India is considered as an agricultural economy and is developing at a fast rate. It has now become a knowledge economy. The development of information and communication technologies revolution in India has created a technological divide between the urban areas and rural areas. Digital India is an initiative of the Government of India to ensure that government services are made available to citizens electronically by improving online infrastructure and by increasing internet connectivity. It was launched in the year 2015 by our Prime Minister. This includes plans to connect rural areas with internet networks. Digital possibilities create change. This change is necessary, especially when one looks at rural areas in India and their struggle to maintain social services, access to education, and possibilities of employment and migration of young, qualified citizens. Digital India has three core components viz., the creation of digital infrastructure, Delivery of services digitally and Digital literacy. The government has approved two schemes to promote digital literacy I.E., National Digital Literacy Mission and Digital Saksharta Abhiyan. Digital literacy can be defined as the knowledge to handle digital devices such as computers, tablet PCs and smartphones, and Internet usage. Rural Indians have been getting online in increasing numbers, and are expected to catch up with urban India by 2020, when 48% of the online population will be from rural India (up from 36% in 2016). And if Digital India delivers on its promise, rural India will likely soon outnumber urban India online for a more real representation of the country.
Information and Communication Technology plays an important role in most of the aspects of government, business, and the lives of individuals. Networked computers are widely adopted as an e-governance medium to improve communication with the rural public and improve the delivery of services. Information and Communication Technology skilled people are able to understand how society operates and serve as powerful citizens in their communities. Information and Communication Technology provides a greater platform and tools with the potential to deal with the barriers. Application of ICT is a paradigm shift in comparison to the traditional government approaches. Rural India lags behind urban areas in the development process. With a substantial majority of the population in rural areas, if Information and Communication Technology is provided, rural people can achieve greater heights.
Integration of ICT in rural development interventions will speed up the development process and fill the gaps between the educationally and technologically deprived and the prosperous in society. As most of the population in villages are engaged in agriculture, ICT is a helpful tool for them to get information about their village, blocks and districts, natural resources around them, agricultural practices to be employed, seasons and monsoons, market rates of different commodities, and about government schemes. Simple training and implementation of ICT programs in easy-to-understand language has the potential to bring about a revolution in rural development. The Government of India realizes the importance of ICT for the development of the country and has taken steps to elevate digital literacy. Government and nongovernment organizations have committed to work toward National Digital Literacy Mission (NDLM). Hence, a study is required to understand and analyse the impact of digital literacy among rural people in india.
The policies of the present Government have been recognized and highly appreciated at the International level. Several corporations have social responsibility based initiatives to take technology to the villages. The ICT industry plays a crucial role in supporting rural India as they come online, and technology companies have a responsibility to use their talent to contribute to this effort. To transform the entire ecosystem of public services through the use of information technology in 2015, the Central Government launched the Digital India program with the vision to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy. Prime minister’s rural digital literacy campaign is an integral component of “Digital India” that focuses on making at least one person in every family digitally literate by March 2019.
Although the government is working toward improving digital literacy, more efforts are required to make the Digital India scheme popular and create awareness among the masses about its benefits. One challenge faced by the program is the slow and delayed infrastructure development in rural and remote areas. A major objective is to build confidence and enable access to information available on the Internet, which promotes overall well-being and competence in young people as they face the realities of life. People are made aware of their role as responsible citizens and see how they can donate to the advancement of their village. Through the digital literacy rural people can have access to digital devices and understand their functions like Internet browsing, emails, social media, online banking, and ticketing.
This study will focus on the following objectives:
Digitalization concept is used by many people with various implications. Digitalization is referred as a process where communities get access to Internet. However, the concept goes further than broadband and Internet connectivity especially in rural area. In this study the need of the rural people will be recognized, the way to distribute the digital knowledge will be analysed and the mindset to embrace digital possibilities will be identified which has the greatest impact on the development of rural communities. Furthermore, strategies used by the government for the transition of rural communities to the digital age will be discussed. In general, the study will analyze the awareness and impact of digitalization among rural people in Coimbatore District.
Based on the literature review and objectives of the study, the following research questions have been framed:
From the literature review it is found that, all the researchers have only focused on the secondary date and no researcher has studied the impact of digital literacy among rural people. Hence, there is a scarcity of studies on digital literacy and are found to be fragmented and inconsistent. The academic research in this field is still in its budding stage. Hence a need is felt to undertake an empirical research to understand the impact of digital literacy among rural people and to frame some steps to be taken by the government to improve the digital literacy in rural area in the future.
The study will be undertaken at Coimbatore district belonging to the state of Tamil Nadu, India. The study will be conducted with 300 sample size in Coimbatore district and serves as the universe for the purpose of the study. The theoretical model will be empirically tested using quantitative research. A structured questionnaire will be used to collect data from the rural people through interview schedule method. Random sampling method will be adopted to reach the rural people who are the sample respondents, due to the lack of appropriate statistics. The data collected via questionnaire will be tested using descriptive and inferential statistical tools such as mean, standard deviation, ANOVA and chi-square. Based upon the results, generalizations and conclusions will be drawn.
The present study is meant to identify the impact of digital literacy among rural people in Coimbatore district. The revelations the study brings forth, are expected to give a deeper insight into the impact of digital literacy among rural people. It is also hoped that the findings of the study may give an insight towards the problems faced by the government authorities in making the rural people digitally aware and that may enable the authorities to organize adequate programs for the ICT usage among rural people
The research report that will be prepared as the outcome of the research will have the following chapters:
The tentative time frame that has been worked out for the execution of the project as below:
The total expenditure expected to be expended for the execution and completion of the project is Rs. 1,50,000. The heads under which this will be spent are provided in the table below:
S.No. Broad Expenditure heads Amount Rs.
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