New Delhi: Taking the Narendra Modi government’s digital India ahead, finance minister Piyush Goyal on Friday announced that the country will have one lakh digital villages in the next five years under the Common Service Centres (CSC) scheme.

The government will make one lakh villages into digital villages over the next five years. This will be achieved by expanding the Common Service Centres (CSCs). More than 3 lakh Common Service Centres (CSCs) employing about 12 lakh people, are digitally delivering several services to the citizens.

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Data consumption

While presenting the interim Budget 2019, Goyal said that the monthly consumption of mobile data has increased 50 times in the last five years and India currently has the lowest tariffs for data and voice calls.

India, having emerged as the world leader in the consumption of mobile data, the government now aims to widen its impact by reaching out to the interior and rural areas.

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Mobile manufacturing hub

Goyal said the ‘Make in India’ programme has seen India emerging as the new destination for mobile phone manufacturing industry. Under ‘Make in India’, mobile and parts manufacturing companies have increased from two to more than 268 providing huge job opportunities.

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Jan Dhan-Aadhaar-Mobile (JAM) and Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) as game changers

Goyal, in his Budget speech, said, “Bank nationalisation was first done 50 years ago, but a large part of the country was still left out of the economic mainstream with no access to formal banking. In the last five years, nearly 34 crore Jan Dhan bank accounts were opened.”

The finance minister said Aadhaar has ensured better targeted subsidies. Aadhaar is now near universally implemented. This has helped ensure the poor and middle class receive the benefits of the government schemes directly in their bank accounts by eliminating middlemen.

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Single window clearance for film shoot

Recognising India’s entertainment industry as a major job sector, the finance minister declared extension of single window clearance for film shoot to Indian filmmakers.

“Single window clearance for ease of shooting films, available only to foreigners, is now going to be made available to Indian filmmakers as well,” said Goyal.

Goyal also announced other measures to ease filmmaking and to check piracy. Regulatory provisions will rely more on self-declaration.

“We will also introduce anti-camcording provisions in the Cinematograph Act to control the menace of piracy,” Goyal said.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

The government will start a national programme on Artificial Intelligence to harness the benefit from new age technologies in identified areas.

“India has become the second largest hub of start-ups. In order to take benefits of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and related technologies to the people, a national programme on Artificial Intelligence has been envisaged by our government. This should be catalysed by the establishment of the National Centre of AI as a hub along with centres of excellence. Nine priority areas have been identified,” Goyal said.

AI technology helps in analysing data in various technologies to improve the efficiency of the system like power management in cars, mobile devices, weather predictions, video and image analysis etc.