Digital India: MPs can use funds to set up Wi-Fi facilities in villages

Surabhi New Delhi | Updated on January 16, 2018 Published on December 23, 2016

Connecting Bharat The government plans to provide high speed internet to 2.5 lakh gram panchayats   -  BL

Hoping to give a boost to its ambitious plans of Digital India, the Centre has said that Members of Parliament (MPs) can now use their allocated funds to set up Wi-Fi systems in villages and educational institutions.

The move, which would allow internet connectivity and accessibility to a number of rural areas, has been allowed under recent guidelines of the MP Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS).

“It has been decided that MPs may recommend installation of fixed Wi-Fi system in campuses of educational institutions, village and selected locations,” said the new norms.

However, the MPLADS funds would be used only for procuring the Wi-Fi equipment and the maintenance and recurring expenses would be paid by the user agency.

The equipment would be procured by a committee led by the District Commissioner with representatives of National Informatics Centre, district centre and State IT department.

Under the scheme, each MP is allocated ₹5 crore annually and can recommend specified construction and development works in their constituency or State with the use of the funds.

The government hopes to digitally empower citizens by providing them all information digitally under the Digital India Mission.

Apart from telecommunication services, the government also plans to provide high speed internet to 2.5 lakh gram panchayats through Bharat Broadband Network Ltd.

As of now, the government has been able to lay 1.12 lakh km of optical fibre cable under BharatNet for digital connectivity. Just over 66,000 gram panachayats have been equipped with optical fibre connectivity though not all have active internet connectivity.

Published on December 23, 2016
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