The fruits of the information technology sector such as the Internet blue chips, online shopping, and nanosecond e-mail have failed to cure century-old malaises like illiteracy, poverty, and unemployment in India. The paper presents a few facts about the digital divide based on a global and United States perspective, its definition and types as global, regional, and national and societal implications. It highlights India in the context of the digital divide by discussing its infrastructural bottleneck that includes electricity, information technology penetration, tele-density, and Internet industry and its enabling policies to transform India as a knowledge society. It discusses various technology options for connectivity, such as terrestrial wireless, satellite, wire line, and so on and presents snapshots of select successful projects that made an impact in helping to bridge the digital divide in India, such as passenger reservations system, Akashganga, Akshaya e-centers, and the like. It concludes that creation of information and communication technologies infrastructure and content are the core methodologies and a national agenda on a C-8 thrust toward the following: connectivity provision, content creation, capacity augmentation, core technologies creation and exploitation, cost reduction, competence building, community participation, and commitment to the deprived and disadvantaged would definitely help in bridging the digital divide.
Telematics and Informatics, Vol 22, Issue 4, November 2005, 361–375