New Delhi: All 250,000 village panchayats in the country will be connected with broadband by mid-2012 under a $4-billion project to take the benefits of technology to the poor, tech evangelist Sam Pitroda said on Friday.
"I can assure you that in 18 months every village panchayat will have broadband. It will significantly change the way we deal with people in villages," Pitroda, who also serves as the prime minister's advisor on innovation, told a diaspora convention in New Delhi.
The network will be provided by the federal government and it will be the responsibility of village panchayats to run, maintain and properly utilise it, he said. "Each panchayat will employ two people. They will be paid by the panchayats."
Some 100,000 village panchayats already have broadband connectivity in India that not only ensures faster communications but also allows applications like tele-medicine, timely weather forecasts and remote consultations on crops, soil, nutrients and marketing.
Pitroda was speaking on the inaugural day of the 9th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in New Delhi.