CCT AND THE DIGITAL DIVIDE
From a relatively slow-changing, multi-structured society where many disparities co-existed, India is now passing through a period of transition. At such times there is a lot of pressure on society to become homogeneous. That is when the inequities between different sections become all the more evident.
One such inequality, called the digital divide, separates those who have access to the digital world (computers and related technologies) from those who do not have this access. While one section of young people may have access to CCT at home, at school and in their mobile phones, the majority may get a chance to experience CCT only occasionally. It is obvious that the ones with the advantage will keep up with the technological growth while the others would keep falling further behind in terms of information access.
This divide could cause strain, even conflict, in society. However, the tension can be eased:
• if everyone knows what they can get out of CCT,
• if we can cut the costs of access,
• if there are enough public Internet facilities available, and
• if enough sites in Indian languages come up.
We may see a great knowledge revolution in our own lifetime. Access to the global network in particular and acquaintance with communication network may help us realise a new kind of freedom – to think independently, collaborate with others to solve common problems, to realise what we want and need for ourselves and not what uptill now someone else thought was good for us.