Govt taking measures to provide connectivity in far-flung and border areas, says Ravi Shankar Prasad
Union Minister of Communications, Ravi Shankar Prasad, on Monday said the Government of India has been taking measures on priority to provide connectivity in the far flung and difficult border areas of strategic importance. This has been done with an objective to ensure better quality of life to the people as well as to those working in these areas.
The minister said that a tender for 354 uncovered villages in the strategic, remote, and border areas of the country has been finalised, and is under implementation in 144 villages across various states and Union territories.
These include the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, and in the states of Bihar, Rajasthan, Uttrakhand, Himachal Pradesh, and other priority areas of Gujarat.
Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad
According to a statement by the government, these villages have been strategically chosen to cover border area connectivity on mobile.
"After commissioning of these villages, there will be no uncovered villages in UTs of Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh for mobile connectivity," it said.
Additionally, satellite-based DSPTs (Digital Satellite Phone Terminal) are also being provided at 1,347 sites for Army, BRO, BSF, CRPF, ITBP, SSB, etc. Out of these, 183 sites are already being commissioned and remaining are in process.
According to Ravi Shankar Prasad, the Department of Telecommunications is also working on providing mobile connectivity in villages of 24 aspirational districts of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh. The remaining 44 aspirational districts for 7,287 uncovered villages in Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Jharkhand, and Andhra Pradesh will also be covered for which government approval is under submission.
In May this year, the government had launched a new national artificial intelligence (AI) portal to serve as a knowledge hub for all those who are engaged in this domain. Run by the National e-Governance Division of Ministry of Electronics and IT and NASSCOM from the IT industry, the portal will work as a one-stop digital platform for AI-related developments in India.
Recently, in an exclusive Digital India townhall organised by YourStory for tech entrepreneurs, Ravi Shankar Prasad had emphasised the importance of digital inclusion and how it's central to the government's Digital India programme.
On the occasion of completing five years after the launch of Digital India, the Minister explained that the Digital India programme is designed to empower Indians with the power of technology, bridge the digital divide, and ensure digital inclusion.
He said, "Digital India is designed for the following: 1) to empower Indians with the power of technology, 2) to bridge the digital divide, and 3) for digital inclusion. Digital India is for digital inclusion. Unless the common man has a stake in Digital India, it will not succeed."