Digital Divide in India - Part (3)

A Brief View to Digital Divide in Indian Scenario

Objective of the study :- This research article observed how digital divide is influencing India and the role of government and libraries in disseminating information and in bridging the digital divide.

Location of study :- India

Methodology :- Authors conducted their research studies on the basis of primary sources of data that has been collected from various case studies, Journals, research articles.

Findings of the study :-

There are many dimensions for digital divide in India. One of them is connectivity. Levels of internet penetration depends on connectivity. Another dimension is capacity. That is Sufficient trained IT professionals to install and maintain software a, hardware and networks.

Digital divide also depends on content. Most of the content in the internet is in English. Availability of content in local languages is directly related to digital divide. It also depends on literacy rates and distinct groups including rural communities, women, children and elderly persons with disabilities.

Investment in infrastructure is one of the main things to bridge digital divide. Along with all these things, framing of policies to achieve 100% technology literacy is much needed.

Earlier digital inclusion programs were taken up as a charity initiative. But that is rapidly changing increasingly cities of all types including urban, suburban and rural are linking universal digital access to economic development imperatives. Without access to internet, it is increasingly difficult to become aware of new job opportunities, newspapers for example are losing classified advertising business to online publisher. Indian government and private sectors implemented many schemes that are utilizing technologies to assist citizens in a much better way. These programs include Financial assistance, Food assistance, Training opportunities, Recreational facilities.

Prominent digital inclusion programs in India are :

  • Kissan call center - All the queries related to agriculture and allied sectors are being addressed through these call centres by making a single call the farmers reaches an agriculture graduate or expert who would be able to respond to his queries and problems instantly.
  • Life Line India - Telephone based information service to enable farmers to record a question and after retrieve a recorded reply.
  • Toarahat project - It is a project conceived by the Delhi based development alternatives grap. The project provides a bunch of service like employment mandi market, e-mail, weather, matrimonial etc. The high pictured interface makes it easier for a long man to use.
  • Digital Divide and Information Literacy - Various developing countries could not utilize the full potentialities of their people because of literacy. Libraries must gear up to play an important role in imparting information literacy to empower information user communities.
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The Digital divide is based on insufficient policy regimes, inefficiency in the provision of telecommunication network and service lack of locality created content and uneven ability to derive economic and social benefits from information intensive activities. To reduce the “digital divide” requires a systems approach broadly attacking all these issues.

In these circumstances the library professionals should quickly position themselves to provide the needed inputs to the policy makers. At the least they should be positioned in such way that they can convince the policy makers.

Conclusion :-

There is a dire need to develop models of collaboration among researchers, social scientists, librarian’s technologists etc to derive personalized solution to the local problems. Technology literacy programs should also include library professionals, so that they can assist policy makers in understanding the local needs.

References :-

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