Friday, December 08, 2006
From digital divide to social empowerment
Looking at the socio-economic picture of India, it is clear that there is a large segment of our people who are entirely outside of the IT revolution. The existing social structure ensures that such people live out their lives without any access to the technology, its instruments, its education. Existing socio-economic disparities are magnified, as the new technology is embraced by those with access to good education, exposure and social confidence, skills, capital etc. This has given rise to the term "digital divide". The term suggests that the world shall henceforth comprise of those who are part of the digital revolution, and those who are left out of this. The former would have a stake in the emerging future, while the latter are consigned to a sub-human status.
One section is entering the post-digital age, in terms of cognitive development, while the other languishes in the pre-literate era. Increasingly, the common space binding together our people in a shared world - is vanishing.
Can the socially enlightened application of technology be used as a powerful means for the substantive empowerment of the weaker sections, and thus bring to life and vitality the whole social fabric of the nation?
Read the full essay here.
Read here about the Microsoft Authorised Refurbisher programme, initiated in India country earlier this month.