to connect all gram panchayats by broadband internet, promote e-governance and transform India into a connected knowledge economy.
The Programme, which would be implemented in a phased manner by 2019, is estimated to cost about Rs 113,000 crore. The project was unveiled in the Budget and is being directly monitored by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Digital India envisages connecting 2.5 lakh villages by broadband and phones, wi-fi in 2.5 lakh schools, all universities, public wi-fi hotspots for citizens and creating 1.7 crore direct and 8.5 crore indirect jobs. The project also aims to reduce import of telecom imports to zero.
The Union Cabinet also gave its approval to providing mobile services at 2,199 locations affected by Left Wing Extremism (LWE) in the States of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
“Youth belonging to the IT profession have paved the way for establishing India's new identity in the world. Digital India is our dream for the nation. When I say ‘Digital India', it is not meant for the rich but for those who are poor,” he said in maiden Independence Day speech from the ramparts of Red Fort.
Referring to the greater use of mobile phones to improve the delivery system, Modi said the facility could be used by the poor to operate bank accounts, seek the benefits of government schemes and run businesses.
The project envisages bringing all the existing initiatives such as the Ebiz project, E-kranti, virtual classroom, e-visas and the National Optical Fibre Network project under a single umbrella. Other programmes include implementation of e-office to make Government departments paperless, encouraging domestic manufacturing of electronic products and beginning research & development and entrepreneurship development fund.
Modi had earlier said that his government's resolve is to work towards Digital India for providing information and services to the people in a timely and effective manner.
He said if “we move with the dream of electronic digital India, manufacturing of electronic goods and become self-reliant”, it will be a major gain for the country.
Referring to e-governance, he said e-governance is “easy governance, effective governance and economical governance''.
“E-governance is way to good governance...There was a time when it was said that railway unites the country. I say, today IT has the power to unite the country and its people,” the Prime Minister added.
(With Agency inputs)