New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Saturday highlighted the importance of Digital India and mentioned how India’s online classes have become a “culture” with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
“Online classes have become a culture during the Corona times… digital transaction and online classes, all of it is the new norm now. This goes on to show how the Indian people have started accepting the new normal,” the PM said in his I-Day speech.
The prime minister also talked about the steps that will strengthen the reach of the internet across the country and give a major boost to online education in parts of the country where internet access is an issue.
“Until 2014, only five dozen gram panchayats were connected with optical fibre. In the last five years, we have connected more than 1.5 lakh panchayats with optical fibre. Going ahead, the government has decided that all 6,00,000 villages will be connected with optical fibres in the next 1,000 days,” the PM said.
According to the latest National Statistics Office (NSO) survey for the year 2017-18 released last month, only 24 per cent of the households in the country had internet access in the survey year. The proportions were 15 per cent among rural households and 42 per cent among urban households.
The government’s plan to extend optical fibre in 6,00,000 villages is likely to increase internet access in a large number of households.
The government aims to achieve this through the National Broadband Mission, which was launched in December 2019. The ambitious mission under which the government promised broadband access in all villages by the year 2022 involves laying of incremental 30 lakh km route of Optical Fiber Cable and increasing the tower density.
On new National Education Policy
The PM also highlighted the importance of youth and the country’s education system in nation building, and welcomed the new National Education Policy released last month.
He said that the policy will “pave the way for a citizen who is attached to his roots but is also a global citizen”.
“The country’s education plays a big role in shaping its character… We have been successful in giving the new education policy to the country after three decades. The education policy will connect our students with their roots but will also make them a global citizen,” he added.
He also spoke about the National Research Foundation proposed in the education policy and how it will be beneficial for the country’s growth by leading to innovations.
The PM had praised the National Education Policy in a webinar held last week as well.
In his address to more than 1,000 education institutions across the country, Modi had said that the new policy is free of any controversies and should be discussed as much as possible for its better implementation.
Why news media is in crisis & How you can fix it
India needs free, fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism even more as it faces multiple crises.
But the news media is in a crisis of its own. There have been brutal layoffs and pay-cuts. The best of journalism is shrinking, yielding to crude prime-time spectacle.
ThePrint has the finest young reporters, columnists and editors working for it. Sustaining journalism of this quality needs smart and thinking people like you to pay for it. Whether you live in India or overseas, you can do it here.