Real fact of emergence of Information Technology effecting rural area Er. Hardeep Singh Sidhu (M. Sc,M. Phil,M. Tech. ) (Lect. in computer science) Department of Computer Science Punjabi University Baba Jogipir Neighbourhood campus, Ralla, Mansa (Punjab) The researcher are, associated with Department of Computer Science at Punjabi University Baba Jogipir Neighborhood Campus, Ralla, Mansa, Punjab (India). Abstract: Research in the field of emergence of IT in rural area has varied applications, through which the development of the rural area can be possible accurately. Government had introduced large number of projects through which the people of rural India can come forward and use the IT enabled services and work more systematically to improve their efficiency. This paper discusses the effects of information technology (IT) and its practical contributions to rural development. It also presents rural area’s experiences in the use of IT and identifies the requirements and the issues needed to make practical use of IT systems for overall development of rural area. It emphasizes on the importance of national collaboration in promoting the use of IT in rural development, and minimization the communication gap through the whole country. Keywords: rural development, information technology, rural industries, rural economy, Acronyms: GIS (geographic information system) DSS (decision support system) ISP (internet service provider) FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) GOI (Government of India) NCAER (National Council for Applied Economic Research) DGP (Digital Gangetic Plan) ATM (automatic teller machines) IT (information technology) INTRODUCTION: This paper discusses the effects of information technology (IT) and its practical contributions to rural development. It also presents rural area’s experiences in the use of IT and identifies the requirements, analysis and implementation issues needed to make practical use of IT systems for overall development of rural area. A large number of studies have shown that even today approximately 70% of Indian Population lives in Rural Areas. Today, Rural Development is essential for the development of the Indian Economy. Indian Government has realized the role of the rural development and the contribution of IT in the development of Rural Areas. A large number of projects are introduced in the rural area to promote IT service. Rural Literacy is ranked at the topmost position of priority. Trends indicate that rural markets are coming up in big way and growing twice as faster as urban markets. According to a study by NCAER (National Council for Applied Economic Research), the number of middle and high-income households in rural India is expected to grow from 80 Million to 111 Million by the end of year 2007 as compared to Urban India that is nearby 59 Million. The Rural Market of India is showing an impressive growth largely due to changing lifestyle patterns, better communication network and rapidly changing demand structure of consumers of rural area. With the changing patterns of Rural Market, the role of IT has increased from providing only the Networks to set-up the basis of updated technological programs in the rural area. It is seen that the people living in the rural area have strong purchasing power and have more openness for new technology as compared to the past decades. In Rural India, Government has already provided Info-kiosks (centre providing various kind of information) which provide basic communication facilities like internet connection and telecommunication services. Modern Information and Communication Technologies (ICT’s) were found to have great potential to contribute. The projects of Info- Kiosks are very popular in the region have shown a positive response in the development of the rural area. Information technology (IT) doubtlessly contributes much to rural development. It can facilitate rural activities and provide more comfortable and safe rural life with equivalent services to those in the urban areas, such as provision of distance education, tale-medicine, remote public services, remote entertainment etc. For example, farmers must make critical decisions such as what to and when to plant, and how to manage pests, while considering off-farm factors such as environmental impacts, market access, and industry standards. IT-based decision support system (DSS) can surely help their decisions (i. . weather forecasting etc. ) Government is taking serious steps for the development of the rural market, under which the activities related to the development of the rural infrastructure, subsidized food availability and rural employment schemes are at the priority. IT plays a major role in accurate implementing these developmental programs in the rural area. Government has set up various centers which are spreading the IT web in the rural area through which people can be benefited and exploit the resources available efficiently. In last, IT can take an important and key role for industrialization of farming or farm business enterprises, combining the above roles. Objectives: The objectives of this paper are to discuss the effects of information technology (IT) and its practical contributions to allover development of rural area. It also presents rural area’s experiences in the use of IT techniques and identifies the requirements, analysis and implementation issues needed to make practical use of IT technology for overall development of rural area. This also support research program for assessing the impact of IT on poverty reduction in the rural areas to some extent. It also helps to develop and test new rural area applications such as new farming techniques, information management, employment and industrial growth for rural areas. Impacts of IT in rural agriculture development: IT policy for agriculture and rural development started late in 1990s in India but it had not been successful for a long time. The policy gave higher priority to hardware than software, resulting in insufficient data resources nd poor applications that were not useful enough to convince farmers of the beneficial effect of IT in agriculture. Poor network infrastructure in rural areas is also one of the obstacles for IT in agriculture because the Internet is an important factor in whatever information system we develop nowadays and it usually helps reduce cost of system development and maintenance. Poor rural network infrastructure and IT literacy contributed to this failure. Reports shows that 50% of farm households own personal computers (PCs) but only 10% of them use the computer for farming. This number is much lower than that of other industries. This fact clearly indicates that farmers are not convinced about the benefits of IT in agriculture. Another difficult problem is computer literacy in the rural areas. Even thus the commercial competition has brought the country a rapid spread of very cheap broadband Internet (bsnl, connect and other ISP) in urban areas. However, broadband connectivity is still quite poor in rural areas because of absence of commercial competition. This fact also limits the IT extension in the rural areas, as the Internet is apparently an inevitable core infrastructure in IT utilization. IT can initiate new agricultural techniques (i. e. farmer use laser leveler, commonly says “Computer Kuraha” to level their farm, which greatly reduce the consumption of irrigation water, and increase the productivity of crop) , agriculture product marketing and rural business such as e-commerce, internet banking, rural tourism, and virtual corporation of small-scale farming. IT can support policy-making and evaluation on optimal farm production, disaster management, agro-environmental resource management etc. , using tools such as geographic information systems (GIS). We should also consider how to easily collect field data. Though field data are the basis for farm decision support, few people realize the importance of IT in developing several decision support programs. IT can improve farm management and farming. When we look at the present status in rural India, we can identify existing issues that we need to solve in order to extend role of IT to the agricultural domain. Education opportunity in rural area: IT greatly influences the education in rural India through the ICT project in many states of India. Through this project government of India provides computer or it education at school level from primary to senior secondary school with the collaboration education department of states. For example, Punjab government start this project in almost all secondary school of Punjab state in 2005 (first phase) under name “PUNJAB INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY EDUCATION SOCIETY” (PICTE society). Now state government start this project in almost all school. This project greatly impact students of rural area who are now availing computer or it education through internet facilities and teleconferencing. In a survey report, the growth of IT education sector increasing at very high speed. Many professional colleges and technical institutes (providing courses in management & technology up to post graduation level) are opened by government and private sector to provide quality professional education in rural area at the doorsteps of students of rural area. This increase in the rural internet usage may help the government on other fronts also like increase in literacy rate among rural areas which is a priority of the Government. Telecommunication in rural area: IT playing revolutionary role in telecommunication in rural areas, through which TV cable network, Direct to Home (D2H) service provided by Government of India (free of cost through satellite communication) especially for rural and remote area and providing various channel of national and international level from the whole word. India become word’s first country which providing this facility to their country men. Now it is possible for people to watch various news, events, social economic information and cultural activities of national and international level, which greatly influence the knowledge of rural people in various fields. Telephone, telefax and mobile telecommunication also greatly influence the people of rural area which providing important information related to agriculture, current affairs, insurance policy information etc. through short message service and multimedia message service. Entertainment for rural areas: IT playing revolutionary role in entertainment of rural area. Level of entertainment is increasing from, traditional to modern techniques, such as viewing TV, General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) available on mobile, Internet, cable radio, computer games, mobile games, simulation games, training, projectors for viewing movies and advertisement etc. IT industry develop real time game application by including adventures multimedia games allow everyone to experience the joy of driving e-cars, become pilot by driving e-aircraft, become musician by playing different kind of musical instruments etc. Mainly students, adolescence, youth and even matures of rural area are expressing very craziness about these application of entertainment. Information kiosks in rural area: In Rural India, Government has already provided Info-kiosks (centre providing various kind of information) which provide basic communication facilities like internet connection and telecommunication services. Modern Information and Communication Technologies (ICT’s) were found to have great potential to contribute. These centres provide facilities of electric billing, sewerage billing, e-banking, e-post and information regarding latest schemes started by the government for the betterment of rural people time to time. The projects of Info- Kiosks are very popular in the region of Andra Pradesh, Delhi, Gujrat, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Madya Pradesh, Rajasthan Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh and have shown a positive response in the development of the rural area. Other states are also tie ups with the private sector for implementation of this modern facility. E-Banking and insurance in rural area: The Indian banking industry has undergone radical changes due to emergence of IT era. The process of globalization and our trend towards global standard change the perception of customer service and banking evader to serve the customer better with the help of e-governance and e-banking. Most rural area provides facility of internet banking, mobile banking and automatic teller machines (ATM) for their satisfaction and ease to any type of transaction. Insurance business sector also speed ups in rural area with awareness of insurance of lives and other property matters. Many insurance companies take steps towards rural area market providing various kinds of insurance policies with the help of seminars, providing customer care centers, and to give information about new policies or advantages of insurance on their laptop to present presentation about it. Growth of marketing sector in rural area: With the impact of it in every sphere, several sectors are showing their inclination towards the rural market area due to the increased possibility of opportunities and rising of income generation of rural area from last few decades. Market Trends have witnessed twice growth rate of the rural market as compared to the urban markets. . IT can initiate new agricultural and rural business such as e-commerce, real estate business for satellite offices, rural tourism, and virtual corporation of small-scale farms. Home shopping trends also increasing in rural area with the help of tele shopping on television and online shopping on internet. customer can place their order online and can get information about various kinds of products and latest model in the market with their latest features. In a report by market researchers, it was observed that rural market has shown a rapid rate of growth. The number of rural households using fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) products has grown from 136 million in 2004 to 143 million in 2007. The FMCG sector in rural areas is projected to grow by 40 per cent against the 25 per cent growth in urban areas. The insurance sector size was estimated at US$ 12. 8 billion, and it is likely to see an unprecedented growth of 200 per cent, touching US$ 51. 2 billion by 2009-10. Rural India may offer a business opportunity worth US$ 23 billion for the insurance companies with innovative saving schemes at very affordable premiums and valuable new schemes in accordance with the economy of rural area. Employment opportunity in rural area: It appears that employment grew in rural areas that were regional trade centers. Existing IT education firms, strong retail sales, and high incomes all seem to drive employment in this sector. This may indicate that the types of services provided by these firms are most sought after where people shop and conduct business. Emergence of telecommunication in rural area also increases the opportunities of self employment in rural area. It is commonly seen that almost all villages in rural area have cyber cafe, computer centers, information centre etc. , where people can avail all kind of IT services without going to urban area. The existing firms making investments in needed infrastructure, making the rural area more attractive to new firms and business. New firms may be locating to areas where they can share resources with existing firms, creating a clustering effect. These resources are shared products and services provided by other industries and institutions. With the advancement in IT sector, industries are facing towards rural area which subsequently increases growth of employment in rural area. It was found that higher specialization in IT Services employment in 1995 increased IT Services employment in 2000. Rising living standard in rural area: India is showing an impressive growth largely due to changing lifestyle patterns, better communication network and rapidly changing demand structure of consumers of rural area. With the changing patterns of Rural Market, the role of IT has increased from providing only the Networks to set-up the basis of updated technological programs in the rural area. It is seen that the people living in the rural area have strong purchasing power and have more openness for new technology as compared to the last decades. Finally we can say that, with the influence of IT in rural area, the level of living standard in rural area is increasing. Project started by Government of India (GOI) to emphasis IT sector in rural area: GOI introduced a number of programs through which the people of rural India can come forward and use the IT enabled services and work more systematically to improve their efficiency. Some successfully running projects by the Government are: UDDAN: This project providing broadband connection on land line BSNL telephone connection primarily in rural area to promote information technology. ICT PROJECT: This project start with the aim of computer or IT education in all government school of different states of india. LOK MITRA AND JAN MITRA: In year 2002, two projects came into existence namely; Lok Mitra and Jan Mitra. This service is launched by the RAJASTHAN Government for the first time for its rural citizens, so that they can deploy the I. T. enabled benefits to its fullest. WI-FI PROJECT: One of the wi-fi project under which few villages in Uttar Pradesh are connected to internet is Digital Gangetic Plan (DGP) . In DGP wireless network connectivity is created, this program helped the people residing in villages of near by it to have the access of internet DRISHTII: This project present in Punjab, Bihar, Haryana, Madya Pradesh and Rajasthan. It is generally suited in the Panchayat. They prepare the module for the poor section of the rural area who cannot understand international language. The modules are designed for the rural and semi-urban areas especially. BHOOMI: The government of Karnataka starts this project for maintaining the records related to the land introduced it. The Department of Revenue in Karnataka has computerized 20 million records of land ownership belonging to 6. 7 million farmers of the state. With the introduction of the program, the farmers are free from giving the bribe and are protected from the harassment. Framers can easily get the Records of Rights, Tenancy and Crops (RTC) by depositing fee of Rs. 15/-. This project also runs successfully in some region of Punjab also at Tehsil level. CONCLUSION: The paper has provided the brief description of the real fact of IT services offered in the rural areas of different states of India. These services have different level of service offered and basic organizational infrastructure. It is clearly seen that the range of IT enabled service proportion is increasing at a rapid rate in the rural areas. The fact behind it is the increasing interest of the organizations (Private or non private) to capture the rural markets and the increasing level of the education and market interface of the rural area. IT enabled services are growing at a fast rate and are providing several services to rural people with the common motive of minimizing the communication gap and having increase in the connectivity and to develop hi-tech. market place in the rural areas. The services provided to the rural area will result in the overall betterment of the society by increasing the income resources with latest market information and providing latest technological developmental news and organizations creating more market and employment opportunities, with which living standard of rural area speeds up gradually. For development of the rural areas proper development of the IT Communication and Infrastructural services are essential along with the use of new techniques supporting IT sector for providing lots of IT enabled services to the present rural infrastructure. Finally, orientation of Indian rural market can be transformed only with the deployment of IT sector. References: Lee, B. L. and Y. C. Kim. 1998. Web interface for GIS in agriculture, Agricultural Information Technology in India 1998. Otuka A. and K. Sugawara. 2003. A labor management application using hand-held computers, Agricultural Information Research. Information technology for management written by Efraim Turban, Dorothy Leidner, Ephraim Mclean and James Wetherbe. Rangaswamy, Representing the Non-formal: the Businesses of Internet cafes in India. EPIC 2007 proceedings. Retrieved March 7, 2008. Rangaswamy, R. (2007a). ICT for development and commerce: a case study of Internet cafes in India. Paper presented to the 9th International conference on Social Implications of Computers in Developing Countries. Sao Paulo, Brazil. May. Retrieved August 10, 2007 from https://research. microsoft. com. National Sample Survey Organization. (2000). Non-agricultural enterprises in the informal sector in India, 1999–2000 – Key Results (No. 456). New Delhi: Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.
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