India to establish 100,000 digital villages in remote and rural areas
In its latest budget, the government of India announced its plans to convert 100,000 villages into ‘digital villages’ over the next five years, enhancing the digital and financial inclusion of the country’s remote and rural areas.
This will be achieved by expanding and developing India’s existing Common Service Centers (CSCs), which are delivery and access points for various e-services from the central government, state governments and private sector companies to rural villages. These services include banking, education, health services, passport registration, as well as booking train tickets and submitting forms and bills.
To establish these digital villages, the CSCs will be developing more services and creating digital infrastructure, including connectivity. Six villages have already been slated for this initiative, which will see WiFi hotspots, small manufacturing units, solar lighting facilities, LED assembling units, and sanitary napkin dispensers being set up to generate employment.
India’s latest budget envisages a modern, tech-driven society, which besides its digital villages initiative, also focuses on artificial intelligence and making the country a hub for smartphone and electric vehicle manufacturing.