ICTs and Development in India: Perspectives on the Rural Network Society

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Anthem Press, 2011 - Business & Economics - 215 pages
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'ICTs and Development in India' provides a critical account of the impact of the use of Information Technology in development projects in India, focusing particularly on E-governance and Information & Communication Technologies (ICT) development programs initiated by Civil Society Organizations (CSOs). Sreekumar challenges the conventional wisdom concerning the potential of ICT to provide unprecedented social and economic opportunities for vulnerable groups such as women and marginalized communities by highlighting its failure to bridge social divides. He argues that in addition to reinforcing existing social divides, the patterns of ICT deployment and control have in certain cases created new divides. Given such tensions and contradictions, this book questions whether it is appropriate to consider civil society as an independent realm of social action separated from State and Market.

Sreekumar offers a fresh perspective and added depth to the discussions on the social impacts of new technologies in rural areas, especially in terms of methods, analytics and approach. The recognition of the shortcomings of CSO initiatives plays an important part in redefining the role of civil society and understanding its fractured relations with the State and Market. Sreekumar therefore creates a powerful critique on the interpretation of agency and the structure of rural transformation as mediated by new technologies in the particular context of India's social and economic transition.

 

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Contents

Figures
22
Civil Society and CyberLibertarian Developmentalism
33
1 Protected by the caste Hindu Pantheon 4
42
3 Projections for TARAkendras 200242006
53
2 The Thirukanchi kiosk notice board displaying
57
4 Sustainability matrix of rural Internet kiosks
62
Decrypting EGovernance
67
1 Sectorwise installation of computers in India
69
2 IVRPs offline newspaper Namma ooru Seytii
113
6 Ideological milieu of civil societybased
120
Innovating for the Rural Network Society
125
1 ICT requirements of early CSO interventions
126
Comparison of
136
1 The hype cycle of innovations
143
3 Comparison of DECT PHS and CDMA
145
Critical Issues
151

1 Gyandoots promotional material showing
76
2 Gyandoots promotional material on how kiosks
84
Understanding the tales
86
1 Gyandoots promotional material offering small
103
1 Users of Gyandoot by gender and
105
2 Categories of users of knowledge centres
111
Technology and Sustainability
161
The Politics of Transformation
168
Notes
175
Bibliography
187
Index
207
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About the author (2011)

T. T. Sreekumar is currently Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences at the National University of Singapore. He holds an MPhil in Applied Economics from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and a PhD in Science, Technology & Society from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. He has published numerous articles in areas such as economic development, urbanization, social mobilization and social movements, social impacts of tourism, innovation systems and the social impact of ICTs.

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