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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Digital India summit: Post offices pip SBI to have largest core banking footprint, says Ravi Shankar Prasad

Listing out the achievements of the Government as it looks to complete
 two years in power, Minister forCommunication and Information Technology, Ravi Shankar Prasad
 today said during his tenure and because of a sustained push, 20494 post offices
 have been connected under core banking solution, which is more than the 16333 enabled
 core banking branches
 of State Bank of India ( SBI). 

"I pushed my postal service to go digital, because postal service digitization is integral
 to digital India. The first thing we pushed was core banking solution, which means banking
 from anywhere. We have 25,000 district and sub-post offices that needed to be digitized.
 When I had become Minister only 230 post offices hadcore banking.
 Today, 20494 post offices have come under core banking solution and we will complete
 the remaining by April this year. Core banking linkage of post office is bigger than that of the
 State Bank of India," said Prasad at the Times Network organized Digital India Summit & Awards 
2016. 

Prasad added that the number of ATMs in post offices has increased from 4 when he took over
 as the minister to 850 today and by April the number will rise to 1000. "By March next year
 we will bring in the payment bank of the postal department," said Prasad. 

Prasad listed another key achievement of his Ministry, which is the delivery of e-commerce
 consignments. "Parcel revenue had dipped by 2% in 2013-14, it rose by 45% in 2014-15
 and now has risen by 120% by January 2015-16. This is the scale we have been able to
 achieve," said Prasad. 

Stating that digital infrastructure is important and has revolutionary potential, Prasad said
 that when he became the Minister the total length of pipes laid out was 2092 kms and optica
l fiber was at 398 kms. "Today, in less than two years we have laid pipes in 1,30,000 kms of
 pipes and optical fiber of 1,10,000 kms," said Prasad. 

The Minister went on to add that the number of Common Service Centers has increased
 from 83000 units when he took over to 157000 today. Next year the government plans
 to scale it by another 1 lakh units. Of these, 20,000 are being run by women
 entrepreneurs. He added that the government would also be pushing a BPO
 call centre programme in a big way to ensure Digital India as a mission percolates
 to even the smaller towns.

Source :The Economic Times

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