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All Odisha villages likely to get 4G mobile network in a year

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government has taken steps to provide 4G mobile connectivity to all unconnected villages of the state in a year, state IT secretary Manoj Kumar Mishra said on Tuesday.

On completion of the fourth year of the fifth tenure of his government, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday took a review of the Electronics and IT department. Minister Tusharkanti Behera briefed the CM on the important initiatives undertaken by the E&IT department and the transformational impact of these initiatives on governance and citizens.

Briefing media persons after the meet, Mishra said, “Non availability of telecom network is a major problem the state is facing. During the Covid-19 pandemic, students from rural areas faced difficulties attending online classes.”

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The Chief Minister has taken this issue up to the PM-level and got sanction for telecom towers. To speed up the telecom tower establishment work, the Odisha Cabinet has decided to provide 2000 sq ft of land free of cost, he said.

Reliance Jio has got sanction for setting up 3000 towers in 10 districts, for which land has been handed over in almost all the identified places. The land allotment has not been completed in only 36/38 places due to forest diversion issues, the secretary said.

Mishra said the coverage of the Odisha State Workflow Automation System (OSWAS) has been extended across all departments in the Secretariat, all directorates/HoDs, all district collectorates and the DG and SP offices of Odisha, encompassing approximately 15,000 users today and resulting in prompt decision making at all levels.

Video conferencing facilities have also been made available from the state level to the block level. Optical Fibre Connectivity has been provided to all GPs, thereby ensuring a digitally connected and digital ready population, he said, adding, “We are planning to connect all panchayats through video conferencing mode so that the government can directly connect all GPs at once.”

IT exports have increased almost two and a half times, increasing from Rs 2317 crores in 2013-14 to Rs 5500 crores in 2021-22. The IT workforce has increased from approximately 9,800 in 2010-11 and 20,000 in 2018-19 to around 40,000 in 2022-23, he pointed out.

Due to IT enablement, social benefits are being transferred directly to the bank accounts of the beneficiaries. While in 2017-18, only Rs 10,881 crores were transferred through DBT, in 2022-23 it has increased to Rs 25,878 crores, he added.

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