President to declare Kerala as first digital state today

  • Ramesh Babu, Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram
  • Updated: Feb 27, 2016 21:03 IST
President Pranab Mukherjee will declare Kerala as the first digital state of the country on Saturday

President Pranab Mukherjee will declare Kerala as the first digital state of the country on Saturday, pinning another feather on the cap of the southern state that boasts of many firsts in the human development index.

With high e-literacy rate and mobile penetration (32 m connections) it will be the first fully digitised state. It is also the first to complete the national optic fiber network project which helps to provide high-speed internet in all gram panchayats and remote areas. Many key government offices will be paperless soon. More than 3000 offices in the state, including motor vehicles and land registration departments, have achieved this feat.

At a function to be held in Kozhikkode, the President will also launch a digital empowerment campaign aimed at bridging the digital divide by 2020. For this services of Student Police Cadets (SPCs) will be used.

As part of the campaign 40,000 student police cadets will train 10 lakh people in panchayats and remote areas of the state. Tablets will be provided to these cadets and a committee will monitor their training sessions on real-time basis.

“As a pilot project in Thiruvananthapuram we trained student cadets from 10 schools and distributed 100 tablets to them. Results are really encouraging_ in three months these cadets made 10,000 people e literate,” said state IT Mission director Mohammed Safirulla.

Two projects started by the government in 2002 -‘Akshaya and IT@School’ - helped it to attain e literacy. Over 2.500 Akshaya service centres functioning in rural and urban areas have helped generate awareness in e-governance.

The President will unveil a cyber park in Kozhikkode.

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