Govt to set up ‘Mofussil call centres’ across India, 35 in Maharashtra

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Mumbai, Jan. 10 (ANI): Underlining the need for promoting inclusive growth, Union Minister for Communication and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad on Sunday announced that the Government would set up Business process outsourcing (BPOs) in the form of ‘Mofussil call centres’ across India with 48,000 seats.

Out of these, Maharashtra will have 35 call centres of 3,500 seats. “BPO Call Centres at small places and mofussil towns will become the crux of digital India,” said the minister.

Prasad said connectivity should be utmost priority for making ‘Digital India’ campaign successful.

Addressing a press conference after taking a review meeting of various departments under his ministry here, Prasad said several steps were being taken to address the issues of connectivity including spread of broadband, wi-fi and Next Generation Network across the country.

He also said 2,500 Wi Fi hotspots would be set up by next fiscal.

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He said ‘Digital India’ is aimed at empowering the poor and the underprivileged. “We want a small time tea-seller, a paanwalas, a carpenter to seek services through his mobile phones. That is the concept of real ‘Digital India’.”

Prasad said that mobile phone connectivity has increased to 100 crores and Internet connectivity to 40 crores. “We will strengthen Digital India for health, education, entertainment and ecommerce and to make India a truly empowered society,” he said.

Announcing that the road map for improving connectivity in Maharashtra, Prasad said four lakh connections under Next Generation Network (NGN) would be made available in Maharashtra during the Financial Year 2016-17.

NGN Service will be available in Pune, Nagpur, Nashik, Aurangabad, Kolhapur, Kalyan and Nanded in Maharashtra and Goa, which is also part of the Maharashtra Telecom circle. NGN is a packet-based network that provides voice, data and other media services at high speed.

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The minister also announced that 174 Wi Fi hotspots will be installed in 58 cities across Maharashtra. He said a new Mobile Intelligence Network will be set up in Pune, which would facilitate pre-paid mobile service customers.

For Mumbai, Prasad said the Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) is laying optical fibre, which aims to provide High Speed Broadband to one lakh households in the city. “As many as 6,000 city surveillance cameras will be installed at 1,800 locations, in collaboration with the Mumbai Police,” he added.

Dwelling on the performance of the Postal Department, Prasad said the Government has asked India Post to become an active player in the e commerce segment. The minister said that a CAG survey of eight states had concluded that the Speed Post Service of India Post had been declared the best courier service. He said the parcel revenue that registered a 2 percent decline in 2013-14, registered 37 percent growth in 2014-15. It grew by 117 percent by December 2015.

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The Minister further said that India Post Payment Bank would become operational by March 2017 to extend access to formal banking in rural areas. “India Post is getting very good attention from across the world. Already 40 national and international consortia have evinced interest to partner with the Postal Department for insurance delivery and other financial products.

About Net Neutrality, the Minister said the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is considering the entire nuances of net neutrality, we have to await their report, thereafter, the Government will take a structured view.

He, however, asserted that Internet, being one of the finest creations of human mind, should not remain the monopoly of a few. (ANI)

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