Source: Zee News, 29 July, 2012
New Delhi: The UPA-II government is all set to connect 2.5 lakh gram panchayats with broadband within 16 months with a view to improving public delivery mechanism.
"In a review meeting of the project, the Planning Commission was assured by the Knowledge Commission Chairman Sam Pitroda that country's all 250,000 panchayats will have broadband connectivity in next 16 month", a source privy to the development said.
This is also part of an attempt to showcase government's achievement before the next general elections.
Pitroda has also assured that 58 pilots projects underway in Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Tripura to provide broadband connectivity, would be completed in next four months.
The broadband connectivity for gram panchayats will help improving delivery of public services and getting real time feedback.
Besides, this will help in training of panchayat and other grassroots functionaries and empowering the community through e-library.
"The larger role of the programme is to radicalising democracy through information", stated the presentation made to the Planning Commission.
The review meeting was presided over by Commission's Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, who also resolved to put all business of the panel on its website.
The Planning Commission thinks that putting all its information and business on its portal would reduce time consuming Right to Information tool to access that.
The government had approved the proposal to connect all 2,50,000 gram panchayats through optic fiber in October last year.