Kochi: The UPA government is committed to ensure that the virtual world infrastructure is completed as early as possible to connect 250,000 gram panchayats through the National Fibre Optics connectivity, Human Resources Development Minister Kapil Sibal said here on Tuesday.
"Government's plan is to connect 2.5 lakh panchayats through the National fibre optics connectivity, the last mile of which would be through wireless broadband," he said.
He was speaking after inaugurating the Science Congress and laying the foundation stone for the Federal Institute of Science and Technology (FISAT)'s Science and Technology Park and Research centre at nearby Mookkannoor.
"In real terms you are having a virtual highway which is unlimited through which data can flow at the speed of sound.It allows farmers to be told when to fish, which part of the pond there is chlorophyll, when to sow seeds, when monsoon will come and when to sell produce to get best market price', he said.
Sibal said the low cost AKASH tablet would hopefully be in the hands of every child in five to seven years at a cost of Rs 1500.
"Akash 2 will have a SIM card. This is the wonder of technology," he said.
Pointing out that there is a symbiotic relationship between science and technology, he said science was not about getting a BTech, MTech or MBA degree.
"Science is about understanding elements of nature through which we can understand man. Students have a choice before them to use science for benefit of mankind," he said.
Giving an example, he said, using nuclear energy one can create an atom bomb or can also make electricity.
Urging educational institutions not to destroy children's scientific temperament, he said students should reach beyond classrooms and understand the simplicity of the virtual world.
Sibal said he was delighted to see many girls among students in the campus embracing engineering, in Kerala, women are right upfront.
"We need more girls to come to engineering as they will understand nature better," he said.
Later, in a brief interactive session with students, he was asked if money power or human power was greater, to which he said "Money power vanishes quickly. Human power does not."
Knowledge is not one dimension, he said, adding, he was against different streams like science and humanities.
"We need to collect knowledge into one stream and make it into hub of knowledge," he explained.
First Published: Tuesday, October 9, 2012, 19:48