Digital India Initiatives

PM WANI Wi-Fi Scheme: All you need to know


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: PM WANI Wi-Fi Scheme

Mains level: NA

Why in the News?

  • Under the PM-WANI scheme, India witnesses a swift rise in public Wi-Fi hotspots, reaching approximately 1,99,896 hotspots nationwide, according to government data.

What is the PM WANI Initiative?

  • PM Modi launched the Prime Minister Wi-Fi Access Network Interface (PM WANI) in December 2020.
  • It is an initiative under the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).
  • It takes forward the goal of the National Digital Communications Policy, 2018 (NDCP) of creating a robust digital communications infrastructure.
    • Objective: To democratize internet access, particularly in remote and underserved areas.
    • Implementation: Leverages Public Data Offices (PDOs) established in public spaces like railway stations, banks, post offices, and more. Users can access the internet via Wi-Fi at these locations without requiring a SIM card.

PM-WANI ecosystem consists of four parts: 

  1. Public Data Office (PDO): It establishes the Wi-Fi Hotspots and provides internet access to users
  2. Public Data Office Aggregator (PDOA):  It provides authorisation and accounting services to PDOs.
  3. App Provider: It displays the available hotspots in the phone’s proximity.
  4. Central Registry: This overseen by the Centre for Development of Telematics maintains details of App Providers, PDOs, and PDOAs.

How to Utilize PM WANI?

  • To access PM WANI services, users must install the Data PM WANI app on their smartphones.
  • Through the app, users can connect to nearby public Wi-Fi PDOs.
  • This application facilitates seamless connectivity to PM-WANI-compliant Wi-Fi hotspots, empowering users to access broadband services conveniently.

Data Plans Offered

PM WANI offers various data plans to suit different usage needs:

  • Rs 6 plan: 1GB data for 1 day
  • Rs 9 plan: 2GB data for 2 days
  • Rs 18 plan: 5GB data for 3 days
  • Rs 25 plan: 20GB data for 7 days
  • Rs 49 plan: 40GB data for 14 days
  • Rs 99 plan: 100GB data for 30 days

Role of Public Data Offices (PDOs)

  • The PM-WANI scheme includes a provision for establishing Public Data Offices (PDOs) by rural entrepreneurs in remote regions.
  • These PDOs procure internet bandwidth from telecom service providers or ISPs to offer Wi-Fi services at minimal charges.
  • This model enables individuals to access the internet even in areas with limited or no data connectivity.


[2018] Which of the following is/are the aim/aims of “Digital India” Plan of the Government of India?

  1. Formation of India’s own Internet companies like China did.
  2. Establish a policy framework to encourage overseas multinational corporations that collect Big Data to build their large data centres within our national geographical boundaries.
  3. Connect many of our villages to the Internet and bring Wi-Fi to many of our school, public places and major tourists.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 3 only

(c) 2 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

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