Pakistan Journal of Social Sciences

Year: 2003
Volume: 1
Issue: 2
Page No. 80 - 120

The Digital Divide and India

Authors :

Abstract: The aim of this paper is to explore key aspects of the extent and significance of the digital divide. In view of the wide-ranging importance now attached to the role of both information and of modern communications (ICTs) in the future economic development of nations, there can be little doubt of the significance of this divide. We commence, with a consideration of the terms and concepts deployed in the debate, and we report the magnitude of the divide. Then, we offer a brief survey of the general literature concerned with technological late starting as it applies to ICTs, particularly the Internet. We present the respective cases put forward by the technological optimists (3.1) and the technological pessimists (3.2). This is followed, by a commentary upon the vexed question of how the sector has influenced productivity growth, with a special focus upon what has become known as the "Solow Paradox". This background provides a platform to evaluate India`s position in the international arena that is tackled. In 5.1 we put forward the evidence of the divide. Then, in 5.2, we identify the weaknesses in the infrastructure. This is followed by an attempt to contrast the performance of the software and the hardware sub-sectors. Government policy towards ICTs is considered in 5.4, and we end by providing an overall perspective, we reflect upon the divide within the country itself, although the database is still inadequate. In 6.1 we examine inter-state differences, and in 6.2, the focus shifts to the urban-rural divide. Then, in 6.3 we pass comment upon how rural exclusion is being tackled. Finally, we present our general conclusions.

How to cite this article:

, 2003. The Digital Divide and India. Pakistan Journal of Social Sciences, 1: 80-120.

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