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India to invest Rs 15,000 cr on rural network

Singapore, Oct 7 (PTI):

India has chalked out an ambitious plan to connect all the villages through telephony and Internet at an investment of Rs 15,000 crore, Sam Pitroda, an adviser to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, said on Thursday.

"A note for this investment will be sent to the Cabinet very soon," Pitroda, adviser to the Prime Minister on Public Information Infrastructure and Innovations, told reporters here.
The investment would come from Rs 24,000 crore accumulated from the Universal Service Fund (USF), he said.

Pitroda said the government garners Rs 6,000 crore annually, which comprises special charges paid by private telecom operators to the government in lieu of not investing in rural India.

The rural network would connect all the villages across the country as India progresses with infrastructure development in the coming years.


Asked about the Blackberry issue between India and Canada, he firmly stated that it was matter being discussed by the two sides but India would not compromise on security.
He declined to elaborate on the issue, saying it was not under his domain.

Pitroda also stressed on innovation and innovative measures being adopted by the government as part of the national development.

Pitroda addressed some 100 delegates at a lecture organised by the Institute of South Asia Studies of Singapore here.

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