The Modi government is giving finishing touches to a plan to facilitate establishment of call centres and business process outsourcing (BPO) units in small towns under its "Digital India" programme. 

Private companies will be given incentives to implement the plan that is aimed at dispelling the notion that "Digital India" is elitist, according to IT and Telecommunications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.

"Our flagship 'Digital India' is directed more at the poor...The government will incentivise private players to open such centres in the smaller towns. It can propel India to a different horizon," he said, while addressing a summit organised by National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) on Thursday in Mumbai. 

Ravi Shankar Prasad

The Minister added that other ministries that are implementing government-funded schemes have evinced interest to be customers of the planned call centres and BPOs. 

"My understanding of digital equality is when in a 'Mahadalit' village, a digitally literate person is operating a call centre. That is the vision we must work towards," Prasad said.

'Make in India'

Under the 'Make in India' programme, the Centre has received proposals worth ₹21,000 crore, with the government clearing ₹6,000 crore worth of projects.

The government has initiated a programme connecting 2,50,000 gram panchayats by optical fibre network, which is expected to be completed in three years, Prasad said.

The programme is expected to lay down seven lakh kilometres of optic fibre cable, which would then provide for significant business potential with the enhanced connectivity, said The Hindu.

Prasad implored IT sector leaders to allocate funds for digitisation of the nation, adding, "the 'Digital India' initiative is an obligation for us and a gift for posterity. It will succeed only when we work together.''