New Delhi, April 3: Internet connectivity is today one of the most important necessity of our daily life. It is the technology of future and is easily available in all major villages, towns, cities of almost every country. Technology is driving the world today and is helping us carry out our tasks with ease.  In a bid to provide internet connectivity in remote areas of India, the Indian Railways is planning to launch the Railwire Saathi scheme. As per the new scheme, Wi-Fi hotspot kiosks will be set up at about 500 railway stations across the nation. Under the Railwire Saathi scheme, the Wi-Fi kiosks will function like a PCO for Digital India. Also Read - IRFC IPO: Price Band to Subscription Details, All You Need to Know

The Railwire Saathi scheme by Indian Railways focuses on providing connectivity to the unconnected regions of the nation. Meanwhile, it is a platform for offering jobs opportunities in rural areas which would, in turn, help the unemployed youth. While Railways is equipping about 400 stations with free Wi-Fi service in association with Google, the Railwire Saathi scheme has dual motives of providing jobs as well as connectivity. The scheme is however, expected to be operational by May, a senior railway official was quoted by PTI. Also Read - IRCTC Latest News: E-catering Services in Trains Soon, RailRestro to Deliver Your Favourite Food

RailTel, the telecom arm of railways, would execute the scheme across the country. This will, however, enable people to use services like e-commerce, online banking, offer them access to open school/university and insurance schemes, e-ticketing for train and bus services among others. It is a masterstroke move by Indian Railways to connect Digital India will Skill India mission to generate more jobs, businesses across the villages of India. In areas with limited connectivity, the Railwire Saathi is expected to provide automated form filling, mobile and DTH recharge are other services. Also Read - IRCTC Latest News: No Extra Fare Charged From Passengers Despite COVID-19, Says Railways

About the Railwire Saathi scheme:

  • Railwire Saathi is a Wi-Fi entrepreneurship model where youths can be trained to set up a Wi-Fi hotspot and provide a platform to online services.
  • Kiosks would be set-up in remote railway stations, in those cities where Internet connectivity has not properly reached. RailTel which is the telecom arm of railways will execute the scheme across the country.
  • The Railwire Saathi scheme will help the unemployed youths, especially women to work and earn their livelihood.
  • Unemployed youth who wants to be RailWire Saathi would have to contact RailTel for necessary training.
  • Railways launched its first free Wi-Fi services at Mumbai Central station this year.
  • At present, there are 100 railway stations with free Wi-Fi service in the county.
  • In 2017, 400 major stations will be Wi-Fi-enabled.
  • The training course will be approved by National Skill Development Council (NSDC). Once the training is completed, the youth/woman will get a certificate which can be used to get a loan under the Mudra scheme. People can get an access to WiFi hotspot with the help of Railwire Saathi. Some other major benefits include online shopping, Provision to recharge/pay mobile phones, pay DTH bills, Pay insurance premiums, Book tickets online (both Railways and Airways), etc.

Railwire Saathi is a Wi-Fi entrepreneurship model. Under the Railwire Saathi initiative, passengers and users can also get detailed information about the various welfare schemes of the government that include Pradhan Mantri Ujjwal Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Atal Pension Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Beema Yojna and Pradhan Mantri Surakhya Beema Yojna among others. According to the railways, their vision of the new scheme is to provide world-class high-speed public WiFi network at all remote stations across the nation.