GUWAHATI, Aug 11 - Union Electronics and Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad today released the document �Digital North East Vision 2022� that profiles the assets, opportunities and challenges each of the northeastern states faces in the sector with an aim to bridge the digital as well as geographical divide in the region.
Before the main event, the Union Minister and Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal laid the foundation stone for Common Facilitation Centre and Smart Meter Manufacturing facility in the Electronics Manufacturing Cluster (EMC) in Tech City, Bongara near Palasbari for promotion of electronics manufacturing in the region.
�We want to bridge the digital as well as geographical divide. Digital India is a mass revolution. It is designed to become a mass movement. The Prime Minister of India has, after coming into power, ensured that Delhi come closer to NE in terms of bringing all opportunities to this region,� the minister said, adding that the Northeast will become the growth engine for the country with the government�s Act East Policy.
The Union minister said that e-Pragati will be available in all the northeastern states through �Digital India�. There will be e-classroom facilities in the medical colleges of Shillong, Guwahati, Dibrugarh, Dimapur, Agartala and Imphal. �We are making India a digital superpower, ...digital is the future,� he added. The minister also announced that 50,000 state government employees of the Northeast will be trained in digital technology with capacity building in GST.
Prasad said the number of seats allotted to the Northeast under the BPO promotion schemes has been increased from 5,000 to 10,000. The scheme, which aims to promote BPO operations in smaller towns, provides special incentives of up to Rs 1 lakh per seat in the form of viability gap funding (VGF). Disbursement of financial support under these schemes is directly linked with employment generation.
The Union minister also said the Northeast will get the required bandwidth. A regional data centre will also come up in Guwahati.
Prasad also informed that the government has been able to save Rs 90,000 crore during last few years by eliminating middlemen by promoting digital payment. Asserting the importance of electronic manufacturing, he said that it will become an important component for development in the years to come. He informed that in 2014, there were only two mobile manufacturing factories and now there are 127 mobile factories all over the country. He urged all the chief ministers to give emphasis towards electronics manufacturing.
Talking about the BPO centres in the country, Prasad said, �Till now, India�s BPO centres were all in big cities, but now we have transformed small towns into BPO hubs. There are BPO centres in Kohima, Guwahati and Dibrugarh now which have opened multiple job opportunities for the youth.� He also urged the chief ministers present in the event to give the BPO sector a boost in their respective states.
The Vision Document was released in the presence of the chief ministers of Assam, Meghalaya and Tripura, ministers of other northeastern states and senior officials of the Central and state governments.
During the event for release of the Digital North East Vision 2022, several projects were launched for the northeastern states. The foundation stone was laid for four NIELIT (National Institute of Electronics & Information Technology) permanent centres in Guwahati, Shillong, Lunglei and Gangtok. The NIC (National Informatics Centre) launched the �Secure, Scalable and Sugamya Website as a Service� (SwaaS) websites for Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura. To take participative governance to last mile citizen, State MyGov portals were launched for Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Tripura. The STPI (Software Technology Park of India) incubation facility was inaugurated in Agartala, Aizawl and Shillong. A BPO centre under the North East BPO Promotion Scheme (NEBPS) was inaugurated in Majuli. The Manipur State Data Centre (SDC) was migrated to the Cloud Platform. Virtual classroom facility in Tripura was enabled through the ERNET (National Research and Education Network) India. �Digital Locker� was being integrated with the Board of Secondary Education, Assam and the Nagaland e-District. A comprehensive GIS-based decision support system for the northeastern states and the North Eastern District Resource Plan Geo-Portal (NEDRP) were also launched.
As part of the Digital North East Vision 2022, a cloud hub for the Northeast will be created in Guwahati. A network of Common Service Centres (CSCs) will be expanded to cover all villages. High speed broadband connectivity to all gram panchayats or equivalent bodies and mobile connectivity in all uncovered villages in the northeastern region will be provided.