The Internet has become imperative to modern day lifestyle. In 2017, with everyone looking for free internet services; big-shot telecom corporations are already offering new cost-effective plans. In the meantime state Government in Kerala came up with a splendid idea. Free Internet will be made available throughout the state as a basic right for the citizens of kerala.
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Kerala to take one step ahead of other states by providing free internet
The practical development of a nation depends on the upgrade of its citizens. Technologies evolve with every passing day; by the time an existing module is properly implemented it gets replaced by a better version of the same. Digitization though is a never-ending commitment;but still has the potential to speed up both infrastructural and personal developments substantially. However, all the efforts of digitization will be somewhat futile unless more and more the people have access to Internet. Heralds alone is not enough to encourage Indian populace to switch to online mode. Hopefully the new Free Internet policy of Kerala Govt. will bring about a marked difference in the scenario.
Being the most literate state in India, Kerala has a whopping 93.91% literacy rate. It is indeed the right populace that can reap the optimum benefits from free internet policy. The first WiFi hotspot is to be set up at the various Akshaya Centres. Followed by Friends Janasevana Kendras, all government offices, public libraries and other renowned spaces where the computer savvy local crowds are to mingle.
Free Internet policy of Kerala to aid in the rise of Digital India
Today, India is the third largest internet enabled population globally. The expansion in the internet base in India is now exponential because Internet users are rapidly growing in this subcontinent. And it is only going to go upscale in upcoming years. An impetus from the government in form of free internet will inevitably help in shaping the internet dependent economy. As more and more people from every stratum of the society will participate in internet powered work. More job opportunities will be generated in the process, thereby, ultimately contributing to India’s GDP growth.
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“It is estimated that by 2017-18, almost all government transactions will become IT-based”, said Kerala Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac. He also added that “the right to basic Internet facility will become a prerequisite for providing civic services universally through the electronic medium” thereby, making Internet one of the basic human right as suggested by United Nations to all countries.
In 2001 only 7 million people had access to Internet connection. A report based on the study conducted by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG); presently, 40 million Indians are online at any given time. It is also speculated that the count will reach up to 550 million Internet users in total, by 2018.
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Kerala’s free Internet policy and how it is designed to boost internet penetration
The penetration of internet has been a major obstacle lately. Even with all the statistics pointing towards India’s ascent, there have been considerable setbacks until now. The State government in Kerala finally announced a breakthrough to promote digitisation and e-Governance through free internet services. As published in Times of India on “Kerala budget 2017″; a sum of Rs1,000 crore has been allotted for the infrastructure of K-FON (Kerala Fibre Optic Network), with a deadline of 18 months for its completion. An additional 549 crore of INR has been allocated for the creation of new IT hubs, Technoparks, SEZs, Info parks, Cyber zones as well as Techno-Lodges.
As per M. Sivasankar: secretary for the department of electronics and information technology “The government’s idea will be to deliver internet connectivity with a limited bandwidth to individual households through an optic fiber network to be established parallel to the distribution network of the KSEB”.
Just in time, Kerala did realize the role of a government in boosting the availability as well as affordability of Internet connections. And announced the much-awaited move to facilitate basic free Internet to every economically backwards household in the state. Further, to render Internet service free of cost; Kerala Govt. has decided to lend financial support and mentor-ship to 1500 startups from within the state.