Sixteen vans, fourteen of which will be flagged off by Minister of Communications and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad on Monday, will comprise the first phase of government’s Digital India Outreach Campaign to create awareness about its flagship programme, a government official said.
These vans will be equipped with audio-visual facilities, internet connectivity and other material to inform citizens in the rural parts of the country about the government’s plan to improve connectivity.
One of the key facets of the Digital India programme is increasing connectivity and internet penetration in rural areas of the country. The National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) programme, which proved to be a laggard in the early days was rebranded by the government as Bharat Net and several new frameworks were developed to ensure the Centre’s target is met.
While the new optical fibre project may have only started picking pace, the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology has put its eggs in other baskets too, to ascertain that its aim of boosting rural connectivity does not go unmet.
In the first phase of the outreach campaign, which will run till July, 16 vans will cover 34 districts of nine states — Haryana, Rajasthan, Punjab, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Kerala, and Andhra Pradesh. The full campaign will run from till March 31, 2017 covering 657 districts of the country, the official informed, adding that a total of 66 vans will be used for this purpose.
“A district level committee, headed by District Collector will foresee the ground level execution of this campaign, so as to ensure that maximum benefit is generated out of this campaign,” the official said, adding that this is an initiative of the Department of Electronics and Information Technology, and will be implemented by the National e-Governance Division.