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Kerala Becomes Country’s First Fully Digital Banking State

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan declared Kerala as the first state in the country to go fully digital in its banking service and said this recognition would boost the state economy. Vijayan said this achievement was possible due to social interventions through local self-government institutions along with infrastructure development and technological advances in the banking sector.

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Kerala Fibre Optic Network (K-FON) project:

It is a joint venture between the Kerala State Information Technology Infrastructure Ltd (KSITIL), Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) and the state, in which the two companies hold 49% each and the state the remaining 2%. A consortium led by Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) is executing the project and will be responsible for the operation and maintenance of the 35,000-km-long network for the next seven years. Funded by the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB), the project is estimated to cost Rs 1,028.20 crore, which includes capital expenditure, administrative overheads and annual operational expenditure of Rs 104.4 crore.

The K-FON will ensure internet facility to everyone in the state and 17,155 km-long optic fibre cable network has been laid. Once the project gets completed, internet will be available to everyone in the state either for a cheaper price or for free-of-cost.

Kerala’s the right to Internet:

Kerala is the only State in India that has declared ‘the right to Internet’ as a basic right of its citizens. Rights become meaningful only when they can be exercised. The Kerala Fibre Optic Network project is our attempt to ensure that all Keralites can enjoy Internet-based services as a right. It is our effort to bridge the digital divide.

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