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NOFN being revamped to improve broadband connectivity, Rs 110,000 crore earned from spectrum auctions: Mukherjee

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NEW DELHI: President Pranab Mukherjee today said the architecture and design of the National Optical Fiber Network (NOFN) is being revamped to rapidly take broadband connectivity to Indian villages under Bharat Net.

In his address to the joint sitting of both houses of Parliament on the first day of the Budget Session, the President said, “Transparent and efficient auction of spectrum has fetched highest ever price of about Rupees one lakh ten thousand crore.”

He said policies like Spectrum trading and sharing have been finalised for optimum utilisation of resources.

Mukherjee added that the recent interventions and subsequent rationalisation of duty structure in mobile handset manufacturing industry has led to near doubling of mobile handset production in the current year.

According to Mukherjee, setting up world-class infrastructure for Electronics manufacturing across the country remains a priority for the Government. As many as 29 Electronic Manufacturing Clusters are under development.

The country recorded the highest ever software exports during 2015. “By spreading the network of Common Service Centers and setting up BPOs in small towns and linking land record modernization with the use of space technology, my Government is taking the benefits of Digital India to common citizens. The Digital India Programme will give a big boost to citizen empowerment and knowledge economy,” the President added.

Building upon the success over the past year, the Government's endeavour is to scale new heights in Space. “Focus will be on completing the constellation of the Indian navigational satellites in 2016 to cater to indigenous navigation and location-based services,” Mukherjee said.

Noting that “radio has once again emerged as the people’s medium,“ Mukherjee said the good response to the successful and transparent bidding for the first batch of private FM Radio for phase III “augurs well for the medium.”

He noted that establishment of new radio stations has received a fresh impetus. The bidding of the first batch of private FM Radio for phase III comprised 135 channels in 69 cities.

The Government had taken several measures to improve the quality of governance. People's participation in policy making through initiatives like MyGov had taken firm roots, he said, adding that the Government had taken up an initiative for providing 500 e-governance services through Public Private-Partnership in 12 states of the country.

Noting that youth are the future of the country, Mukherjee said ensuring Yuvaon ko Rojgaar through massive employment generation is a top goal for the Government. “We are driving job creation through an integrated set of initiatives including Make in India, Start up India, Mudra, Skill India, etc.”

A series of reforms have been initiated to help convert job seekers into job creators. The Government has launched the Start-Up India campaign, which would deepen, expand and support the innovation eco system in the country.

The Government’s innovative initiatives have helped India jump up 12 places in the latest rankings by the World Bank on Ease of Doing Business. “Notably, the Make in India initiative has achieved a 39 per cent increase in FDI inflow despite an adverse global investment climate.”

Noting that sports is the best way to Swasth India, he said the Government “successfully hosted the 12th South Asian Games from 5 to 16 February, 2016 at Guwahati and Shillong in which more than 3500 sportspersons from all the SAARC countries participated. The games were the biggest ever sporting event in North East India.”

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