The information technology system
The information technology system is based on development of computer
technology, internet and telecommunications. Our country is the second largest populated country in the world, we have areas of
excellence and some of the people are living in the age of high technology. Information technology is the most
exciting technology at the moment. At the same time, we also have 30% of our people who live below the poverty line. India lives in
the villages, is poor and in some areas, worse than even the poor African countries. Information technology can help to bridge this gap and we can help for
our people, especially our poor people.Our backwardness is because practically half our country is illiterate.
The national task force on information technology has rightly highlighted the need for using computers in schools and use
information technology education.
The phases of information society could be divided into three: (1) the
technology optimism where information technology changes the society and economy, (2) information society, through technological change produces new
modes of production process, where technology replaces labor and capital, and
this has effects on every domain of the society and (3) globalize and (dis)
integrated world economy and a global society which is made possible through
information networks. It is true that the (information) technology is the key agent of
social development. Information technology acts as a driving force for change, the change
for the welfare of society and economy of a state.
Information and communication Technology can introduce new ways of participation by the poor man, women and young people in the global economy in cost-effective and poor-friendly
ways thus creating opportunity to address the issue of poverty reduction. If serious efforts are not urgently made the 21 st century may see the greatest paradox in history: unprecedented science and technology growth
in the hands of a minority urban elite; but huge oceans of impoverished poor suffering from illiteracy, ill-health, malnutrition, overpopulation growth, etc. The creation of knowledge is the basis for new prosperity.
Access by the poor to high tech opportunities is the issue. This requires immediate attention of the researchers ,planner and leaders so that it can be used for empowering the poor with knowledge and equip them with
productivity skills. This will directly help in poverty reduction.
Our biggest challenge today is to maximize the power of
Information Technology in addressing the issues relating to rural development and poverty reduction. There is,
therefore, a need to focus research efforts on design, test, and learn from innovative electronic media-based strategies, supported by
new technology on strategies and ways of increasing participation of the poor in governance, make use of market information, and increase their access to a variety of
resources to address the basic issue of poverty reduction. We must bring down the ownership, use and control of selective and digital technology from the elite and government
regimes to the level of communities and the poor that they serve. We must vitalize the community media on large scale
with the involvement of people. It is vital to bring information to the doorsteps of the poor (the beneficiaries). Today's communications media are excellent vehicles for conveying much-needed
information. Hi-tech based internet and digital technologies are not only becoming a lot smarter, they are growing more user-friendly and can help
communities in fighting poverty by arming them with information, knowledge and technologies. On the one hand, the affluent part of the world is hit by unprecedented
overflow of information which is fast increasing day by day. On the other hand, millions of people in developing countries have absolutely no effective communication links to the outside world.
There is therefore an urgent need to ensure access to
Information Technology in rural areas or disadvantaged communities to disseminate simple, practical knowledge which will save lives,
increase awareness and stimulate development. Properly used, media can help reduce the conflict and strengthen organization . It
can help reduce poverty through providing information on how people of their type somewhere else are handling their situation. The poor have inadequate access to information, technology,
expertise, and resources. Communication is no longer limited to electric radio or TV, digital technology based telecenters can provide access to the disadvantaged in
rural areas to telephone and fax service, email, Internet and electronic networks, database and libraries.
With relevant technology, more than
75 per cent of the rural populations can be reached which today are not served efficiently with basic services including education, health,
information, skills, etc. In this context, ICT can help to empower the rural poor through equipping them with education,
giving them information on market data anytime and anywhere thus helping them to get the benefit to market changes; likewise,
health information can promote awareness about the importance of maintaining health from the viewpoint of quality of life, financial well being of the family, village productivity, and
micro enterprise development.
To make the presence of Information Technology (IT) in rural development more
meaningful, the needs of the rural populace have to be first understood and identified, then questions can be posed about devising
instruments ,equipment, software and system-solutions, based on a host of technologies. Many a time, technology develops in response to a
need. The information needs of the rural population include expert guidance on day-to-day problems like crop
planning, pest management, animal husbandry, hand pumps installation and repairs. Individual information requirements could include job/education opportunities, bank loans and land
records. For local level planning, the Government/Panchayat requirement could include health information including vital events like
(birth, death and outbreak of certain diseases ), besides status of different development activities and vital infrastructure like roads,
hand pumps, wells and transport. The Ministry of Information Technology has initiated the development of Village Information Centres
(Samadhan Kendra) as a pilot project in the Ramanathapuram district of Tamilnadu.