PM-WANI FRAMEWORK (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – Govt Scheme)

News-CRUX-10     13th February 2024        

Context: The Union Minister of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj recently inaugurated the 'Smart Gram Panchayat' project, extending PM-WANI service to Bihar's Gram Panchayats.

PM-WANI Framework

  • About: The Union Cabinet headed by Prime Minister of India approved the proposal of Department of Telecom (DoT) to proliferate Broadband through Public Wi-Fi networks under the framework of the Prime Minister’s Wi-Fi Access Network Interface (PM-WANI) on 9th December 2020.
  • Alignment with National Digital Communications Policy, 2018 (NDCP): This framework aligns with the objectives outlined in the National Digital Communications Policy, 2018 (NDCP), which aims to establish a strong digital communications infrastructure.
  • Broadband Provision via Public Wi-Fi Hotspot Providers: The PM-WANI framework is designed to facilitate the delivery of broadband services through Public Wi-Fi Hotspot providers.
  • Components: The framework comprises key elements, including Public Data Office (PDO), Public Data Office Aggregator (PDOA), App Provider, and Central Registry.
  • Importance of PM-WANI Framework: To facilitate ease of doing business and encourage local shops and small establishments to become Wi-Fi providers, it has been approved that the last-mile Public Wi-Fi providers require no license, no registration and will not need to pay any fees to DoT.
  • Access broadband on PM-WANI Wi-Fi: The potential user who wants to access Broadband through Public Wi-Fi will need to download the relevant App, get authenticated, and thereafter access Broadband at any Public Wi-Fi Hotspot.
  • PM-WANI ecosystem:  PM-WANI ecosystem consists of four parts: Public Data Office (PDO), Public Data Office Aggregator (PDOA), App Provider, and Central Registry.
  • Benefits of PM-WANI

oWANI Wi-Fi architecture can lead to enhanced internet penetration which could lead to an increase in gross domestic product.

oIt can scale up internet access in rural areas, thereby narrowing the digital divide.

oCan generate jobs in small- and medium-scale sectors.

oCould provide affordable internet access to the mass underserved section of society and help boost digital India.