PM concerned about digital divide in India

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    PM concerned about digital divide in India - CIOL News Reports


    Manmohan Singh says we must double the rural tele-density in the next three years


    NEW DELHI, INDIA: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who expressed delight at the phenomenal growth of the Indian telecom sector, said that the growing digital divide between urban and rural areas in the country is a matter of concern.

    "While celebrating the growth and substantial achievement of the telecom sector in India, it is important to be conscious on the large digital divide that exist in our country," Dr. Manmohan Singh said while addressing the gathering at the valedictory function of the India Telecom 2009 here today.

    "Indeed compared to tele-density of 100 per cent in our towns and cities, our rural areas have only 20 per cent tele-density. We must double the rural tele-density in the next three years." We must double the rural teledensity in the next three years

    The Prime Minister emphasized on the need of broadband in rural India.

    He also said the mobile number portability, which is expected to come into effect next year, would give more choice to customers, and would also encourage telecom service providers to improve their quality.

    Assuring the auction of 3G spectrum to be conducted shortly Singh stated that this spectrum will be allocated at a market determined price rather than an administered one.

    Lauding the setting up of seven telecom centers of excellence by DoT in public private partnership mode, the Prime Minister said that sustained competitiveness requires a strong research and development efforts.

    Expressing concern on the slow growth on the telecom manufacturing sector, he called for using various fiscal incentives provided by the government to attract potential investors.

    Speaking on the occasion, Union Minister for Communications and Information Technology, A. Raja, said that telecom sector is recognized as one of the major drivers of the growth of Indian economy as it is contributing about 5.6 per cent in GDP.

    Earlier, while addressing another session, former President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam said that we must graduate knowledge power from software powerhouses.

    He also said that it is not the tele-density that matters but it is the teleservises that empower people is what that matters.

    Dr. Kalam said that proper use of communication technology can transform Indian society.
     
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