It wouldn’t be a misnomer to state that technologies do have the capability to change the fortune of a country and affect the lives of millions of its people. One example that readily comes to mind is the boom that telecommunication industry has witnessed in our country. Not long ago, a decade to be precise, there was a time when there were hardly a phone in a locality and today a time has come when almost every member of the family carries one in his pocket!
This phenomenon has not been confined to middle or upper middle class alone but has seeped to the lower strata of society as well. Not surprising then to find rickshaw pullers, fishermen even house maids possessing mobile phones. If there is one gadget that has changed the face of developing world then mobiles are the ones.
The convergence of mobile communication and mobile computing technologies opens up new horizon for mobile interaction and mobile working. The use of mobile technology in government sector not only provides an alternative channel of communication and public service delivery, it can address the mobility of government itself and in this way transcend the traditional e-Government service delivery model by bringing personalised, localised and context aware services close to its mobile citizens. A number of mobile government initiatives have been proposed globally to take advantage of this opportunity for better public service delivery.
Mobiles, indeed, are a phenomenon that have made their presence felt globally. And their popularity can be gauged from the fact that by 2006 the number of active mobile connections in UK exceeded the population of UK by almost 17% where as in 2002 the number of active mobile connections was almost 83% of the total population there. Similar is the case in India where the number of mobile users have increased immensely over the years. India’s total mobile subscriber base stands at 237 million today which is a clear indication of how rapid the popularity of mobiles in India has been.
It is this revolution in the field of telecommunication technology that has cajoled us to come up with this special issue. An issue that focuses on the different areas including the rural areas that are impacted by this modern wonder.
This issue also focuses on the future prospects of telecommunication technology in the country with a special emphasis on its prospects in rural India. The incursion of mobile technology in the rural areas of the country would change the face of rural India in quite the same way it has done with the urban part of the country.