Union Minister of Science and Technology Harsh Vardhan today said the government was working towards bridging the divide between “digital India and Bharat” so that the poorest of the poor could also have access to all the facilities. “A digital movement has already started – which is the combination of a scientific movement and a technology movement – so that the poorest of the poor in the remotest part of India can have access to all the facilities,” he said. Vardhan was speaking to reporters after inaugurating the Phase 4 of “Rashtriya Atlas Bhavan” of National Atlas and Thematic Mapping Organisation (NATMO) here.
He said that in the past 2-3 years over 2-lakh km optical fibre had been laid, and by 2018 the whole country is expected to be covered. “Modiji wants that the 125 crore people of the country use mobiles and by pressing the button they get Re 1 in full and not just 15 paise they used to get previously,” he said, adding “there should not be the real divide anymore.”
The Union minister referred to the sacrifices made by “Jan Sangh founder Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee” and said that the Shyamaprasad Mukherjee Research Foundation had renovated his birthplace and digitised his archival photos. He said NATMO was working with the aim of making the National Atlas freely available to the citizens of the country.
He said that with his own core team the PM was monitoring government schemes being implemented in the country and “the Department of Science and Technology was encouraging scientists to be pro-active and think out-of-box. Crediting Modi with making the dream of digital India happen, Harsh Vardhan said, “After Modiji announced demonetisation on November 8, not a single man in the line said ‘Uff’ despite standing in line for hours.”
In an apparent dig at the Opposition and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, he said, “While the opposition parties paralysed Parliament for days, a leader from Bengal kept making comments against demonetisation day after day.” Vardhan also praised former Prime Minister A B Vajpayee for bringing science to the centre stage of government policies. “Vajpayeeji first coined the slogan ‘Jai Vigyan’,” he said.