Karnataka to use fibre network for digital inclusion

Bengaluru: Karnataka will use national optic fibre network to provide last mile connectivity in all villages across the state for digital inclusion, said Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Monday.

“We will bank on the national optic fibre network to provide last mile connectivity in all villages, as digital inclusion has become a parameter for growth and economic development,” he said at the state’s flagship IT event here.

Unveiling the 19th edition of the BengaluruITE.biz expo, the Chief Minister said inclusivity, innovation and impact were the cornerstones of the state government’s agenda for digital inclusion.

“Our policies are for promoting the growth of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) Aand start-ups in tier-two and three-tier cities and providing skills to rural and semi-urban population,” he said.

Noting that the impact of digital inclusion would be manifold, Siddaramaiah said he had directed the state IT Department to suggest means to provide such an infrastructure with the national fibre optic network as the backbone.

“Village-level entrepreneurs will have access to the online marketplace and an opportunity to explore new markets for their products and services,” he said.

Lauding the IT industry for providing gender equality by hiring women in large numbers, the Chief Minister said the industry should also provide opportunities to rural girls for realising their potential.

“We have recently launched an initiative – ‘Chetana’ to empower the girl child with technology, exposure and mentoring. More than 350 girls have participated in the first phase of the programme,” he said.

He also unveiled a pilot project of the state-run Keonics to provide wi-fi (wireless fidelity) to 11 gram panchayats in the state.

The state government will soon set up six common instrumentation centres in the state to provide opportunity to electronic hardware, start-ups and MSMEs for easy access to quality testing and fine-tuning of their products.

“We will also set up incubators in for Internet of Things, Electronics System Design and Manufacturing, Robotics, 3D Printing, nanotechnology, medical devices, health technology and clean technology, in phases across the State,” noted Siddaramaiah.

The centres will also provide opportunity to electronic hardware start-ups and MSMEs to have access to instrumentation facilities for fine-tuning their products, he added.