Role of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in rural development in India is quite appreciated. ICT has gained the status of infrastructure, and numerous approaches have been taken to exploit opportunities that ICT provides. Despite phenomenal changes in the policy level improvements in rural ICT infrastructure, digital divide has still remained a challenge for national policy makers, state agencies and service providers. Various agencies have piloted many projects showcasing usability of ICT at its core to extend services in the rural sector and address issues related to digital divide. Many of the pilot projects are being considered for scale up at the national level under National e-Governance Plan (NeGP). However, most of the projects have remained to be 'supply-driven' leaving much scope to transform them as 'citizen-centric'. Therefore, this limitation is an important dimension of the digital divide which needs attention of policy makers and implementers. In this book various dimensions of the citizen interfaces, opportunities to consider the demand of the rural citizen and status of the rural ICT infrastructure are discussed.
The contributions are drawn from field level experiences which include and focus on disparity in rural-urban ICT infrastructure, trends in spatial databases and GIS applications to appreciate the challenges of the digital divide that India faces. In addition, case studies like ITC's e-Choupal, Drishtee, Ahmedabad District Collectorate, Village Knowledge Centres, and e-Governance in Panchayats are discussed to comprehend the potential of interfacing successful citizen services with NeGP. The book will be useful for researchers, academia, ICT planners and policy makers, organizations engaged in e-Governance and civil society organizations.