This is promising - a report in the Financial Express on Sunday says:
The rural economy is set to go hi-tech with promises made for internet and telecom connectivity. By the 60th aniversary of the country's Independence, on August 15, 2007, each of the 600,000 villages are promised with a village knowledge centre (VKC) based on broadband internet connectivity. There will be one million knowledge workers within this year.
A national alliance of 150 partner organisations, which consists of both foreign and Indian NGOs and institutions, has launched Mission-2007 for the purpose. The alliance says that VKCs will disseminate relevant information relating to agriculture, animal husbandry, fisheries, health, education, rural enterprises and disaster management. As a first step, the alliance partners have planned to connect 25,000 villages with knowledge centres (KCs).
The Union minister for communication and information technology, Dayanidhi Maran, says that the government will set up 1,00,000 common service centres (CSCs) with broadband connectivity at the remote village level by 2007 by leveraging the infrastructure at the state level. The state governments concerned, the private sector and NGOs will be partners. It will be an integrated three-tier structure - at the central, state and village levels.
At present there are about 10,000 KCs, out of which 5,000 are managed by ITC Ltd. There are, of course, a few other initiatives by government and non-governmental sectors like EID Parry's Agri-line project, Kissan Kerala, Akshaya in Kerala, Bhoomi in Karnataka, Drishti in Haryana, SEWA in Gujarat, E-Sewa in Andhra Pradesh, N-Logue of the Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai, Gyandoot in Madhya Pradesh, Maha-Agri in Maharashtra and Tarahaat in Delhi. [links added in, bold is mine.]"
Except, it's even better than this. If you check the article and the Mission-2007 website, it appears that the number of villages that will benefit from this is six hundred thousand, not a "mere" sixty thousand villages.
Oops ... my bad - will make the correction :). Thanks Thom.