NEW DELHI: The government will soon start providing Digital health and financial services, skill development programmes and education to villagers across the country through its ‘Digital Village’ initiative that would utilise broadband connectivity provided through BharatNet, a senior official said.
To start with, the government hopes to provide services in over 700 villages—one in each district of the country—within the first three years, before extending it across the country.
“Under BharatNet, the government provided high speed broadband access to over 1 lakh villages, and now, riding on that connectivity, we want to deliver key services pertaining to health, financial services, skill empowerment and so on to the people in villages,” the official told ET.
Under Digital Village, common service centres (CSCs) would provide low-cost WiFi connectivity to all villagers to “facilitate a service delivery ecosystem” that would require high speed internet access, the official said. Each CSC would have a dedicated computer laboratory.
The first key offering under the project would be a platform for different educational courses through collaboration with the National Institute for Electronics and IT (NIELIT) and Tally Solutions, leading enterprise resource planning (ERP) software provider.
Uttar Pradesh would have the maximum 75 villages covered under the first phase of the project, followed by Madhya Pradesh with 52 and Bihar with 38 villages.
In health services, the focus would be on providing primary care to citizens and cattle in the villages, the official said.
In primary services, patients can avail doctors’ advice on non-emergency medical problems that don’t require doctor’s location visit through tele-consultation, where the consultation would take place through video conferencing, the official said.
“Similarly, we all are aware of the importance of cattle for the livelihood of villages, so we are looking forward to arrange a system through which the villagers can avail the consultation of an expert veterinarian from the centralised location,” the person said.
Under skill services to be imparted across the villages under Digital Village platform, common service centres would primarily focus on skills pertaining to automotive service technician, handset repair engineering, field technician for home appliances and electrical technician.
“As far as the financial services are concerned, the idea will be to provide access to useful and affordable financial products and services to each individual of the villages by creating awareness through the financial awareness inclusion programme,” the official said.
Digital Village would also promote renewable energy sources. “While we try and deliver these services, we would also look at more eco-friendly and sustainable energy resources such as powering streetlights through solar panels,” the official said.