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Telecentres number enhanced to 500

Islamabad: Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications has decided to enhance the number of Universal Telecentres (UTCs) from 35 to 500, so as to facilitate e-services in rural areas of the country.

The other objective behind establishing Telecentres is to create local employment opportunities and extending broadband to provide distance education and Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) literacy, Minister of State for Information Technology, Ms. Anusha Rehman said.

Talking to a group of journalists here, she said the Universal Service Fund (USF), the executing Body, has been directed to enhance the number of such centres as the project is of great importance to serve the neglected and unprivileged population of rural areas in all provinces.

She said now in the first phase 500 Telecenters would be established in all provinces including Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). The provinces have identified potential areas on which proposed Telecenters would be established and start delivering initial three E-services within the next one year.

She said these the UTCs would offer many services such as E-learning, E-commerce, E-agriculture etc and verification/registration of SIM cards, ID cards through National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA). The E-health services would also be provided subsequently, the Minister added.

The Telecenter is a shared site – with few computer machines equipped with internet access – that provides public access to ICTs where people can access computer, internet that enables them to gather information, create, learn and communicate with others while they develop essential digital skill.

Now the Telecenters, in addition, would house biometric verification of SIM cards, birth/death registration and computer training to the youth.

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