E-commerce will become big industry, says Ravi Shankar Prasad

The Government on Tuesday said it will ensure mobile services in 55,000 unconnected villages over the next five years with an investment of ₹20,000 crore through the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF).

It is important for the Internet and also mobile banking as many of the users can seamlessly work on a real time basis.

The Telecom Ministry expects to connect half of these villages in the next three years in areas, including North-East, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Survey of villages is being done to build towers for this purpose.

“It (mobile/ smartphones) has become an important part of our lives. For example, I have seen people at the airport showing their tickets on their smartphones instead of a printed ticket,” Ravi Shankar Prasad, Communications and Information Technology Minister, said here.

‘Digital India’ concept

Speaking on the conference on ‘Digital India’ with State/UTs IT Ministers and Secretaries, he said with the Digital India concept being given highest priority by the Prime Minister, in the days to come, the low key department of IT in the States would soon be a high profile department, acting as a most important driver of change in Digital India.

Apart from that, Prasad also said sectors such as e-commerce can become a big industry because of the broadband connectivity and high speed Internet in various parts of the country, which are not connected yet.

He said the National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) plan will herald an e-commerce revolution in India as the ambitious project worth around ₹35,000 crore aims to provide high-speed broadband connectivity to 2.50 lakh gram panchayats by March 2017.

“I see e-commerce becoming a big thing because people living in villages also have big aspirations. If we spread the broadband connectivity, they would shop online and I see many warehouses coming up because of that, giving jobs to as many people in those areas,” Prasad added.

(This article was published on August 26, 2014)
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