The Indian Telecom Commission has now proposed the use of only those mobile devices, which are made in India for the government’s rural mobile phone project, the Hindu Businessline reports. This means that only those telecom vendors with their manufacturing units in India will be eligible to participate in the bidding process for the Indian government’s plan to distribute free mobile phones that was announced a few months back. The government feels that this initiative under the Bharat Mobile Scheme will actually help in promoting the indigenous manufacturing units as well as entice some of the players to set up manufacturing units in India. Also Read - Redmi Note 8 Pro: How the popular Xiaomi phone is made in India
The government had some time back proposed the Bharat Mobile scheme to give a free phone to all the households with at least one working member with over 100 days of work under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) in 2012.
It now plans to invite telecom companies for bidding for the project. And the winner operator of the bid will then provide free mobile phone, connection and access to service centres, for which government will also provide subsidy to the operators.
Considering that Nokia has its manufacturing set up in India and is also amongst the top vendors in the market, there are good chances for the company to win the bid.
According to the report, though the scheme is proposed to be completed in three years, the Telecom Commission has suggested some other alterations in the shortlisting criteria for those eligible to receive benefits under this scheme. The Commission is working on settling the mechanism for identification of beneficiaries, after which it will propose this idea to the Cabinet for approval.