ICT in Regional Development

ICT in Regional Development

Saundarjya Borbora (IIT Guwahati, India) and Mrinal Kanti Dutta (IIT Guwahati, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-949-6.ch005
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Economic development and information and communication technology (ICT) are found to move together in the present day era of globalization. ICT can contribute significantly in economic development of a region by providing adequate information at the minimum of time and cost, thereby enhancing productivity in different sectors of an economy. This fact is substantiated by several studies (Kraemer & Dedrick, 2001; Pohjola, 2001). Some country specific studies like that of Singapore (Wong, 2001) also highlighted similar results. ICT diffusion in the world has been quite rapid since the mid 1990s. While the developed countries have benefited substantially from the ICT growth, the developing countries could not reap similar benefits out of it which has resulted in emergence of a digital divide across the countries (Economist, 2000; Nkrumah, 2000; Norris, 2001). This divide is noticed not only across countries but also within a country and this is more prominent in developing economies like India. ICT diffusion is another area which needs more attention in India as it will lead to ICT access and application of ICT in real sectors to increase productivity and output. During the past one decade India has made rapid advances in ICT growth as reflected in the increase in the number of Internet connections and users. The growth of Internet connections and users in the country is shown in Table 1.

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