India's 2.5 lakh gram panchayats would be digitally connected by the middle of 2018, Union Minister for Law, Justice and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad said today. Prasad said, "So far one lakh GPs are digitally connected via optical fibre under the National Optical Fibre Programme." Speaking at an ICC session here, he said that the country's digital economy at the moment was USD 400 billion, "which will touch USD one trillion in the next four to five years". The minister said that India's massive digital leap has touched basic services like health, education and subsidy transfer. According to him, the government has been able to save Rs 50,000 crore by sending subsidy directly to the consumer using the digital route. India is now the third largest in terms of start-up formations, the minister said adding "2000 start-ups are formed every year".
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