All Govt. Schools to have Internet Connection by 2012

The Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Thiru A. Raja announced that broadband connectivity will be provided to all Government Higher Secondary Schools under Rural Broadband project by the year 2012. He disclosed this while inaugurating a National Round Table Conference on “Telecom Sector in Education Development” in New Delhi recently. He said, the Universal Service Organisation (USO) Funds of Department of Telecommunication (DOT) are being extensively deployed to increase broadband connectivity at each block and village level. Mr. Raja emphasised on the spread of education through broadband, development of content in local language, development of talent pool and availability of adequate trained manpower.

The Minister added that, efforts are being made to make broadband ready devices available at an affordable cost. The government is also planning to launch bundled schemes of broadband along with customer premise equipments including PCs with the subsidy support from USO fund.

He lauded the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) for development of mobile compatible content for students, which makes India one of the first countries after South Korea to use mobile phones for education. Mr. Raja said, the concept of quality education on 'Anytime Anywhere' to any part of the country can easily be extended by IGNOU with the help of broadband facilities.

The Communication and Manufacturing Association of India (CMAI) and IGNOU jointly organized the national round table to devise strategies to take forward open and distant learning using telecom infrastructure and facilities. Besides IGNOU, heads of several universities and educational institutions and major telecom companies attended the meet.