Rural Development

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Students’ Research Global Media Journal – Indian Edition/ISSN 2249-5835 Winter Issue / December 2011 Vol. 2/No.2

THE ICT IN AGRICUTTURE: BRIDGING BHARAT WITH INDIA
Anwesha Banerjee Trainee Teaching Associate, Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata; Worked as journalist in Anandabazar Patrika Email : anweshabanerjee2006@gmail.com

Abstract: Development Communication is relatively new in the study of mass communication, but the reach is much wider than its parent. In the end years of World War II, Development Communication emerged as a field as a combination of political and economic factors in Asia, Africa and South America namely the third world. From the ‘70s, however, development concept was refined and broadened through the addition of ecological dimensions and technology transfer. With the advent of globalization in 1990s, Development Communication has gone through a sea change; the effect was naturally felt in India, especially in the rural belt and more importantly in the agricultural sector. Never-seen-before initiatives were taken by governments, private players and in form of PublicPrivate Partnership to implement ICT model in interior areas. Sometimes, it is e-governance, sometimes e-commerce and sometimes e-education. Information and Communication Technology has played a significant role in developing the communication channels in the rural areas. Development Communication and its evolution in form of ICT have a positive impact on India. In my paper, I tend to focus on the state of rural development through ICT by way of examining ITC e-Choupal initiative, Kissan Kerala, Gyandoot and agropedia. How these initiatives transformed the agricultural scenario in the rural belt and what could be the way forward for ICT in giving shape to a new India would be discussed upon. Key Words: ICT, Alternative paradigm, agriculture, Indian village, development communication

Introduction

1

The contemporary period has come to be labelled variously as the „information age‟, the „communication age‟ and most recently, the „networking/cyber age‟. So in a nutshell, 21st century is the age of Information and Communication Technology. Based on the human relationship, communication theorists have developed various models like, Webel‟s Hypodermic Needle Theory or Transmission Belt Theory, which is more commonly known as Magic Bullet Theory. There are certain other theories like Psychological or Individual Difference Theory and Personal Influence Theory. What is Development Communication? Development as a whole is an integral value-added cultural process. It encompasses the natural environment, social relations, education, production, consumption and well-being. Development communication is mainly concerned with the role of information and communication in social and economic development of an individual, society and nation. According to Norah Quebral, “development communication is the art and science of human communication applied to the speedy transformation of a country and the mass of its people from poverty to the dynamic state of economic growth that makes possible greater social equality and larger fulfilment of human potential. The first predominant approach to the development communication was Dominant Paradigm, though it did not yield desired results. The failure of this approach gave birth to the participatory approach of development communication, known as Alternative Paradigm, which is the crux of the theory of ICT. In this new paradigm, the shift is towards the labour-intensive technology, decentralization and planning, which includes consideration of the endogenous factors of development. Some of the salient features of this Alternative Paradigm are:    Popular participation in decision-making by centralization, which suggests participation in the local level. The emphasis is on Bottom-up Approach (self-reliance, self-development, selfmanagement) in place of Top-down strategy. Society-specific models of...
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