Digital India project garners Rs 4,50,000 crore investment
Indian government's pet project Digital India got investments worth more than Rs 4.5 lakh crores from various industry players after the launch of the Digital India week. Mukesh Ambani's company will be solely responsible for Rs. 2,50,000 crore investment. Others investing include Anil Ambani (Rs. 10,000 crore), KM Birla (Rs. 56,700 crore), Sunil Mittal (Rs. 100,000 cr) and Anil Agarwal (Rs. 40,000 crore).
The government backed the Digital India project consisting of various projects costing about Rs 1 lakh crore, to convert the country into a 'digitally empowered' economy. This project would create infrastructure like high speed internet at village panchayat level, accessibility of government services like education, health etc. and digital empowerment for Indians especially through digital literacy. The project aimed to revolutionize every ministry.
In terms of numbers, this project would mean broadband in 2.5 lakh villages, wi-fi in 2.5 lakh schools, 4 lakh public internet access points and Rs 13,000 crore on new schemes.
Ravi Shankar Prasad, India's telecom minister divulged the Indian government's plans to ensure that every Indian has a smartphone by 2019. He said that the Digital India project aimed to use cell phones as the spine of its delivery apparatus. The government hopes to attract investments in electronic manufacturing for the Rs 1.13 lakh crore Digital India initiative.
Google would be partnering with Indian government's citizen engagement platfrom MyGov to develop a mobile application for the Prime Minister's Office. As a part of supporting the Prime Minister's vision for a Digital India, Google would also introduce curriculums for 'schools, officials and elected representatives'. Additionally, initiatives like Helping Women get Online and showcasing India's heritage and culture online would be rolled out.
All the industry big shots will grace the Digital India Week including Cyrus Mistry, Mukesh Ambani, Azim Premji, Sunil Mittal and Gautam Adani. There has also been speculation that Bill Gates will be attending the week long event. A number of e-portals such as e-basta, e-hospital will be unveiled at this event. Modi wants to ensure collaborations between the industry big-wigs and some projects.
Narendra Modi launched the Digital India Project in 2 village panchayats of the Indore district through video conference. The Digital India Project aims to interface all village panchayats by internet, to encourage e-governance and revolutionize India into a 'knowledge economy'. The BSNL Indore Circle General Manager MR Rawat confirmed that 10 villages would be connected through this project.
An average developing country has a bandwith of 28mbps/10,000 people with 1.9% contribution of internet towards the country's GDP. In India, it is just 6mbps with a mere 1.6% internet contribution.