The Indian government on Saturday said Rs 6,000 crore will be allocated for the BharatNet program in 2020-21 to further enhance broadband connectivity in rural areas.
With a focus on new economic models based on new-age technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT), the government also intends to bring out a policy to enable the private sector to build data center parks throughout the country, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said while presenting the Union Budget for 2020-21.
“Our vision is that all public institutions at the gram panchayat level such as anganwadis, health and wellness centers, government schools, PDS outlets, post offices, and police stations — all will be provided digital connectivity. The fiber to the home (FTTH) connection through BharatNet will link 100,000-gram panchayats this year itself,” she said.
It is therefore proposed to provide Rs 6,000 crore to BharatNet program in 2020-21, she added.
The finance minister noted that the new economy is based on innovations that disrupt established, business models.
“AI, IoT, 3D printing, drones, data storage, quantum computing, etc are all re-writing world economic order. India has already embraced a new paradigm such as sharing economy with aggregator platforms displacing conventional businesses,” she said.
Noting that the government has harnessed new technologies to enable direct benefit transfers and financial inclusions on a scale like never before, she said analytics, fintech and IoT are changing lives.
“It is now a cliche that data is the new oil…To take advantage of this, I propose to bring out soon a policy to enable the private sector to build data center parks throughout the country,” Sitharaman said.