In a developing economy like India’s, Information Communication Technologies play a significant role in bringing even development across the country. However, just like other infrastructures, they are not distributed equally thus creating a digital divide between the highly developed urban areas and underdeveloped rural parts. On that note, a digital village is often seen as the ultimate solution to the nip out this divide. But what exactly is the idea of a digital village and how will it benefit the country?
A digital village refers to a village with proper voice as well as data connectivity of high quality and bandwidth. Once a village is connected digitally, it becomes easier for the inhabitants to boost their productivity in every aspect of life. Similarly, it will enable the government to reach the last mile and continue carry out any developmental plans conveniently.
Since agriculture is the largest source of livelihoods in India, the adoption of the digital village will augur well for the lives of millions of farmers. Whether it is surfing on the net about the weather and various agricultural methods or easier accessibility to financial loans or banking facilities, the impact that digital connectivity can have on the farmers is tremendous.
The gains that education sector can reap from digital connectivity is wide-ranging. The rural villages have already been facing challenges with regards to quality education. With the availability of internet, students will have easy access to all kinds of study materials. In addition, digital classrooms will keep them more engaged to studies and open up the possibility of experiential learning.
In terms of health, proper digital connectivity ensures that people’s health are not jeopardized due to lack of contact with medical professionals. Villagers can book doctors’ appointments and call an ambulance on the go. Additionally, they can watch videos on various illnesses and gain more knowledge on health-related issues.
From easing their basic day-to-day activities to convenient acquirement of passports or IDs, digital connectivity can upgrade the life of the villagers living in the far corners of the country.
Despite the tectonic shifts internet has brought in various sectors across the world, thousands of villages in India are still living in a bygone era with no light and internet connection. The government of India has set a target of establishing 1, 00,000 digital villages out of which around 700 have become operational.
Recently the Union Minister for electronics, IT and communications Ravi Shankar Prasad has also urged the corporates to adopt Digital villages as part of their CSR works. Initiatives like this can improve the social and economic condition of the people and on a wider scale, enable our country to leapfrog.