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Idukki becomes first district to have high-speed rural broadband

The Centre is working on a policy on setting up Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) centres in mofussil towns to empower rural population and boost economic development, Union Communications and Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said today.

Launching the country's first hi-speed rural broadband network in Kerala's high-range Idukki district at a function here, he said the IT Department had been asked to prepare a "proper policy on BPOs".

"They are working on it and the objective is to have BPOs in rural towns across the country," he said.

With the commissioning of the high-speed rural network, Idukki with a large tribal and rural population became the first district in the country to have all its 53 gram panchayats connected through National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN).

Lauding the digital India programme, Prasad said it was a mission mode programme of the BJP-led NDA government with a view to change the country with the co-operation and understanding of the federal principles working together.

"The launch is only a beginning, the vision is to connect 2.5 lakh gram panchayats in next three years time," he said.

Pushing for more Common Service Centres (CSC) in the country, he said the idea was to have a CSC revolution similar to the milk revolution that happened in the country through women co-operative route.

"My vision is to have a CSC in a mahadalit village managed by a mahadalit women," Prasad said adding "we are working towards that."

Pitching for more electronic manufacturing units, he said the country consumed about 100 billion US dollars of electronic goods and it would reach around 400 billion US dollars in the coming years.

"This would surpass the fuel duty component," he said, adding that was one of the reasons that prompted the government to bring out its flagship 'Make in India Programme'.

In this regard, he said India had 90 crore mobile connections, but if one ask about the number of handsets of mobile phones and smartphones manufactured in India being used, the answer is "not satisfactory".

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