Thursday, January 14, 2016

Digital Penetration

Telecommunication revolution since late 90’s has opened a vast vista of digital expansion in Indian society eg online education, e commerce, video conferencing, social networking, e-governance.
However rather than being a bridge between India and Bharat the digital divide had further accentuated the traditional inequalities of class caste and gender
Reason:
1. Low digital penetration in rural area: cost, infrastructure
2. Low literacy and even poorer digital literacy
3. Abject poverty: where one third below poverty line food is prime necessity
4. Fragmented and haphazard government policy so far
5. Government alone stakeholder: given magnitude of task private and Ngo participation is must
6. Linguistic barrier: not much content in local language
7. Older generation not tech savvy
8. Outdated school curriculum and lack infrastructure and fund
9. Absence of large scale media campaign to drive home point the benefits of technology
Indian growth story has bypassed majority of population who are not part of present knowledge society. The Government need to expeditious implementation of NOFN project improving digital literacy (Digital India mission). Update curriculum in government school. Involve more stakeholders like Ngo and Private sector. CSR funding towards digital literacy mission. Expedite content development in local language. Frugal innovation to reduce cost of hardware. Solar powered cells to overcome energy crisis in far off places. Special attention to vulnerable groups linguistic minorities, women , old , Sc and ST.
Ensure that Digital mission is not an end in itself rather it empowers people, change their life, deepen democratic
participation, and project India as true knowledge society.

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