The Centre’s objective behind the launch of Digital India programme is “strengthening the youth” and the country as a whole through technological means.
“Digital India is a transformational programme for the country. It means strengthening the youth and future of the country,” Prasad said after inaugurating the city centre of the National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology (NIELIT) in Patna.
The Union minister said that 250,000 panchayats in the country were being digitally connected, so that people were digitally empowered.
The minister pointed out that 70,000-km optic fibre had been laid till now in the country. Work is on to connect all 8,354 village panchayats in Bihar of which 154 have already been connected while pipeline has been laid in 1,654 panchayats.
“In a country having 1.25 billion population there are 980 million mobile phones and 5 million are being added every year.
The number is expected to grow up to 1.1 billion. We have a dream that drivers, carpenters, masons, potters, mechanics and others use smartphones to find employment,” Prasad said.
“We are also aiming at opening BPOs in small cities and towns as they will incur less cost. Electronic clusters are being created. Their number is already up from six to 21. These clusters will provide employment to 3 crore youths,” Prasad added.
The Union Minister also criticised the Bihar Chief Minister for not providing land for creating an electronic cluster but expressed happiness over a private electronic cluster coming up over 21 acres of land at Gaurichak on the outskirts of the state capital.
“We are providing Rs. 25 crores to Patna NIT to start Ph.D facilities in electronics. IIT Patna is being given Rs. 47 crores for to start studies in medical electronics,” he added.
Speaking on the occasion, senior BJP leader and former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi pointed out that the need was to connect not only panchayats, but also villages and tolas (localities).
Modi pointed out that that Bihar youth were making a mark across the globe in IT sector, yet the state failed to have even a single IT industry.
“IT industries are important for states like Bihar as they require less land,” Modi added.