Daily Special Current Affairs Material for IAS (Pre) 2013 – Topic: “Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF)”

Daily Special Current Affairs Material for IAS (Pre) 2013

Chapter: Science & Technology

Topic: Universal Service Obligation
Fund (USOF)

Q. What is Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF)?

Ans. The Universal Service Obligation
Fund (USOF) was established with the fundamental objective of providing access
to ‘Basic’ telegraph services to people in the rural and remote areas at
affordable and reasonable prices. Subsequently the scope was widened to provide
subsidy support for enabling access to all types of telegraph services including
mobile services, broadband connectivity and creation of infrastructure like OFC
in rural and remote areas.

The above Contents are the part of our on going programme of Special Current
Affairs Material for IAS (Pre) 2013. Which consist:

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  • In 1250+ Pages
  • Will Cover 90 – 95% of Current Affairs and Conceptual Based
    Questions of IAS (pre.) 2013
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  • These Materials Covered Gist of Editorial & Articles of The Hindu,
    News of The Hindu, Gist of Press Information Bureau Articles, Gist of
    India Year Book & Economic Survey, Government Plans Programme &
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Q. How many schemes are being implemented under USOF?

Various schemes for taking communication facilities to the rural and remote
areas with the support of USO fund under implementation are –

  • 5,79,814 villages i.e. about 97.68% of the Census 2001 inhabited revenue
    villages have been covered with Village Public Telephone (VPT) facility as
    on November 30, 2011. VPT facility is likely to be provided in remaining
    inhabited revenue villages by May, 2012. Setting up and managing 7353 number
    of infrastructure towers in 500 districts spread over 27 states for
    provision of mobile services in specified rural and remote areas. 7295
    towers i.e. 99.21% towers have been set up till November, 2011.
  • In order to provide broadband connectivity to the rural areas, USOF
    signed an agreement with BSNL on January 20, 2009 to provide 8,88,832
    wire-line Broadband connections to individual users and Government
    Institutions and setting up of 28,672 Kiosks over a period of 5years. As on
    30th November, 2011, 3, 35,290 broadband
    Connections and 6426 kiosk have been provided under this scheme in rural and
    remote areas.
  • Recognizing the vital role that Information Communication Technology (ICT)
    can play in the empowerment of rural women, a scheme called ‘Sanchar Shakti’
    has been launched in March, 2011 for pilot projects aimed at facilitating
    access of Self Help Groups (SHGs) to ICT enabled services. Financial support
    from USO Fund is to be provided towards VAS subscription for SHGs in
    accordance with the provisions of underlying subsidy Agreements.

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