Does Rural India need Government support in availing ICT services???

 

“The More you Know the better you grow”. Information Communication Technology (ICT) provides power to individuals for their information quest to enable them for taking right action.  ICT sector in India is expected to contribute 7.5% of total GDP in 2012*. The sector employs 2.5 million Indian population directly and over 8 million indirectly, primarily by software services*. The major part of ICT services in India is catered to export market or urban population. Rural population is unable to enjoy the ICT service at large, which is creating a digital divide.

The idea is widely accepted that wider access to and use of ICT throughout a country will reduce inequalities in income and quality of life between rural and urban residents is compelling. Various organizations have implemented this idea and helped rural population in –

    improving their access to market information;

    lowering costs;

    increase efficiency, competitiveness and market access;

    better price realization;

    helping global economy through food, education and health;

However such organizations/interventions are yet unable to reach the masses. 4As – Affordability, Availability, Adaptability, and Accessibility are the major challenges to be addressed to make ICT interventions transforming rural masses.

    Spending capacity of rural Population (Affordability)

    Suitable infrastructure and technology dissemination (Availability)

    Utilization of the technology and breaking the middleman interventions (Adaptability)

    Education, Training, connectivity and Language barrier (Accessibility)

These challenges can’t be addressed in isolation, Government and Organizations has to join hands. Organization can bring their techno-information expertise and Government can support them with facilitative policy framework and financial assistance, which would make these interventions more viable, available and sustainable.

Rural India is slowly getting equipped with hands-on power through ICT services. However the scalability and sustainability of such ICT services remains on the partnering efficiency of Government and private organizations.

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