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Village connectivity to be Digital India key focus

Village connectivity to be Digital India key focus
A scheme to link India’s 2.5 lakh villages with better internet connectivity is likely to be announced when Prime Minister Narendra Modi flags off a Rs 1 lakh crore programme on Wednesday aimed at wiping out India’s digital divide.

Preparations are in full swing for the Prime Minister to launch the week-long programme — Digital India Week. Senior officials of concerned ministries are busy making their presentation and slideshows to Modi before he inaugurates the ambitious schemes which include digital Locker, e-eduction, e-health, e-sign and national scholarship portal.

The programme includes projects that aim to ensure that government services are available to citizens electronically, and people get benefit of the latest information and communication technology. The Ministry of Communications and IT is the nodal agency to implement the programme.

Official sources said that the broadband connectivity to 2.5 lakh gram panchayats is being pursued vigorously to ensure its availability in all villages.

He said that the Digital India Week will ensure schemes under Digital India are executed in a mission mode.

Apart from providing broadband in villages, Digital India aims to provide universal phone connectivity, four lakh public internet access points by 2019, Wi-Fi in 2.5 lakh schools, Wi-Fi in all universities and public wi-fi hotspots for citizens.

According to Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, the Modi government wants to ensure a smartphone in the hands of every citizen by 2019. At present, about 74 per cent of the population has mobile phones.

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