Limitations of ICT in Inducing Inclusive Growth

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 11:00 AM
Room: Booth 44
Oral Presentation
J SOMASEKARA REDDY , V V Puram Evening College, Bangalore, India
India has been viewed as a leading player in the field of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and as an emerging economy wedded to the policy of Welfare State has been adopting and harnessing ICT for inclusive growth through diverse policies and programmes. Education, health, agriculture, transportation, production, government and such other sectors that facilitate empowerment of masses have come to employ ICT for enhancing their efficiency and performance. However, the inherent        socio-cultural milieu and demographic constraints that have been the bane of development process in India is assumed to have come in the way of successful implementation of these ameliorative schemes.  The so called “digital divide” that gets accentuated by the preponderance of rural masses, the information “haves” and “have nots”, lack of ICT infrastructure in far flung and remote rural areas, hesitation among the masses in adoption of new technology coupled with aspiration deficit, have rendered these schemes exclusive, rather than inclusive in impact and as such its vision of emerging as a vibrant knowledge society appears to be a distant reality.  Emphasis on application and adoption of ICT in the process of development appears to have divisive and polarizing implications, leaving the people for whom the process is meant even more excluded.  The paper seeks to analyse these developmental efforts in India based on the analysis of evaluation reports on various welfare and amelioration schemes submitted by evaluation and monitoring agencies.