Today computer technology has touched every aspect of life in India and the government is trying hard to ensure that fruits of this are available till the last citizen of India. Particularly the broadband technology has a potential to yield manifold social and economic benefits. It can act as a tool of development by enabling wide- spread access and adopting at threshold pricing. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that if efficiently delivered broadband will be the luring service available at the hands of people and synergy thus generated will have an enormous impact on economic development of the country in the various ways. Obviously the maximum benefits of this will be reaped by the rural segment of the country.
- Increase in the overall employment opportunities.
- Growth in the earning levels.
- Increase in the productivity levels with current knowledge level
- Availability of new markets and relevant access towards them
- It will reduce the digital divide and rural areas will be able to grow at a faster pace.
Following are the highlighted services which will be exclusively availed by rural areas.
- Entertainment on demand: with increasing levels of computer education the rural areas will be able to demand entertainment as available to the urban counterparts
- Education: the most impact will be observed in education segment. In form of e-education the rural areas can get benefitted with less costly and effective education. This is augmented with the help of online learning systems and virtual libraries.
- Health: government is taking special steps to make sure that the best medical facilities are availed by the rural areas also but the unavailability of doctors in the rural areas is the problem. With telemedicine this problem can be resolved. But the fruits can be reaped only when the population in rural areas will be comparably educated in this field.
- Governance: government is trying to make its services available in form of web based services promptly. Thus these services are available quicker and reliably. Any grievances that may be caused can be resolved quickly and satisfactorily. But lack of awareness and knowledge in this regard is still a very serious problem.
Following are few issues which are main hurdles in development of computer based services in rural areas.
- Poor quality infrastructure – Although there have been progress in this regard but keeping in mind the population pressure on the current infrastructure it is not sufficient.
- Lack of awareness – There have been efforts on the part of government and non-government functionaries in this regard but they are yet to yield satisfactory results. Although some results of this can be witnessed now.
- Lack of appropriate local content -The local people unknown of the potential benefits are not much cooperative and have unwilling disposition.
- Cost of service is still very high.
- Seriousness on the part of authorities.
- Maturity level of Indian population – it is still low and they are unable to put proper efforts to get the maximum benefits from the computer technology.
There must be no doubt that it is very important that computer education is properly popularized in rural areas.