Social and Political Development
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is a term that covers all technical means for processing and communication information.ICT tools can be
used to find explore, analyze, exchange and present information responsibly and without discrimination. ICT allows users to participate in a rapidly changing world in which work and activities are increasingly transformed by access to varied and developing technology. ICT can be employed to give users quick access to ideas and expenses from a wide range of people communities and cultures.
There are four important components of Information Technology. They are Hardware, Software, Communication and Content.
Ø Hardware includes satellite, telephone exchange, computer, and various electronic devices.
Ø Software is a mainly computer programmes which provide guidelines to the users.
Ø The Communication means connecting one to another,
Ø While the content is message
In the contemporary age, computer is hardware, while computer programme is software, if we want to access internet require a telephone set or V-sat ; it is called communication, The internet service provider (ISP) is the medium which connects us to the internet in order to reach the content.
In the contemporary technology medium is the message
IX Five Year Plan:
The IX Five Year Plan did not mention e-government, stress was laid on the entire IT section. 1%, 3% budget of the budget recommended for it.
The strategy followed during mid-nineties was to encourage the use of computers into the use of IT including the fast expanding internet. Some notable success is the railway reservation system and banking practices. Some states like Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat, Karnataka went in big way in using IT.
Importance of Information Technology in creating a competitive economy equipped to face the challenges and exploit the opportunities of the future.
ICT have increased international interconnectedness and speed up the process of globalization. By increasing speed of international communication ICT, have enabled corporations to outsource jobs with manufacturing and service sectors. ICT industry‘s revenue was estimated to be $ 1.2 trillion in 2006
In recent decades widespread incorporation of ICTs into many tiers of business, political processes and everyday life has caused fundamental restructuring of the global economy. ICTs has increased international interconnectness and speed up the process of globalization. They have been instrumental in the information revolution, facilitating the transition from industrial economies the manufacturing sector to knowledge economies.
ICTs in conjunction with globalization and the information revolution, have reshaped the workforce. Locations with no or minimal restrictions on wages, compensation and entitlements for workers there for become economically attractive as sites of production. This can lead to the exploitation of workers in developing countries and undermine the bargaining power of organized labour in developed countries.
Economic Development - Indian Approach:
Computers came to India in 1959, but were slow to catch on. There was a feeling amongst employees of the establishments introducing computers, would replace workers and result in loss of jobs.
In 1975, the Government of India took a conscious decision about introducing use of computers in the Government Department and program implemented with UNDP assistance. National Informatics Centre (NIC) was set up under the electronics commission. It was brought E-Government to India through networking and computers proliferation in the various organs of Government Central, State and District levels.
During 1985-90 a period before the spread of the internet, NIC reached out to 550 district headquarters in the country covering different terrains and varied levels of regional development.
Business Process Outsourcing(BPO)
BPO became a large employer in the field of technology. Because of abundant and cheap availability of labour in India, various foreign based companies have been getting their work in India.
ICT is a crucial element in developing third world countries by integrating them in to the Global Economy and by making global market more accessible. The World Bank has collaborated with the International Finance Corporation to promote access to ICT.
ICTs have impacted societies on many levels. They have extended the reach of public administration, leading to a centralization of regional management into urban centres.
They have led to new forms of employment in innovation and production of ICTs and a demand for highly skilled specialists.
The diffusion of ICTs within societies is varied, with some institutions and sections of society having greater access to ICTs then others. These divisions are reflected in the content of ICTs. For example, the English language, which is understood by only 10% of the world population accounts for approximately 80% of internet content.
Despite this imbalance in power relations, many social justice movements believe ICTs can be used to promote equality and empower marginalized groups. These groups advocate ICTs as a means of providing accessible and affordable information and as a platform for voices that might otherwise go unheard.
In order to provide to specific needs for improving Government services, NIC, established a nationwide ICT Network called, NIC NET. It get with gateway notes at about 55 points in Government Departments, and 550 in district headquarters. Through this program, a distributed database on village level information has been created for about 6 lakhs village of the country.
For citizens in urban areas, electronic billing and payment for the following utilities be introduced such as Electricity bills, Telephone bills, Water tax bills, Property tax payments, Road Tax.
E-Chaupal: It is an internet centre cum single window system offering various products and services to the villagers at reasonable rates and at the same time purchasing their products.
In the long run, citizens must have unique identification cards. The usefulness of the card needs to be driven home by making it a multipurpose card, which will help the citizen receive a number of benefits and services.
Government tendering should be integrated to eliminate the need for duplicate departmental systems they are,Suppliers Database,Integration of Financial System
The process of filing income tax return, sales tax return, service tax return is being made electronically.
E-governance is also gradually prospering on internet. IT can give significant contribution towards providing clean and transparent administration. It can play an important role in the successful implementation of Right To Information Act in the year 2005.Following services implemented they are
Ø Income tax Information System
Ø Customs and Central Excise Information System
Ø Career Guidance System for Youth
Ø Motor Vehicle Licenses
Ø Sales Tax return filing and making payment
Information Technology is increasingly permeating every fact of human endeavor and has radically transformed the way societies work, play gather, and access knowledge and the way they governed. The technologies do not straight forwardly determine political cultures; but it always coevolved to certain extent with the institutional structure around them. Communities engage in numerous forms of activity, some of which have greater significance for democratic values such as broad access to the means of collective cognition than others.
2) In traditional technology the producer and consumer relationship in a given genre and medium. But in here anybody can became a producer or consumer
The ICT sector has grown tremendously in our country. The Government of India has taken the following steps recently to promote the Information Technology in our country.
1) Information Technology Act : In order to provide legal sanction to the use of IT and prevent its misuse. The Government of India passed the IT Act 2000.
2) E-Commerce and E-Learning : E-Commerce and information security was initiated by Department of Information Technology. IT has taken the initiative of promoting e-learning as a potential methodology to complement the Government efforts to generate high quality high end man power in the area of Information Technology.
3) Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT): In CERT has been set up to ensure safety of the Government network.
4) Media Lab Asia : The Department of Information Technology has initiated the project Media Lab Asia in collaboration with Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The project aims at reaching the benefit of the ICT to the common man.
5) E-Governance : Various programmes have been launched with a view to reach the e-administration to all. The task of computerization of the land records and making it available on the internet for the public use is going on in various states. Apart from this various projects pertaining to birth death registration, transportation, Municipality, Grama Panchayat and community information centre are also going on at different places of the country.
6) Community Information Centres: The Department of Information Technology has implemented a scheme for setting up of 487 community information centres at Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur etc. To accelerate socio economic development of the region with projected outlay of Rs.242.00 Crore. The project has been implemented by NICSI.
7) Vidya Vahani and Gyan Vahini Project : The project aims at extending the IT facilities to all the schools and collages of the country.200 schools falling under seven districts and all the campuses of the Delhi University have been given computer connectivity so far under the pilot projects. Various universities of Uttar Pradesh and some other states have been connected under the UGC project.
8) Indian Language Technologies : In a multilingual country like India with only 5% population knowing English, it is essential that information processing and exchange software should be developed in local languages and be available at low cost for wider proliferation for the benefits of ICT.s
9) Braille in Indian Languages: A computerized Braille transcription and embossing system has been developed under Jai Vigyan National S&T mission, which can operate in English and all major languages. The equipment enables a school for visually handicapped children to easily generate reading material, class notes, question papers, training materials, etc., for the blind students.
10) National Institute for Smart Government : National Institute for Smart government (NISG) has been incorporated as a section 25 company under the Companies Act 1956 on May 29, 2002. The organization is excepted to play a pivotal role in channelizing private resource and competence into the national e-Governance effort.
11) Digital Library: This ambitious project aims at making ten lakh books available for the common man in digital form. Initially, these books will be available in English. President APJ Abdul Kalam inaugurated the university Digital Library Digital Portal in September 8, 2003.
12) High Performance Computing: The centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) has developed and commissioned PARAM Padma a terascale supercomputing system as its knowledge Park, Bangalore. It is the largest supercomputer developed by a country in Asia Pacific Region (outside Japan).
13) National Information Centre (NIC): National Informatics Centre (NIC) provides informatics service for the decision to Government offices/bodies at national, State, District and block levels. It offers network services over Ku-Band (TDMA, FTDMA, IPA and SCPC VSATs ), wireless metropolitan area network (MANs) and local area network (LANs) with NICNET gateway for internet resource, facilitating informatics service for decentralized planning, improvement in government service, and wider transparency of national and local government. NIC has set up a country based VSAT network (NICNET), first of its kind among the developing countries, linking about 600 Districts Administration, 28 state secretariats, and seven union NCT/UT Administrations.
14) Video Conferencing : video conferencing network has been set-up in all the districts of Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand through NICNET. Video conferencing facility has also been set up at Leh and Meumoa Blocks, the highest point in the world where on-line Video conferencing facility has been made available.
Network society also has an effect on political life. Castells names mediatization and globalisation as the two most important factors (Castells, 2006). When he analyses the connections between the media and politics he is reluctant to introduce television and especially the Internet as a kind of “persuasion machine”. Referring to the concepts developed by the school of reception theory, he directs our attention to the significance of the individual interpretation of the receptor. According to this, media contents do not have general interpretations; each interpretation is unique and strongly connected to the common interpretative framework of the individual.
16) Apart from the constant and universal presence of the media, globalisation has also caused significant changes in the political system. Castells is of the opinion that the development of network society is rocking the foundations of the institution of the nation state: since the network society operates globally, the state cannot work solely within a national framework any more. At the same time, there are serious cultural obstacles in the way of setting up a worldwide government that adjusts to the process of globalisation. With the construction of the network state, national governments may renounce part of their countries’ sovereignty. In Castells’ view, the European Union is the best example of this, where all the nation states are organized into a form of social, economic and political network (Castells, 2006).