India is considered as a leader in Information Technology (IT). Taking the advantages of this to grass root level has been the motto of Indian government. The vision is to make India a digitalised nation. While urban populace is taking full advantage of this technology with almost everyone carrying smartphone in his pocket, the rural population is yet to use the technology to the core.
Without proper Internet connectivity, people from rural India have limited access to proper healthcare, education or financial inclusion. This has prompted the authorities to call for a Digital Revolution. The only purpose is to bring the rural areas at par with the urban ones as far as using digital technology is concerned.
The use of Internet has evolved in India in the last 10-12 years. While less than 20% of population was using Internet till 2014 as it was considered as a costly affair then, the percentage has gone up considerably since and today we can see everyone hooked to their smartphone or computer, particularly in the urban areas.
However, in rural areas this is not the case. In July, 2015 the Government of India launched the national ‘Digital India’ initiative to make government services available to citizens electronically by bolstering Internet connectivity and improving online infrastructure. A top priority of the Narendra Modi administration, the plan aims to connect rural areas with high-speed networks and promote digital literacy.
State Follows Similar Path
Treading a similar path, the Maharashtra government has also decided to bring in digital revolution by connecting all its 28,000 gram panchayats in 36 districts by 2017-18 to open the world to rural Maharashtra. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has taken up the uphill task with a strict timeline to give a boost to core sectors like primary and secondary education, health and agriculture.
According to the state government decision, gram panchayats are going to be nodes, through which the digital revolution along with infrastructure would be strengthened to provide better health services, education, agriculture and security.
Maharashtra Samruddhi Mahamarg’s Digital Connect
The technology involves laying of optical fiber connectivity. Using this technology, the state government will be providing Wi-Fi access, traffic surveillance and enforcement and CCTV to monitor the proposed Maharashtra Samruddhi Mahamarg, also known as the Nagpur Mumbai Super Communication Expressway (NMSCE). Besides this, emergency telephones at every 5km, dedicated mahamarg for OFC cables will also be set up for speedy communication network.
The Mahamarg is an ambitious project of the Maharashtra government which will catapult the state’s growth by 20 years through a holistic process that integrates road connectivity with sustainable rural development through agri-business ecosystem and multidimensional sub-projects.
Maharashtra Samruddhi Mahamarg is a 702-km Nagpur Mumbai Super Communication Expressway, connecting 10 districts, 24 talukas and more than 350 villages of Maharashtra. This process in turn will generate employment, fuel growth in agriculture and related activities and lay the foundation of a robust infrastructure and eventually contain rural migration.