India may have 50 crore Internet subscribers next year: Prasad

New Delhi :Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad today said Internet subscribers may reach the 50 crore mark in the country next year.

“India currently has 40 crore Internet subscribers. Earlier, I have said about the target to reach 50 crore users in two years but now it looks that the 50 crore mark is likely to be achieved next year,” Prasad said during a discussion on “Integration of SC/ST entrepreneurs: Digital and Skill India” here.

Speaking about the ‘Digital India’ programme, he said the government will connect 2.5 lakh gram panchayats with optic fibre in coming years.

He also spoke on the concept of ‘digital village’, where one block in every state will be selected to ensure that technology can be used to deliver education and healthcare services. Under digital village, the focus will be upon four things

e-education, telemedicine having linkage of primary health centres with district hospital, resource centre as a virtual classroom including training in all gap areas and LED light at the centre of village along with wi-fi, he added.