Kerala’s Vision 2020 to bridge digital divide

Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 14 (IANS) The Kerala government has set in motion an ambitious policy framework that aims to bridge the digital divide by 2020 and make Kerala the country’s first ‘digitally literate’ state.

The key objectives of ‘Bridging the Digital Divide – Vision 2020’ include transforming Kerala into a digital knowledge society to achieve sustainable economic growth, making accessible the digital infrastructure to all at affordable cost, attracting more investments and promoting the IT export of the state.

P.K. Kunhalikutty, minister for industries and IT said on Friday another major objective of Vision 2020 is to ensure that the various e-services offered by the government are availed by the people and achieve social harmony and high quality of life for all, with the inclusion of disadvantaged sections of society.

“Vision 2020 has the potential to ensure wilful participation of all sections of the society which, in turn, would prevent the less privileged from getting marginalised,” said Kunhalikutty.

P.H. Kurian, principal secretary, industries and IT said they have now taken the digital initiatives to a qualitatively higher level.

“Kerala has started e-Governance in ‘Cloud’ SDC (2), becoming the second cloud-enabled data centre in the country,” said Kurian.

The state government has also planned a slew of initiatives to achieve ‘Vision 2020’.

These include Bharat Net Mobile Governance, which is a project of the central government to establish, by 2017, a scalable network infrastructure to provide on demand, affordable broadband connectivity of 2 mbps to 20 mbps to all households and institutions.

Further, it plans to achieve ‘Mobile-Governance’ (M-Governance) through a single mobile application covering a variety of government services.

The government also plans to make its offices paperless in 2015-2016, that will increase efficiency and transparency in file movements.

Under Digital Literacy – phase II, various programmes implemented by multiple agencies in the direction of achieving digital literacy in the state will be organised under a common umbrella programme “Digital Literacy to Masses in Kerala”.

“Our goal is to make Kerala a 100 percent e-literate and digital state and plan, develop and market it as the most preferred IT/ITES investment destination in the country,” added Kurian.

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