The Digital India project will be reviewed by an apex committee headed by Cabinet Secretary Ajit Kumar Seth. Digital India is an umbrella programme which was approved by the government in August, the project with an outlay of Rs 1.13 lakh crore comprises of various projects to help transform the country into a digitally empowered knowledge economy.
According to sources the committe will meet on Thursday to review the progress of various schemes under Digital India.
“The Committee will also review the National Optical Fibre Network, a key component of Digital India. Government is not happy with its implementation and wants NOFN to be completed within the stipulated time,” they added.
NOFN is an important part of the plan as it lays the foundation for providing wi-fi hotspots, mobile wallet service under the Jan Dhan Yojna and delivering mGovernance services like digital mandi and kisan seva, sources said.
It aims to provide high-speed broadband connectivity to 2.50 lakh gram panchayats in India by March 2017.
In a written reply to Lok Sabha, Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the NOFN project has been delayed on account of material supply constraints, problem in timely availability of labour for the laying of optical fibre and time consuming survey work for the laying of fibre.
Digital India is one of the most important programmes of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, through which he expects to reach out to citizens not just in urban areas, but also in the rural and far flung areas, officials said.
The Prime Minister’s Office has also been in touch with the ministries concerned on the implementation of Digital India, they added.
“Prasad has been reviewing the progress of the various programmes under Digital India on a fortnightly basis,” said the officials.
Recently, Prasad reviewed the progress of NOFN, National Informatics Centre, National Institute of Electronics & Information Technology and others, sources added.
Besides the Apex Committee is also supervising the progress of the project, while the government has set up a Digital India Advisory Group that is chaired by the minister.
Digital India aims to provide thrust to areas like mobile connectivity, broadband, public Internet, eGovernance, electronically delivering services and electronic manufacturing. It is to be implemented in phases from this year till 2018.