All panchayats to have broadband connectivity by 2012:Pilot

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Puducherry, Feb 26 (PTI) Union Minister of State forCommunications and Information Technology Sachin Pilot todaysaid the UPA Government had taken a decision to ensure thatevery panchayat in the country was equipped with high speedbroadband internet access by 2012.

We will provide optical fibre cable connection to allpanchayats across the country as connectivity is the importantcomponent to ensure quality in process of development, hesaid at a function here.

Rolling out a Rs 32 crore State Data Centre and launchinga Research and Development Centre sponsored by the Departmentof Information and Technology of Puducherry Government, hesaid India had established a record of being superpower in ITsector and this was feasible because of the youth.

We have also managed to make this mark of being a superpower even though only eight percent of the people in thecountry use internet, he said.

There would be a paradigm shift soon if a still largerchunk of population had access to the internet. The governmentwanted to grant financial and electronic empowerment and aspart of this mission each of the panchayats would be providedwith the high speed broadband access, he said.

''Creation of infrastructure in the 21st century is a bigchallenge and this will be met successfully and it would be anunmatched infrastructure,'' he said adding Prime MinisterManmohan Singh had assured to provide required funds.

He said Puducherry would be earmarked more than the fundssought by the territorial government to develop IT sector.

Later, inaugurating modernised post offices of Villianoorand Tirukanoor here, Pilot said the government had committedto modernising and networking all the 1.55 lakh post officesacross the country by 2012 at a cost of Rs 1,800 crore under''Project Arrow'' programme of the Department of Posts.

He said times had changed from inland letters andpostcards. People demanded several IT based facilities andelectronic mails. The UPA government was keen to ensurebetter services and realise its goal of inclusive growth andequitable distribution.

Lt Governor Dr Iqbal Singh declared open the InformationCommunication Technology Academy while Union Minister of Statefor Parliament Affairs V.Narayanasamy announced a proposal ofthe Centre to declare Puducherry an e governance district.

Chief Minister V Vaithilingam and IT Minister ofPuducherry Shahjahan were among those who spoke.

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