Government to provide VSAT link for MGNREGA workers in 477 blocks
MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) workers in around 477 blocks across all States will get their wages regularly after introduction of VSAT connectivity by the end of 2014. A SPV (Special Purpose Vehicle) will be constituted to oversee the procurement of equipment and their installation. The cost of such implementation will be borne by the Centre.
Lack of connectivity
The Government’s attempts at implementing e-governance were being thwarted in many rural areas due to the lack of internet connectivity. To redress this grievance, the government has announced plans to introduce VSAT connectivity in blocks without connectivity. Once VSAT connectivity is put in place, it can be uses to run the NREGASoft programma database.
Identification of Blocks
At the direction of the Centre, the State Governments have identified 477 blocks with either no IT or no broadband connectivity.
The 477 blocks are in Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Rajasthan, Tripura, Uttarakhand and West Bengal besides the Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar.
VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminal) is a satellite communications system that has capability to serve home and business users. The VSAT is aligned towards a designated Satellite for up-linking and down-linking communication signals. VSAT acts as an alternative to areas where cables, optical fibre or other wireless cannot reach. VSAT can offer multiple telecom service such data transfer, internet, voice, video etc.