States of Play: Digital India and National Broadband

Economic Times reports that the Narendra Modi-led Indian government is to urge all State governments to help fasttrack the India national broadband project and suggest business models for delivering citizen-centric e-services under the Digital India initiative in their respective regions. "The immediate mission is making all State governments active partners in speeding up the national broadband venture and exploring ways to leverage the highspeed Internet network to deliver government e-services to the common man," a top Telecom Department official told ET. Accordingly, all States will be urged to assign responsibilities to senior bureaucrats to oversee the broadband rollouts in their regions, remove bottlenecks and come up with workable network utilisation models for delivering eServices in areas such as health, education and banking. Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad is tipped to chair a meeting this week with senior DoT officials to thrash out a strategy to make State governments "direct stakeholders" in the national broadband project. 

There are regular announcements on the national broadband and Digital India projects. Modi and his Telecom Minister seem to be going all out on these projects. It will be possible for India to leapfrog over older technologies giving e-services for e-India. These are ambitious projects and much will depend on how each State plays its part.Without state co-operation and full participation these projects will remain just pipe dreams.


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