Interview : ICT policy initiatives to promote rural economy, Centre for Economic, India

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S. Mahendra Dev
Director, Centre for Economic
and Social Studies, Hyderabad

In developing nations like India, do you think that Information and Communication Technology (ICT) can play a major role in the field of rural development?
ICT can play a major role in rural development. The spread of green revolution to the poorer states in India shows its potential  for reducing regional disparities in development. This is because, unlike capital, land and labour are widely distributed across the country. The experience with information technology is equally encouraging and holds the prospect  for raising productivity  in millions of farms and factories  and the government offices throughout the country.

What are the main areas of rural development where ICT can play a role?
e-Chaupals are playing important role in giving information to farmers on prices and markets. Similarly small and medium industries can also benefit from ICTs. Cell phones will be useful for farmers, self help groups, informal sector workers. e-Governance is another example where rural areas can
benefit from ICTs.

How can policies support the development of ICT for rural development?
National policy support is important for ICT development in rural areas. Right now there are enclave types of IT in big cities like Hyderabad, Bangalore, Noida, Chennai etc. There is a need to spread it ICTs to rural areas. Here government policies can help. If you leave it to private sector alone, they prefer urban areas.

Do you think that

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