The Union Cabinet approved the scheme for the provision of mobile services in uncovered villages of aspirational districts across five states including Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Odisha.

As per an official release, the decision was taken during the Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday. “The project envisages to provide 4G based mobile services in the 7,287 uncovered villages of 44 aspirational districts across the said five states at an estimated cost of implementation about Rs 6,466 crore including operational expenses for 5 years,” the release said.

“The project would be funded by Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF). The project will be completed within 18 months after the signing of the Agreement and likely to be completed by 23 November,” it added.

The work related to the provision of 4G mobile services in identified uncovered villages will be awarded through an open competitive bidding process as per extant USOF procedures. The release further stated that the present proposal for provisioning of mobile services in the remote and difficult uncovered areas of aspirational districts across the five states will enhance digital connectivity useful for self-reliance, facilitate learning, dissemination of information and knowledge, skill upgradation and development, disaster management, e-Governance initiatives, establishment of enterprises and e-commerce facilities, provision of adequate support to educational institutes for knowledge sharing and availability of job opportunity and fulfilling the vision of Digital India promoting domestic manufacturing and fulfilling the objectives of Atmanirbhar Bharat etc.

Prime Minister Modi on Wednesday said that the Union Cabinet’s decision of providing mobile services to over 7,000 villages will take the fruits of technology to aspirational districts across five states and will also contribute to social empowerment. “An important Cabinet decision, which will take the fruits of technology to our Aspirational Districts across five states and contribute to social empowerment,” the Prime Minister tweeted.