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Centre spends Rs 1 lakh crore for democratizing information

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Government is looking to provide broadband connectivity at panchayat level under national optical fibre network (NOFN) project so that people in villages have access to information, Pitroda said at an event.

“Government is spending about Rs 100 thousand crore for democratisation of information. I see debates on TV about corruption and other issue, but nobody talks about it,” he said.

He said that government took measures to increase transparency through e-governance and sharing information openly for public use over internet.

Government has earmarked Rs 20,000 crore for NOFN project and expects to connect 1 lakh gram panchayats by September and rest of 1.5 lakh panchayats by September 2015.

“We need to democratise information because poverty is directly connected to poverty of information. For this, we are doing several things. Laying network of optical fibre to connect universities, libraries to improve access to information and knowledge,” he said.

Besides resolving connectivity issues, platforms like e-governance and UIDAI-linked services are being developed, he added.

Pitroda said that transparency will increase once people have means to connect and access information.

“For this, government has started e-governance project. People at present don’t have information,” he said.

He also called for active support from government departments to push local manufacturing for enhancing job opportunity in the country.

Pitroda said Indians in silicon valley have understanding of latest technology and there is need to connect with them to develop India as technology and manufacturing hub.

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