While inaugurating 24 Hot Spots with 30 WiFi access points across the sprawling 330 acre
President Pranab Mukherjee stated the importance of WiFi facilities in public places across the country to increase Internet penetration among the population and transform the country into "digital India".
He said India is at the 89th position in Network Readiness Index.India, with 244 million, ranks third after China and the US in terms of number of Internet users.
"However, the penetration of Internet use as a percentage of the population is only 20, indicating not only a huge gap but significant potential for future growth as well," Mukherjee said.
On the contrary, there were 960 million mobile phones today thereby placing India second in the world behind China. Soon it is expected to become one billion mobile phones.
"We have more than 77 mobile phone connections per 100 citizens, which is commendable in terms of the penetration achieved by us in mobile telephony," he said.
Government has launched many programmes for the benefit of the common man. Substantial investment in terms of money and effort go into making policies, schemes and programmes aimed at eradication of poverty and other socio-economic ills.
"Yet, in the absence or poor presence of an effective communication strategy, a large segment of the intended beneficiary population remains unaware of the various benefits they are entitled to," Mukherjee said.
He said that many a times, it becomes difficult to ensure that the government policies and programmes reach the general population in various parts of the country.
In this context, the idea of bringing information to the doorsteps of citizens through network is a revolutionary step to transform India to a digital India, he said.
Countries like Singapore, Finland and Sweden are leaders in this index, he said and called upon authorities concerned to ensure availability of infrastructure for Internet and other communication services across the country and use them in a systematic manner.