Rural India To Benefit With Digital Village: IT Minister

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Villages across India can avail free Wi-Fi services through BharatNet till March 2020. The announcement was made by Telecom and Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who noted that there are 48,000 villages, connected under the BharatNet project, have Wi-Fi access presently in the country.

Indian IT Minister Promotes Digital Village

 

Free Wi-Fi Services In Rural India

The minister said that there are 1.3 lakh gram panchayats connected thought the BharatNet optical fiber network. The target is to reach 2.5 lakh gram panchayats. "To promote utilization of BharatNet services, we will provide Wi-Fi free in all villages connected through BharatNet till March 2020," Prasad said.

Additionally, all the common service centers or CSCs will offer banking services to boost the Digital India program. CSCs are access points for delivering digital services. The minister also highlighted that the number of CSCs has increased from 60,000 in 2014 to 2.60 lakh presently. Citing an example, he said that the state of Haryana has 11,000 CSCs offering 650 services.

Simultaneously, the CSC e-Governance Services India rolling out the Digital Village initiative in rural and remote areas of the country. The IT minister announced that one lakh villages will be transformed into Digital Villages. As such, a DigiGaon or a Digital Village is one where citizens can avail e-services of the central government, state governments, and private players.

Digital Village Promoted

These villages act as change agents to promote and boost rural growth and build livelihoods through community participation. For instance, the Gurawara village in the Rewari district of Haryana has been developed as a digital village by CSC. The CSC e-Governance Services India CEO Dinesh Tyagi spoke about the village level entrepreneur Sonu Bala, who has been facilitating government-to-citizen services through the digital seva portal.

In a gist, the Digital Village aims to empower the rural community by providing access to education, finance, health, and so on through the digital medium. The residents of the Village are encouraged to learn about technology and increase their digital knowledge beyond smartphones. For instance, they can access telemedicine consultations under allopathy, homeopathy, and ayurvedic systems.

 

Moreover, the entire Digital Village will be Wi-Fi enabled and services like banking, pension, insurance, and more will be delivered to the doorstep, the minister said. With the majority of the population uneducated, hope the Digital Village initiative will affect rural India.

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