'1.16 lakh panchayats connected with optical fibre'

President Ram Nath Kovind takes salute on his arrival to address the joint session of Parliament, to mark the commencement of the Budget Session, in New Delhi. PTI photo

Total 1.16 lakh village panchayats have connected with optical fibre and about 40 thousand village panchayats have been provided with wi-fi hotspots, said President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday.

Addressing the joint sitting of Parliament at the start of the Budget Session, he said, “in 2014, only 59 village panchayats in the country had digital connectivity. Today, 1 lakh 16 thousand village panchayats are connected with optical fibre and about 40 thousand village panchayats have been provided with wi-fi hotspots.”

Establishment of Common Service Centres (CSCs) has been accelerated to ensure that various benefits and services are easily available to brothers and sisters in rural areas. In 2014 there were only 84,000 CSCs. At present, the number has increased to more than 3 lakhs. Of these, 2 lakh and 12,000 centres have been set up in village panchayats, he said.

In this era of information technology, the easy availability of data at low cost is a big facility as well as a means for development for our people. The cost of one GB data which was about Rs. 250 in 2014 has now reduced to only Rs. 10 to 12. Similarly, the mobile talk time charges have now been reduced to less than half, he said.

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'1.16 lakh panchayats connected with optical fibre'

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