Parliament panel directs DoT to set up hotspots in panchayats

By NT Bureau Published on Aug 08, 2018 01:41 PM IST

New Delhi: The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology, chaired by MP Anurag Thakur, has asked the Department of Telecom (DoT) to involve members of Parliament for setting up Wi-Fi hotspots in village panchayats.

The panel in its report tabled in Parliament recommended that specific emphasis should be given for setting up of Wi-Fi hotspots in gram panchayats (GPs) under Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY).

The committee also recommended that while setting up Wi-Fi hotspots emphasis should also be given to participation of village level entrepreneurs (VLEs) so as to generate employment and revenue for them in the rural areas.

The DoT has already awarded task to set up Wi-Fi hotspots in 25,000 GPs in UP and 3,243 GPs in Himachal Pradesh to the CSC-SPV which manages common services centres (CSCs) to provide government services in rural areas. CSC special purpose vehicle allocates CSCs as franchisee to VLEs who operate them.

“The committee also recommended that the department should also make an impact assessment study wherever connectivity has been provided and associate local MPs with this initiative,” the report said. Wi-Fi services of all 10,000 GPs in Rajasthan are being covered by Rajasthan government.

“Further, at 5,298 GPs which are planned to be covered on satellite media, Wi-Fi services will also be provided by the agency which is implementing satellite connectivity to the GPs,” the report said.

In addition to this, the DoT submitted to the the panel that public Wi-Fi hotspots are being set up by BSNL at its 25,000 telephone exchanges in rural areas and Wifi Choupals are to be set up in 5,000 GPs by CSC-SPV under Ministry of Electronics and IT.