Our President Abdul Kalam Azad has got it absolutely right. Get every Indian Broadband Connected and we will then rise as one people to become the leading knowledge and hopefully ‘wisdom’ powers in the world. It is something I have been pushing for a long time. Put Broadband connectivity as priority infrastructure in our economic plan. Check the President’s speech at :
Broadband is the one way all of India can be brought together beyond the Urban/Rural divide. It gives access to information equally to everyone so people can make informed choices on their lives. Farmers can access information on market prices for their product. Also choose from available sources of credit and stop the dependancy on the money lender.
Interactive teaching classes can be run on community computers in each village, run by a central education system that gives equal education to all.
And just as a person can be in Mumbai and work for a company in NY, similarily a rural person does not have to move to a Metro city to get a job. He/she can do it sitting at home provided they have a computer and broadband connection. Or indeed work with a company in NY.
The last mile ? Wi Max technology is expanding so fast, and data compression technology is so advanced thta we will be looking at data transfer as simply as we look at electricity. Even better because electricity cannot be supplied wirelessly.
Cost of Computers ? We are fasting moving to a point where the TV and PC will be the same device, and TV too will be interact. As peopel in the rural areas get more access to the mobile ‘device’ – access to the world through the internet will be available. Even to those that cannot yet read as the devices will soon be interactive by voice too.
I know there will be many problems. But the rural/urban divide, the rich/poor divide, the great oppertunity divide, the education divide is increasing dramatically. To such dangerous levels that we coudl soon see an explosion of social unrest in India. Everyone talks in glowing terms about the half a billion people of India under 25, but no one says that not more than 10 % of those are part of India’s economic spurt.
Technology can be the great demolishers of imbalances,