Role of New Communication Technology Initiatives (NCTI) in Bridging the Digital Divide: The Case of a North Indian State

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 3:30 PM
Room: Booth 43
Oral Presentation
Pankaj Kumar SINGH , M. P. P.G. College, Budaun, Budaun, India
Communication technology includes the hardware equipment, organizational structure and social values by which individual collect process and exchange information. The new communication technology (NCT), such as satellites, cable, television, wireless telephony, the internet, computers, laptop, iPod, have certain characteristics that are similar in some respect of those of both interpersonal communication as well as of mass communication. This NCT, also called as new media, integrates the characteristics of both interpersonal and of mass communication. Information exchange via the new media is interactive, meaning that the participants in a communication process have control over, and can exchange roles in their mutual discourse. The present paper is aimed to explore the role of NCT in bridging the gap created by the forces of globalization in developing societies like India by focusing on a NCTI launched recently by the state government of Uttar Pradesh i.e. Scheme of distributing laptop to every undergraduate student who took admission in the year 2012 or later in any college/university of the state irrespective of their social background. A cluster sample (N=399) drawn from a PG College of Western UP includes both the males and females. The study indicates that the representation of females was relatively high in all social categories. About half of the respondents were having their own mobile phones. The tendency of keeping mobile phone was low among the students of upper castes. Thus, this NCTI may be helpful not only in bridging the digital divide but also be a powerful instrument of women empowerment in rural and urban areas.