Declaration of Kerala as a 'complete digital state' and announcement of a new youth programme in memory of former President, the late A P J Abdul Kalam marked Independence Day celebrations in the state.
With the state making remarkable strides in implementation of various e-governance initiatives, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy declared Kerala as the 'complete digital state'. "The state has achieved 100 per cent mobile density, 75 per cent e-literacy, highest digital banking rate and broadband connection upto panchayat level," Chandy said in his 69th independence day speech at the Central Stadium here.
"The implementation of e-district programmes in all districts and linking of Aadhaar and bank accounts have laid a strong foundation for Digital Kerala.I am proud to declare the state as the complete digital state, based on these indicators," he said. Government would set up wi-fi hotspots in all local self government institutions and implement complete mobile governance in the next phase to achieve the best results of the Digital Kerala initiative, he said.
The state government would launch an innovative programme in the name of Dr Kalam to enable the youth translate their innovative ideas into sucessful business ventures. "Seeking to retain the memories of late A P J Abdul Kalam, the Kerala State Council for Science Technology and Environment will launch a new youth programme titled Dr A P J Abdul Kalam Youth Challenge," he said.
The programme aims at creating at least one enterprise from state universities every year based on innovative ideas submitted by college students or groups of students, he said. Seeking to check widespread exploitation of natural wealth and create mass awareness for their conservation, government plans to set up an inclusive development council, he said.
Detailing various programmes to be implemented in the state in the coming months, the Chief Minister said as many as one lakh houses would be constructed for the homeless. "Mammoth development projects to the tune of Rs 16,000 crore, including Kochi Metro, Kannur Airport and Vizhinjam projects are becoming a reality in the state," he said adding that government would go ahead with the light metro projects in Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi.
Chandy earlier unfurled the national flag, inspected the guard of honour and accepted the salute from contingents including state police, the Fire and Rescue Service, NCC cadets, Scouts and Guides and from student Police cadets. Besides giving away the President's police medals and medals for other meritorious service, he also distributed CM's Police medals, Fire and Rescue medals, Prison medals, Forest medals, Excise medals and Transport medals at the function.