(GIST OF KURUKSHETRA) ICTs and Rural Connectivity
ICTs and Rural Connectivity
- Even while India has achieved significant strides in the digital revolution, the country still has a long way to go to connect the unconnected. There are 104.75 urban internet subscribers for every 100 people in India, according to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). Still, only 37.67 rural internet subscribers for every 100 people are found in the country. Information and communication technology (ICT) is one of the most critical components contributing to economic growth and development of rural areas.
- For rural India to become more digitally active, the Government of India is working diligently and establishing new programmes and policies. The government launched the “Digital India Programme” 1o improve the efficiency of the public sector. The program aims to turn India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge-based economy. To achieve this goal, high-speed internet access needs be provided; cloud storage needs be utilised; more and more financial transactions should be conducted electronically or cashless transactions should be promoted; digital resources should be made available in Indian languages and government departments need to become more digitally active to improve accessibility and efficiency.
1. Digital Village Programme-. Digi Village is a project that aims to make India’s villages digitally literate and connected both digitally and economically. The programme’s goal is to make sure that digital technology can be used in a way that helps people to generate livelihoods and to standardise the technology packages to be used in the future.
2. Common Services Centre (CSCs): CSCs are one of the world’s most extensive network of digital service providers. They have a broad reach in rural areas up to the Gram Panchayats and block level to help people in these areas. These ICT-enabled kiosks with broadband connections provide many government, private, and social services.
3. BharatNet Scheme: The Government of India announced this scheme as part of its Digital India initiative to bring high-speed internet connectivity to rural areas at an affordable price. This programme will allow citizens in rural and isolated locations to get inexpensive broadband connections.
Focus of Digitisation
Providing access of the digital world to every rural area is a primary goal of digitisation. Improved internet infrastructure in rural India can facilitate better agricultural, educational and healthcare services.
- Agriculture: To create a unified national market for agricultural commodities, the government has established the National Agriculture Market (eNAM), a pan-India electronic trading site that connects the existing Agricultural Produce Market Committee
- Education: To facilitate multi-mode access to education, a comprehensive programme called PM eVIDYA has been launched, which unites all initiatives connected to digital, online, and on-air learning to provide multi-mode access to education. Knowledge sharing infrastructure, access through television channels (SwayamPrabha TV Channels), and e-textbooks are some of the elements of this initiative.
- Health: The Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM) is a digital distribution platform that intends to establish the backbone essential to support tin country s integrated digital health infrastructure, emphasising rural areas. The Government of India funds the mission. With digital highways, it will be possible to close the gap between different stakeholders in the healthcare ecosystem.
- The digitalisation of villages will create a balance between rural India and urban India. Since a significant amount of people in India reside in villages, making rural India digitally equipped has become the need of the hour. The knowledge of the internet for processing different services online can prove highly beneficial for the population. Rural connectivity can create employment opportunities, increase the standard of living, ease work and increase knowledge regarding the internet. Through the internet, rural India can connect with urban areas of the country and the world.