Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 15 announced that the task to connect India’s over six-lakh villages with optical fibre network will be completed in the next 1,000 days.
Besides, high speed internet connectivity via submarine optical fibre cable will be extended to Lakshadweep in this period, he said.
Addressing the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort on India’s 74th Independence Day, he pointed out that only five dozen panchayats in the country were connected with optical fibre cable before 2014. In the last five years, 1.5 lakh village panchayats have been connected with optical fibre cable, Mr. Modi said.
“In the next 1,000 days, all villages in the country will be connected with optical fibre,” he said, adding Lakshadweep would be connected with submarine optical fibre cable in the next 1,000 days.
The Prime Minister also announced a new policy on cyber security to be unveiled shortly amid threats emanating from the cyber space.
He said the country was witnessing expansion of roads and internet at unprecedented and rapid speed, “from the peaks of the Himalayas to the islands in the Indian Ocean”.
Mr. Modi recently inaugurated the first ever undersea optical fibre cable project for Andaman and Nicobar Islands, which will provide high-speed broadband connections in the Union Territory on a par with services in the mainland.
The Prime Minister had laid the foundation for 2,312-km Chennai-Andaman and Nicobar Islands (CANI) connecting submarine optical fibre cable project on December 30, 2018.
Referring to the impetus being given to “digital India”, he said, the importance of the mission was realised during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“In the last month only, transactions worth about ₹3 lakh crore took place through BHIM UPI alone,” he said, adding that digital transactions witnessed a huge surge during the lockdown period.