USOF Scheme

USOF Scheme


  • Recently the Union Cabinet has approved Universal Service Obligation Fund/Universal Service Obligation Fund for the provision of 4G based mobile services in untouched villages from aspirational districts of five states- Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Odisha. USOF) scheme has been approved.
  • The Aspirational Districts Program of NITI Aayog aims to effectively develop the 112 least developed districts across the country at a rapid pace.

About the plan:

  • The scheme envisages providing 4G based mobile services in 7,287 villages in 44 aspirational districts of five states. It will be funded by the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF).
  • This will promote self-reliance, facilitation of learning, dissemination of information and knowledge, skill up-gradation and development, useful digital connectivity for disaster management, e-governance initiatives, setting up of enterprises and e-commerce facilities etc.
  • It seeks to achieve the vision of Digital India to promote domestic manufacturing and fulfill the objectives of self-reliant India etc.

Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF):

  • USOF ensures that people in rural and remote areas have universal non-discriminatory access to quality information and communication technology services at economically reasonable prices.
  • It was established in the year 2002 by the Ministry of Communications.
  • It is a non-lapsed fund, i.e., the unspent amount under the target financial year does not lapse and is used for the expenditure of subsequent years.
  • All credits to this fund require parliamentary approval and have statutory backing under the Indian Telegraph (Amendment) Act, 2003.


  • Economic: Network expansion and promotion of ICT services.
  • Social: Mainstreaming the underserved and underserved sectors/groups by bridging the access gap.
  • Political: To enable citizens to exercise their political rights through information.
  • Constitutional: Equal distribution of benefits of telecom/digital revolution through targeted subsidies and fair allocation of national resources (combined USO levy).


  • Village Public Telephone (VPT), ​​Rural Community Phone (RCP), Rural Household Telephone (RDEL) and mobile infrastructure is set up for rural areas.
  • With access to affordable telecommunications services in remote and rural areas, it can help prevent urban migration and ensure employment generation in rural areas.
  • Increasing awareness of ICT services in rural areas and participation of rural people will help in promoting facilities related to health, education etc.
  • It can ensure the development of Rural Business Process Outsourcing (BPO-Grameen) and Rural Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO-Grameen).
  • Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) is also considered as the right tool to extend the benefits of government schemes aimed at social development of rural population.

Related Schemes

  • Bharat Net Project
  • National Broadband Campaign
  • Submarine Cable Connectivity Project for Andaman and Nicobar Islands
  • National Optical Fiber Network
  • Digital India
  • ‘National Digital Communication Policy, 2018

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