DIGITAL INDIA – One billion out of Net!

Treat lack of Internet connection as opportunity’

computer Though one billion people in India do not have regular access to the internet, that should not be perceived as a challenge — rather it should be treated as an opportunity, R.S. Sharma, secretary, Department of Electronics and Information Technology said.

“Close to four billion people in the world do not have regular access to the internet. Twenty-five percent of those people are in India that is close to one billion people. This should be treated as an opportunity and not a challenge,” he said at the 9th Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum, 2014 in Istanbul, Turkey.

He said the “Digital India” project of the government aims to transform India into a digitally empowered society and a knowledge economy. While elaborating on the component of Digital India, he talked about National Optical Fiber Network (NOFN), National Information Infrastructure (NII) and other efforts of the government as well, according to an official release here.
Sharma said some other important components of Digital India were cradle-to-grave digital identity to every person, mobile phone and bank account to everyone, creation of digital resources in Indian languages, and setting up of Common Service Delivery Centres in each panchayat.
He said the problem of access should not be looked at merely from the perspective of creation of infrastructure.
“There are many issues like capacity building, content creation – especially in local languages, business models for service delivery and coordination among various agencies which will need to be tackled in a coordinated manner,” he added.