India has seen two major revolutions—Green revolution and White revolution—which made it a self sufficient country in respective domains. I see ‘Digital India’ initiative as the third major revolution, we may call it ‘Digital Revolution’. This one would be bigger and better, as it directly or indirectly influences all sectors. For instance, 10% increase in broadband penetration will increase the GDP growth of India by around 1%.
It is commendable that government is working on connectivity for all and Internet for all. Projects like National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) that will connect 250 gram panchayats via network of 7 lakh kilometres of optical fibre, will ensure inclusion of villages in the economic growth. However, laying of such a huge infrastructure will take time and meanwhile, government and private players can utilise huge telecom network (Mobile Phones and Landlines) of around 1 billion subscribers. The offline tools like Voice Calls with Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS) in regional languages can be used to impart education, disseminate information and operate essential services.
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