Rural areas get on to the Internet highway

Prime Minister to launch online services at Medak today

Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD: The Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will launch online services to the people of rural areas through Rajiv Internet Village Centres on Sunday at Medak.

The Secretary (Information Technology and Communications), K. Ratna Prabha, in a press note issued here on Friday said the Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy and Minister for IT Sabita Indra Reddy would grace the occasion.

The Prime Minister would also launch the Telugu version of Microsoft office.

The Rajiv Project, conceived last year, provides broadband connectivity to every village at an affordable price and delivery of services online to citizens at their doorstep.

It also imparts computer literacy to at least one member of each family. She said the Andhra Pradesh Broadband Project work, commenced in April, was expected to end by October next, when every village in the State would have optic fibre connectivity of 100 MBPS.

Two principal Rajiv partners have been identified for setting up 8,618 Rajiv Internet Village Centres in the State to offer services at the village itself.

Ms. Prabha said these centres would act as knowledge centres for imparting computer literacy to villagers.

TIMES, an NGO, would be setting up 3,068 Rajiv centres in eight districts by December this year, while the public sector undertaking Bharat Electronics Limited would set up 5,550 centres in 14 districts.

On Sunday, 200 centres would commence operations.

Apart from utility payment services, the centres offer weather insurance coverage, land records and information services.

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