The technological advancement will very soon penetrate rural India as the government plans to connect five lakh villages with the internet broadband services by 2013. The programme will be executed under the National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN).
According to the govt sources, a high powered committee will be set up for ensuring proper implementation of this policy. The committee will be headed by communication technology expert Sam Pitroda and co-chaired by IT expert Nandan Nilekani.
Initially, the government had planned for creating a NOFN up to the Panchayat level. Before this idea could be brought in its desired shape, last year, telecom regulator Trai recommended in a consultation paper that optical fibre should be laid to connect 3.75 lakh villages that have a population of 500 or more.
The funds could be arranged by the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme for non-skilled work and from the Universal Services Obligation Fund for material and equipment.
The BSNL has been given the right to complete the National Broadband Plan (NBP). However, private sector has been assured that it will not be excluded from the purview of this programme and ultimately the private sector will control this network.
Till now broadband facility has been restricted only to metros and big cities. It is hoped that this strategy will facilitate in the advancement of technology amongst the inaccessible places.
Amidst all this, the question that remains unanswered is that what is the priority of the rural India- a laptop with internet or basic amenities of life like enough food and quality healthcare?
Though it is an endeavor of the government worth applause, but the fact that there are a number of problems lined up unaddressed should not be blatantly ignored.