Centre envisions Internet in villages with 'Digital India'

Centre envisions Internet in villages with 'Digital India'

In an attempt to bridge the country's digital divide, the Centre on Thursday announced broadband connectivity to villages, to be provided by a new scheme called Digital India.

“There is an imminent need to further bridge the divide between the digital “haves” and “have-nots”. For this, it is proposed to launch a pan-India programme, 'Digital India',” said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley during his budget speech.

The programme would ensure broadband connectivity at the village-level, improved access to services through IT-enabled platforms, greater transparency in government processes, and increased indigenous production of IT hardware and software for export, as well as improved domestic availability, he said.

He also said special focus would be put on supporting software product start-ups.

A National Rural Internet and Technology Mission for services in villages and schools, training in IT skills and e-Kranti (electronic revolution) for government service delivery and governance schemes have also been proposed. “I have provided a sum of Rs 500 crore for this purpose,” he said.

A programme for promoting good governance would be launched with an outlay of Rs 100 crore, he said.

Jaitley said the government expects a revenue of Rs 45,471 crore from communication services, including proceeds from three sets of spectrum frequencies and related charges, in this financial year. The receipts under this head were Rs 40,847.06 crore in 2013-14.  

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