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Tuesday, July 27, 2021

India: Communications revolution

Empowering Indians!


How social media is helping to improve the lives of the people
AMIR HOSSAIN | Issue Dated: August 4, 2013, New Delhi
Tags : Social media | Aakash tablet | Internet |

Social media and the digital world are shaping today's politics and public opinion like never before. In recent months, social media facilitated a series of uprisings and rebellions in the Arab world and even in totalitarian countries like China. As in these parts, the Indian government too has been given a taste of social media and the powers it has come to weild. Lately, the government has been at the receiving end of public outrage over several issues: from rape tragedies to the shenaningans involving various scams and corruption cases. But in all such cases, the fuse that lit the spark has been social media.

In the years to come, low cost computing devices like the Aakash tablet will help to further push internet penetration, which is likely to give umpetus to the ongoing communications revolution and lead to changes in the socio-political landscape of India. Already, governments have come to realise that they cannot feed the citizens whatever propaganda they want to as was the case earlier. Not only are people more aware, they are also more inter-connected now. While internet penetration and sales of tablets are not impressive in India but they are growing significantly. Currently, India has around 125 million internet users but internet networking firm Cisco estimates that India will have 348 million users by 2017. Along the same lines, CyberMedia Research has projected that sales of tablets in India is likely to reach to 6 million in 2013 from 3 million in 2012.

This ongoing communications revolution will not only empower people to respond forcefully to government's policies and measures but also empower them in various other ways. Villagers who are not able to access proper health care could seek medical advice over Skype. People from rural and tribal areas will be able to participate more actively on issues concerning their welfare and economic well-being. Maybe, one day, thanks to the communications revolution, young Einsteins could emerge from our remote villages and offer novel solutions to the medical and scientific problems of the day. That revolution is yet to happen but the day may not be far away. 

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Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017