Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will inaugurate and dedicate to the Nation through video conferencing the submarine Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) connecting Chennai and Port Blair on 10th August, 2020. The submarine cable will also connect Port Blair to Swaraj Dweep (Havelock), Little Andaman, Car Nicobar, Kamorta, Great Nicobar, Long Island, and Rangat. This connectivity will enable delivery of faster and more reliable mobile and landline telecom services to Andaman & Nicobar Islands, at par with other parts of India. The foundation stone for this project was laid by the Hon’ble Prime Minister on 30th December 2018 at Port Blair.

Once inaugurated, the submarine OFC link will deliver bandwidth of 2 x 200 Gigabits per second (Gbps) between Chennai and Port Blair, and 2 x 100 Gbps between Port Blair and the other islands. Provision of reliable, robust, and high-speed telecom and Broadband facilities in these Islands will be a landmark achievement from the viewpoint of consumers, as well as for strategic and governance reasons. 4G mobile services, which were constrained due to limited backhaul bandwidth provided via satellite will also see a major improvement.

Enhanced telecom and Broadband connectivity will boost tourism and employment generation in the Islands, give an impetus to the economy and raise standards of living. Better connectivity will also facilitate delivery of e-Governance services such as telemedicine and tele-education. Small enterprises will benefit from opportunities in e-commerce, while educational institutions will utilize the enhanced availability of bandwidth for e-learning and knowledge sharing. Business Process Outsourcing services and other medium and large enterprises will also reap the benefits of better connectivity.

The project is funded by the Government of India through the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) under the Department of Telecommunications, Ministry of Communications. Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) executed this project while Telecommunications Consultants India Limited (TCIL) are the Technical Consultants. About 2300 Kms of Submarine OFC cable has been laid at a cost of about Rs 1224 Crore, and the project has been completed in time.

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India's overall SDG score on national index up in 2023-24 at 71: NITI Aayog report
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“Role of newspapers is very important in the journey to Viksit Bharat in the next 25 years”
“The citizens of a country who gain confidence in their capabilities start achieving new heights of success. The same is happening in India today”
“INS has not only been a witness to the ups and downs of India’s journey but also lived it and communicated it to the people”
“A country’s global image directly affects its economy. Indian publications should enhance their global presence”

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated the INS Towers on his visit to the Indian Newspaper Society (INS) Secretariat at G-Block, Bandra Kurla Complex, Mumbai today. The new building will fulfill the evolving needs of Members of INS for a modern and efficient office space in Mumbai and would serve as the nerve center for the newspaper industry in Mumbai.

Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister congratulated all members of the Indian Newspaper Society on the inauguration of the new tower and expressed hope that the ease of working in the new space will further strengthen India’s democracy. Underlining that the Indian Newspaper Society was formed before independence, the Prime Minister said that the organization has not only been a witness to the ups and downs of India’s journey but also lived it and communicated it to the people. Therefore, the Prime Minister said, the impact of the Indian Newspaper Society’s work as an organization would be apparent in the nation.

The Prime Minister said that the media is not a mute spectator of the conditions of the nations but plays a major role in changing them. He underlined the role of newspapers and magazines in the next 25-year journey to Viksit Bharat. He highlighted the Media’s role in creating awareness about rights and potential of the citizenry. He cited the success of digital transactions in India as an example of how confident citizens achieve great success. He said that major nations are interested in India’s digital public infrastructure. He acknowledged the partnership of the media in these successes.

The Prime Minister mentioned the natural role of the media in creating discourse by discussing serious issues. He also emphasized the impact of government policies on the functioning of the media. He took up the example of financial inclusion and opening of bank accounts through the movement of Jan Dhan Yojna and the integration of about 50 crore people with the banking system. This project was the biggest help in Digital India and initiatives to curb corruption, he said. Similarly, the Prime Minister said, initiatives like Swachh Bharat or Startup India were not impacted by vote bank politics. He lauded the media for making these movements a part of national discourse.

Noting that the decisions made by the Indian Newspaper Society give direction to the country’s media, the Prime Minister pointed out that any event kicked off by the government may not necessarily be a government event and any idea emphasized may not only belong to the government. He gave examples of campaigns like Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav and Har Ghar Tiranga that were initiated by the government but were taken forward by the entire nation. Similarly, the Prime Minister highlighted the government’s emphasis on environmental protection which is a humanitarian issue rather than a political one and mentioned the recently launched ‘Ek Ped Maa Ke Naam’ campaign which is being discussed around the world. World leaders also showed a keen interest in the program during the G7 Summit attended by the Prime Minister. He urged all media houses to join the trend for a better future for the younger generations. “I urge media houses to take forward such initiatives as an effort towards the nation”, he added. Noting the 75th-year celebrations of the Constitution of India, the Prime Minister underlined the important role of media in heightening the sense of duty and awareness of the citizens towards the Constitution

The Prime Minister said that tourism too needs collective branding and marketing by everyone. He suggested that newspapers can choose a month to promote tourism of a particular state. This will increase mutual interest among the states.

The Prime Minister requested the newspapers to enhance their global presence. Reiterating India’s march to become the third largest economy in the near future, the Prime Minister said that it is the responsibility of the media to take India’s success to every corner of the globe. “A country’s global image directly affects its economy”, the Prime Minister said. He also mentioned the growing importance of the Indian diaspora with the rise in the stature of India and its growing ability to contribute to global progress. He wished for the expansion of Indian publication in all UN languages. Websites, microsites or social media accounts of these publications can be in those languages, he suggested adding the ease provided by AI in such endeavours.

Concluding the address, the Prime Minister urged the media houses to make use of the digital edition of the publication as there are no space constraints when compared to printed editions and consider the suggestions given today. “I am sure that all of you will consider these suggestions, do new experiments and strengthen India’s democracy. The more strongly you work, the more the country will progress”, he concluded.

Governor of Maharashtra, Shri Ramesh Bais, Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Shri Eknath Shine, Deputy Chief Ministers of Maharashtra, Shri Devendra Fadnavis and Shri Ajit Pawar, and President of Indian Newspaper Society, Shri Rakesh Sharma were present on the occasion.