E governance, net penetration in rural set ups and the responsibility of Governments!
How the net can help the rural citizens?
The internet is like an ocean and none can surf the entire sea. Also, day by day new things are innovated throughout the globe and the internet scenario is fast changing. At the same time, many of us who are using Windows stick to our old XP system OS. This naturally exposes us to many attacks from cyberspace as Microsoft has made those OS as obsolete and no security updates are provided. The recent one Windows 7 platform is also getting old but many of the users are using Windows 7 throughout the globe. Of course, those genuine users can upgrade their OS to Windows 10 which is the latest.
But Windows 10 are offered free to the users of Windows 7 and further versions. From the forum of net users that Windows 10 contains certain clichés which prescribes a particular search engine for internet. Of course, many users have already protested to these mandatory provisions. But that is business. There is cut throat competition between system developers and each one vies with each other to market their products. But those who use the pirated versions have no solutions at all except to purchase the genuine OS from market. It comes with a huge cost.
Now let us analyze the technological situation around the globe. Nowadays even the most backward third world countries have started using automation and digital governance for some of the important fields like banking, industries, and healthcare and to some extent in education. Internet as a tool is really helpful in many fields as we perceive. The governments which have adopted e governance have started realizing the huge potential of the net. But there are certain fundamental problems. India is a vast country but it is not lagging behind in net connectivity. All urban centers and the population are already conversant with the net and most of the government transactions take place through e governance.
But the situation in remote villages and rural centers are not heartwarming. Still there are thousands of villages in India which need connectivity through the net. Hence an ambitious plan has been drawn by the government to connect all villages through net by providing fiber optic cables. Of course this is a costly undertaking. Where such facility can not be taken, other options are being worked out like microwave, wireless technology to offer Wifi spots etc. Of course India has been connected by mobile communication towers and base stations in most of the towns, villages, highways and even high altitude hills. But the main problem of providing mobile towers in border areas is their use by ultras and terrorists operating through the borders. Hence security is a major concern.
The government is planning to establish net centers in most of the villages, train some youth there to man those spots and provide net connectivity to the villagers mainly to inform them of various government schemes, weather information, for agriculture purpose, availability of seeds and manures, suitability of soil, water management and health issues. At least the villagers can know where emergency medical help could be got etc. Also many of the certificates issued by the government for education, employment, birth and death certificates, land holding etc could be issued through the centers. Also public distribution system for the poor villagers could be enhanced by creating awareness in the villagers through net connectivity.
Though, the expenditure will be huge, yet, it will rise the living conditions of many of the poor peasants in rural set ups. Already mobile communication is slowly penetrating among many villages in rural India by various mobile operators. They offer data connectivity also in the mobile phones. The government is seriously considering providing cheaper tablet PCs to the literate among the village population. This will take many years to become fully functional. The speed with which technology leapfrogs is really mind boggling. Here the contribution multi national companies working in different regions have to be sought. They can earmark some portion of their huge profits for the welfare of the poor villagers.
Meanwhile, those who are computer literate everywhere should offer free coaching to that poor student who can’t afford a PC or course fees etc. Hence let each of us who care, train at least one student during the spare time in the nuances of technological tools.