The Digital India program has been given a further boost in the Budget 2019 presented for the year ending March 2020. The Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, presenting the first budget of the second term of the Narendra Modi government, has presented the roadmap for the Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan (PMGDISHA), which is a part of the Digital India program. Sitharaman has confirmed that as many as 2 crore rural Indians are now digitally literally literate as part of the Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan. It is expected that as many as 6 crore rural households will be covered as part of the Abhiyan.
During the Budget 2019 speech, the finance minister said that the BharatNet project will be expanded across India, with the target being to connect every panchayat in the country. The BharatNet project attempts to provide high-speed broadband connections to facilitate the delivery of e-governance, e-health, e-education, e-banking, Internet and other services to rural India. The project is being funded by the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF), which was set up to improve the telephony and internet connectivity in the rural and remote parts of India. The USOF is funded through a 'Universal Access Levy,' that is charged from the telecom operators as a percentage of various licenses fees being paid by them.
India is just behind the US and China when it comes to using the PPP method for development projects.