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1.84 lakh Gram Panchayats service-ready with broadband infra under BharatNet

As many as 1,84,399 Gram Panchayats in the country have been made service-ready with broadband infrastructure under BharatNet, as on November 28, 2022, Parliament was informed on Wednesday.

BharatNet project is being implemented in all the Gram Panchayats (GPs) and villages of the country to provide high speed internet and broadband, Minister of State for Communications Devusinh Chauhan said in a written reply in Lok Sabha.

“As on 28.11.2022, a total of 1,84,399 Gram Panchayats have been made service ready in the country with broadband infrastructure under BharatNet,” the minister said in reply to a question on high speed internet.

To another question on Wi-Fi hotspots, the minister mentioned that the scope of BharatNet project has recently been extended up to all inhabited villages beyond GPs.

“Under this project, last mile connectivity is provided through Fibre to the Home connections, Wi-Fi Access Points, internet facility to Government institutions among others. As on date Wi-Fi access points have been installed in 1,04,664 GPs,” Chauhan informed.

The proliferation of broadband through public Wi-Fi networks is also being done through the Prime Minister Wireless Access Network Interface (PM-WANI) framework.

To another question, the minister said applications were invited from June 4, 2021 to July 3, 2021, under the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme to promote telecom and networking products.

He said that 31 eligible applications were approved on October 14, 2021.

Further, for including design-led manufacturing, the scheme guidelines were amended on June 20, 2022.

“Applications were invited from June 21, 2022 to August 25,2022. 14 existing companies continued with existing sanctioned incentives,” Chauhan said.

There were 32 applications and 28 eligible applications were approved on October 31, 2022. Based on their eligibility, presently there are total 42 companies approved under PLI scheme,” he said.

Of 42 companies, 17 firms are with design-led manufacturing products.

“These 42 companies have committed investment of Rs 4,115 crore, additional sales of Rs 2.45 lakh crore and will create employment of more than 44,000 over the scheme period,” he said.

The number of applicants indicate the response from industry for making India a global manufacturing hub for telecom and networking products, he pointed out. PTI

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