December 7, 2015
E-governance a reality by 2020: Amit Mitra
In a bid to come out ahead in the digital revolution race, the state government plans to put in place an e-governance structure by 2020.
Speaking at INFOCOM on Saturday, state finance, IT, commerce & industries minister Dr Amit Mitra said that as the first step, the state government is rolling out the optical fibre network under the National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) project.
He said that the target was to connect all the 3.354 gram panchayats in Bengal through the broadband network so as to spread e-governance to the last yard.
“All the district headquarters are already connected through the network and video conferencing between the district magistrates and Nabanna is a reality now. Mamata Banerjee wants the digital revolution to be spread to the grassroots,” he added.
According to Dr Mitra, 244 out of the total 247 registration offices in the state have already been connected through broadband. Besides, 341 blocks too have been connected through broadband and more than 7,000km of optical fibre line has already been laid in 565 gram panchayats.
Commenting on the telecom revolution in the state, Mitra said that the teledensity in West Bengal is now tou ching 75%. The urban teledensity in the state is 135.77% while that of rural Bengal is 49.8%. The mobile subscriber base in the state has crossed the 79 million mark out of 93 million people.
“What is most interesting is the internet connection in the state. There are 19.20 million internet subscribers in the state, out of which 7.03 million are rural individuals. This implies that rural Bengal is gradually becoming tech savvy,” the minister said.
Dr Mitra also stressed on the need to give major push to animation and startups.
“Bengal was always known for innovation, so I think we could do well in ani mation. I know Bengalies doing extremely well in this profession overseas,” he added.
Commenting on startups, he added that in the US, startups are the largest employment generator. He said he feels that this can happen here as well.
“We have already come out with a venture capital fund for MSME, which includes startups as well. A reality show on startups is being and we have already received around 1,500 applications from potential entrepreneurs,” Dr Mitra added.