Digitalization of Rural Areas

Digitalization of rural areas

According to a survey with more than 600 million internets users ,india is one of the largets and fastest growing digital markets in the world for digital consumers. however most of the users are from urban area hence we can say that urban india is the reason behind this substantial growth.
But with government’s push towards financial inclusion rural india have also started embracing digital economy.

It is estimated that about 66% of India’s population is rural which contributes 46 percent of the total income of the nation.
As per the recent TRAI reports internet user account of rural india has increased from 32 percent in 2017 to 38 percent in 2020.
Despite the growing number of users ,there is still a wide Digital gap between urban and rural area.
This gap mainly stems from two factors –

  1. Lack of infrastructure
  2. Lack of awareness

To reduce the gap between urban and rural india and to improve digital infrastructure in country especially in rural india “Digital India” programme was launched by the indian government.
Under this programme many initiatives were taken to boost rural digital infrastructure.some of them are listed as follows :-

1.Bharatnet :-
Aims to provide broadband acces to iver 250,000 gram panchayat with help of a network of optical fibre

2.Common Service Centres :-
Centres through which e- governance and other related services will be made available in villages

3.Universal access to mobile :-
Aims to provide mobile coverage to more than 55600 villages which do not have network coverage

  1. Digitization of post offices :-
    As the name suggests it aims to digitise poat office along with setting up of network centres, networking of all post offices and enabling digital payments

Steps taken to spread awareness :-

Under the ” digital india ” , ” Pradhan mantri gramin digital saksharta abhiyan ” was launced to spread digital awareness among the rural people.

The main aim of this abhiyan was to make 6 crores of people residing in rural villages digitally literate.These steps are supposed to have a positive impact on the society.

With digitization many sectors started developing and earning more profits.two of the sectors which were stated to benefit from digitization are
1.Agriculture sector
2.Financial sector

Agriculture sector :- Being one of the major sectors of this nation, agriculture accounts for almost 50 percent of the tital workforce and 18 percent of the GDP.Despite significant contribution ,indian agriculture is mostly dependent on human labour and rainfall unlike developed countries that rely on highly mechanized farming techniques.
Realising the need of the hour,Indian government has launched the ‘Kisan Suvidha’ app whichassists farmers with relevant information on the weather of the current day and next five days, market prices, dealers, agro advisories, and plant protection.
Start-ups like SatSure, CropIn, Niruthi, AgRisk etcetra aling with the digital government programmes help the farmers in sowing and crop monitoring, capturing and analyzing various data points, including crop, soil, and weather data which assist in decision making and easy acces to crop insurance other facilities.

Financial sector :-
Just like the agriculture sector ,the rural financial sector is also on the cusp of digital revolution.over last few years many financial initiatives have been rolled out.
Few of them are :-

  1. Aadhaar :-
    A unique biometric identification
  2. Jan dhan savings bank accounts transfer of social benefit payments

4.BHIM :-
the digital payment infrastructure

These initiatives taken by the indian government has resulted in increase of banking penetration from 54 percent in 2014 to 80 percent in 2018.

Increase in banking penetration presents a significant opportunity for the start-ups , financial product space etc.
For Example,Start-ups like Jai Kisan and FIA technology are bridging the digital gap in rural India by offering financial products and services.
These initiatives by the government and the effort from the private sector l

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