The “Digital India Conference of State IT Ministers” was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and took place in New Delhi, Delhi from October 1 to 3, 2022, under the chairmanship of Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).
- The conference featured the national launch of 5G, exhibitions, and the unveiling of various 5G use cases in education, health, worker safety, smart agriculture, etc.,
- Along with this conference, the 6th India Mobile Congress 2022 (IMC 2022) was also convened.
Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Minister of State (MoS), MeitY; Devusinh Chauhan, MoS, Ministry of Communications (MoC); and IT Ministers from 12 States/Union Territories (UTs), including Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Goa, Manipur, Uttarakhand, Telangana, Mizoram, Sikkim, and Puducherry.
GoI Approves Rs. 26,000 Crore to Install 25,000 Mobile Towers
The Government of India (GoI) has allocated an amount of Rs. 26,000 crore for the installation of 25,000 mobile towers in 500 days.
- The financial support for the project will be funded by Universal Services Obligation Fund (USOF), Department of Telecommunications (DOT), MoC.
- The towers will be installed by the government-owned enterprise Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL).
Note: The GoI established the USOF in December 2003 by amending the Indian Telegraph (Amendment) Act, 2003.
i.The list of prospective tower locations will be created in consultation with the States/Chief Secretaries. The list can be examined further by the States.
ii.The comprehensive revival of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) would be carried out over the course of the next 18 months using a sum of Rs. 1.64 lakh crore.
iii.The fibre network will be shared on a common platform to assist States/UTs in planning layout-driven infrastructure projects and digital transformational projects.
- The policy issues will be decided in close consultation with the States.
iv.Support has been provided for the special assistance to States for Capital Expenditure (CapEx) of Rs. 2000 crore.
v.The move will greatly benefit Make-In-India and Design in India initiatives.
GoI Approves Amendments to Private FM Phase-III Guidelines
The GoI has approved amendments to certain provisions in the Policy Guidelines on the Expansion of FM Radio Broadcasting Services via Private Agencies (Phase-III), also known as the Private FM Phase-III Policy Guidelines.
- The decision was taken in a Cabinet meeting presided over by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
i.In this regard, the 3-year window time for restructuring FM radio permissions within the same management group during the 15-year licence duration has been eliminated.
ii.The GoI has also agreed to the long-standing demand of the radio industry to eliminate the 15% National Cap on channel holdings.
iii.Furthermore, with the relaxation of financial eligibility standards under FM radio policy, an applicant company can now engage in bidding for ‘C’ and ‘D’ category cities with a net worth of just Rs. 1 crore, as opposed to Rs. 1.5 crore previously.
iv.Together, these three revisions will assist the private FM radio industry in fully utilizing economies of scale and for further expansion of FM radio and entertainment into Tier-III cities in India.
Recent Related News:
In August 2022, The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) signed a Memorandum of
Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (Ayush) (MOA), to provide technical support to the Ministry of Ayush for digitalization of Ayush Sector under the Ayush Grid Project for a period of 3 years.
About Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY):
Union Minister – Ashwini Vaishnaw (Rajya Sabha – Odisha)
Minister of State (MoS) – Rajeev Chandrasekhar