ICT and Rural Development: Challenges and Opportunities

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Tanmoy Chakrabarty, Vice President & Head, Government Industry Solutions Unit (ISU), TCS

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has emerged as a powerful tool in bringing  about transformation for the rural population of India. Presently, one does witness    ICT proliferation in urban areas in India. Internet penetration and other e-services are showing an upward trend. But the real challenge is to bring the enablement of the ICT to masses and impact the society at large where 75 percent of the population resides in rural India.

The issue is how best can we transfer eGovernance to the rural mass to bring in transparency and accountability to the functioning of government at various levels?

There is a need to share the example of good practices that are available with the common mass so that these practices are emulated and get replicated and digital parity is established little sooner across the society.

In India, we have an extreme dichotomy. While on the one hand, India is a country with $80 million dollars IT exports, the rural population still forms the non privileged section of the digital divide. The challenge before us is to bring the economically deprived section to the other side of digital divide.

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