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Union cabinet approves expansion of BharatNet in Northeast

NEW DELHI: The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday approved implementation of BharatNet through Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode in 16 States in the country including Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh in the Northeast.

With this decision, BharatNet will be extended upto all inhabited villages beyond Gram Panchayats (GPs), in the select States.

An estimated 3.61 lakh villages including GPs will be covered.

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Along with facilitating online education, e-commerce, telemedicine, skill development ; the service is also expected to increase direct and indirect employment and income generation in rural areas.

“Proliferation of broadband in rural areas will bridge the rural-urban divide of digital access and accelerate the achievement of Digital India”, said the cabinet.

It is expected that revenue will be generated from different sources including proliferation of broadband connections to individuals & institutions, sale of dark fibre, Fiberization of mobile towers, e-commerce etc.

Also, the central government on Monday took the decision provide an additional Rs 19,041 crore for extending BharatNet project through the public-private partnership (PPP) model. An amount of Rs Rs 42,068 crore was approved in 2017.

Launched by PM Modi last year in August, the scheme aims to ensure broadband connectivity to all inhabited villages in 1000 days.

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