Post Mortem

The existing digital inequality with special reference to Nagaland

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 11/24/2020 12:19:02 PM IST

 The prospect of digital literacy is high. The masses oblivious of the implications of the digital use in this contemporaneous era will manifest themselves as being socially outcaste. The survival of the fittest is either we draw our attention explicit to the current digital life or less becomes a prey in the hands of the hungry lion.

The late 1980s has been a crucial time where technology started to exist to surprise the sleeping world. A meagre 1 percent of the technologically stored information was in digital format and the insensibility to get the picture that this value of 1 percent will hit the masses in the 2020s with almost 99 percent of the information being stored in digital format. 

No wonder Digital revolution will bring itself a form of inequality thereby disastrously inflicting the masses with the poor and the illiterate the gist victim and a more handful of literate with less knowledge of its versatile use. 

The pros of the digital literacy stands more of infinite however to tackle the cons existing and prevailing, the need of the hour is better infrastructure with the availability of considerable mobile towers, the internet expedites etc with quality education on digital use. 

India regarded as one of the most internet users with over 560 million and counting and regarded as the second largest online market in the world and yet the other side of the coin picth a different story. Millions still suffer due to infrastructure inaccessibility. The rural areas are worst hit. The Bharat Net programme came as a flabbergast pack to get internet access all across the country and people were sound rejoicing but the fiasco to uplift the project missed all its deadline while the costs involved doubled. Simultaneously National Literacy Mission has barely touched 2 percent of the population and has been wrestling for funds.

Article 21, Article 38(2) and 39 of the Indian constitution provides provision for the right to internet access without inequality thereby proceeds to achieve digital literacy. However these provision has merely become more of a blank paper with nothing to script. In order to restart the archaic engine, the government should start accelerating so as to revamp the scheme and resources meant to promote digital literacy and internet access. The more procrastination will rust off the metal engine if kept undetermined for a longer period. 

The campaign for equity internet access and digital literacy should also be promoted as acknowledged in SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) as well as Digital Mission 2015.

Nagaland Context: Lack of proper interest access and digital inequality is presently unprecedented in our Naga society with masses ignorant of venturing or adapting to new things. The poor infrastructure is the major Achilles heel with hardly any or more or less mobile tower hanging in our locality like a futile tree with a sign job done however in reality the towers are visualized as alienated and without care.

The Bharat Net programme and Digital Mission which vow to bring the rural sector on the par with urban level in digital sector looks not so promising for the Nagas stationed in rural and village sector. Forget about bringing downwards to the Village level it is unequivocally clear that towns suffers the most with infrastructure deficiency.

The online trend surprisingly came as a shock to the people who never realized until lockdown knocks its door. Everything started to go online with office works, business management, health,exams and so forth. The disaster then incepted like a roaring volcano when better internet access was not available tagged with lack of digital literacy. People angered and clamoured for better internet access yet the cry was heard meagre. As a result digital Inequality persists where social and economic backwardness exacerbated due to information poverty, lack of infrastructure and lack of digital literacy.

This ultimately is worrisome where internet access and digital literacy today paves the way people work, collaborate, consume information and entertain themselves. It’s time the Government grabs the gear and takes serious note of the prevailing situation and takes measures wherever requisite for a better tomorrow.

Tokato K Sumi, 

PR Hill Kohima

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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