Budget 2018: Arun Jaitley doubles spends for ‘Digital’

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NEW DELHI: In a further push to the Digital India initiative, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his budget speech doubled the allocation towards the programme to Rs 3,073 crore in 2018-19. He added that the government has also proposed to set up 5 lakh wi-fi hotspots in rural areas. “The task of connecting 1 lakh gram panchayats with high speed optic fibre network has been completed under Phase 1 of Bharat Net program. This has enabled broadband access to cover…rural Indians in about 2.5 lakh villages. The government also proposed to set up 5 lakh wifi hotspots which will provide broadband access to 5 crore rural citizens,” Jaitley said. The finance minister also stated that the initiatives such as Digital India, Start Up India, Make in India would help the country to establish itself as a knowledge and digital society. “To invest in research training, and skilling in robotics, AI, digital manufacturing, big data intelligence, quantum communications and art of the things, the Department of Science and Technology will launch a mission on cyber space in support of establishment of centre of excellence. I have doubled their allocation on the Digital India programme to Rs 3,073 crore in 2018-19,” Jaitley added.

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