Digital Literacy: How Prepared Is India to Embrace It?

Digital Literacy: How Prepared Is India to Embrace It?

Amit Singh Khokhar (Department of Economics, Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), New Delhi, India)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 12
DOI: 10.4018/IJDLDC.2016070101
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India is in the midst of great demographic and technological transformation. The country is expected to be the home to largest working age population in the world by the next twenty years. It needs to embrace digital literacy to address the rising demand for jobs. It will help to raise productivity as well as create inclusive growth. The present study discusses the concept of digital literacy around the globe. It further identifies the challenges and opportunities for digital literacy in India. The study finds that persistent barriers like illiteracy, poverty, under developed infrastructure and poor awareness of technology restrain the growth of digital literacy in India. The expansion of digital technology spotted through rise in internet and mobile subscription in recent years has generated hope but, concerted efforts at multi agency levels are required to sustain this momentum.
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Literature Review

Digital literacy received attention as soon as the computer became part of global business and educational culture (Dobson and Wilinsky, 2009). Those who were able to interact with this new technology were considered smart citizens. Although, the term ‘digital literacy’ existed previously to Gilster (1997), the study is still credited for initiating formal discussion on it. The study lacked concise definition of digital literacy and did not have sufficient academic impact. The term digital literacy got much popularity by the first decade of the twenty first century. The concern for digital literacy emerged when the spread of information technology was restrained to limited individuals/groups. OECD (2001) formally recognised the ensuing digital divide and stressed for containing it. Since then there has been continuous debate on need for digital literacy and methods of bridging the digital divide.

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