Model Question and Answers for APSC |Has digital illiteracy, particularly in rural areas, couple with lack of Information and Communication Technology(ICT) accessibility hindered socio-economic development? Examine with justification.
Ans: The socio-economic development of rural areas is determined by a complex of factors including basic physical-social-digital infrastructure, education, political empowerment, health care, acess to fiancial and digital literacy.
Only 20.26% of rural India have internet access presently. The country’s 80% rural population is yet to adopt a digital mode of payment. Besides digital bill payments, the people residing in remote villages are likewise unable to access even the basic banking facilities and proper infrastructure
Digital illiteracy and lack of Information and Communication Technology(ICT) access hindered socio-economic development:
- With govt going e-governace way rural population is at disadvantage due to lack of education and access to hard and soft digital resources in villages
- Access to these today determines access to various social welfare schemes of the govt like ration through PDS or Income support in PM-KISAN
- During pandemic digital divide affected rural populations access to vaccine, health and education further adding to inequality
In recent years govt has done a lot to alter this situation:
- Bharatnet for fiber based internet in villages
- PMGDISHA for digital literacy in rural areas
- Infrastructure around JAM trinity has greatly enhanced people’s access to direct benefit transfers
- RBI is now also starting feature phone based and offline payments to enhance cashless market in rural and semi urban areas
- Common service centres have become points for telemedicine, digital infrastructure in Health and Wellness centres and Anganwadis is on increase
- KISAN drone announced in this Budget
- Connecting Post Office accounts to Core banking solutions to enhance digital banking footprints
Today, billions of Indians including rural population are enabled with digital payments and transacting cashless and paperless. It is solely possible by courtesy of the stunning initiatives by the Government and the impactful fintech companies in India. Through their array of digital bill payment services targeted towards rural India, they are enabling them with digital and financial inclusion by spreading digital empowerment.