The government will digitally connect all rural post offices by March 2017, Parliament was informed. Government is digitally connecting all 1,29,323 gramin dak sewak post offices in rural areas across the country by March 2017, Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha. The government has approved the Department of Posts IT Modernization Project with a total outlay of Rs 4,909 crore aiming modernization, digitization and networking of around 1,55,000 post offices.
The Minister said the Rural Information and Communication Technology (RICT) project is in its implementation phase and goal of this project is to digitise all the 1,29,323 rural post offices through a handheld computing device, connecting them with the help of SIM card based network and ensuring proper power supply backup with the help of solar energy. Prasad said the core banking service (CBS) is being implemented in all 25,297 departmental post offices of the country.
Once RICT is deployed in gramin dak sewak post offices in rural areas, they will be connected to CBS also. Hence, all the post offices in the country will work on common core banking platform, Prasad added. The Minister further said Department of Posts is also setting up ATMs with the CBS for the convenience of post office customers and by March 2016, 1,000 ATMs are planned to be installed.