Government Extends Support To BharatNet Project; Allocates Additional Rs. 19, 041 Crores

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To expand the reach of BharatNet, the Government has allocated an extra Rs. 19,041 crores. Notably, the BharatNet initiative has been launched to connect 2.5 lakh gram panchayats with fiber-based internet services. Notably, 2.5 lakh gram panchayats (village blocks) is covering more than 6 lakh villages (1,56, 223 blocks).

 
Government Extends Support To BharatNet Project

However, the extra money is likely to be used to connect other villages. The amount is given to villages for BharatNet comes under the Government initiative of the Digital India program.

After this additional investment, the total investment in the project has been close to Rs. 61,109 crores that include earlier approved Rs. 42,068 crores in 2017.

Additional Investment To Boost Rural Economy

"The additional outlay of Rs 19,041 Crore for BharatNet is expected to significantly boost the rural economy and help bridge the digital divide," said Prashant Singhal EY Emerging Markets Technology, Media & Entertainment, and Telecommunications Sector Leader.

He said that the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the consumption of digital services as the internet has become important in the digitization procedure. He further states that e-education and e-health have also increased the adoption of digital services in the country.

"The need for rural internet penetration across the hinterland cannot be pressed more in these times to provide medical, agriculture, education, and Governance services. This outlay will further enhance the reach to the remaining untapped 40 percent gram-panchayats," Peeyush Vaish, Partner & Telecom Sector Leader, Deloitte India said.

What Is BharatNet Programme?

The project was launched by Manmohan Singh-led Government in 2011 by the name of National Optical Fiber Network (NOFN). However, it was renamed by the Narendra Modi Government and now this program is known as BharatNet.

The main reason behind launching this program is to offer broadband connectivity to rural areas. In fact, it is one of the biggest programs in the world to offer internet services in rural areas.

 

This is also the main part of the Digital India initiative, which has been designed to cover the gap between the rural and urban areas. The demand for the internet has been increased during a pandemic; however, one should not forget that the deadline of connecting villages under the same program has been increased several times.

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