Indian Government Spending 1 Lakh Crore to Change Governance Through Technology

AHMEDABAD: Sam Pitroda, adviser to the Prime Minister on Public Information and Infrastructure, said the Centre was spending Rs 1 lakh crore to bring in a "second-generation revolution" in governance.

"Our governance system is obsolete and requires drastic change. If we do not change it, we cannot manage future delivery system for people," Pitroda said.

"What we are doing is planting seeds now. In mid-eighties we planted seeds for the first-generation telecom revolution when there were just 20 lakh phones and people had to wait for 10 years to get a landline connection. Now we are a country with 900 million mobile phones.

"In the second generation revolution what we are doing is transforming governance, education, health and many other things with the use of internet and web," he said.

Pitroda, who was here to take part in a private function, outlined what Dr Manmohan Singh's government was doing to bring in change in the governance.

"This is the only government in the world which is spending Rs 1 lakh crore to implement various schemes for second-generation revolution in telecom sector which will drastically change how we govern our country," Pitroda said.

"We have established a National Knowledge Network, under which all the research institutes, colleges, space programmes will be linked, so that there is a massive collaboration in research. Research is the key to future success," Pitroda said.

"We have decided to connect 250 thousand panchayats of the country with optical fiber network in the next 18 months. It will change delivery of education, health, food service, NREGA (Mahamta Gandhi-National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme) in the rural areas," he said.

"The UID project which is being implemented under Nandan Nilekani aims at providing a number to every Indian, and that number will be linked to his entire life," Pitroda said.

"They have distributed 20 crore UIDs by now, and another 65 crore will be given by December end," he added.

Source: PTI