E-learning- IT& Rural applications
A learning system based on formalised teaching but with the help of electronic resources is known as E-learning. While teaching can be based in or out of the classrooms, the use of computers and the Internet forms the major component of E-learning. E-learning can also be termed as a network enabled transfer of skills and knowledge, and the delivery of education is made to a large number of recipients at the same or different times. Earlier, it was not accepted wholeheartedly as it was assumed that this system lacked the human element required in learning.
However, with the rapid progress in technology and the advancement in learning systems, it is now embraced by the masses. The introduction of computers was the basis of this revolution and with the passage of time, as we get hooked to smartphones, tablets, etc, these devices now have an importance place in the classrooms for learning. Books are gradually getting replaced by electronic educational materials like optical discs or pen drives. Knowledge can also be shared via the Internet, which is accessible 24/7, anywhere, anytime.
E-learning has proved to be the best means in the corporate sector, especially when training programs are conducted by MNCs for professionals across the globe and employees are able to acquire important skills while sitting in a board room, or by having seminars, which are conducted for employees of the same or the different organizations under one roof. The schools which use E-learning technologies are a step ahead of those which still have the traditional approach towards learning.
No doubt, it is equally important to take forward the concept of non-electronic teaching with the help of books and lectures, but the importance and effectiveness of technology-based learning cannot be taken lightly or ignored completely. It is believed that the human brain can easily remember and relate to what is seen and heard via moving pictures or videos. It has also been found that visuals, apart from holding the attention of the student, are also retained by the brain for longer periods. Various sectors, including agriculture, medicine, education, services, business, and government setups are adapting to the concept of E-learning which helps in the progress of a nation.
IT and rural applications
India is a country of villages and about 50% of the villages have very poor socio-economic conditions. Since the dawn of independence constant efforts have been made to emancipate the living standard of rural masses. The five-year plans of the central government also largely aim at Rural Development. The Ministry of Rural Development in India is the apex body for formulating policies, regulations and acts pertaining to the development of the rural sector. Agriculture, handicrafts, fisheries, poultry, and diary are the primary contributors to the rural business and economy.
Recent developments in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) have introduced a plethora of opportunities for development in every conceivable area. ICT as an enabler has broken all bounds of cost, distance and time. The fusion of computing and communications, especially through the internet has reduced the world indeed into global village creating new actors and new environments.
One of the major components and driving force of rural development is communication. Conventionally, communication includes electronic media, human communication & now information technology (IT). All forms of communications have dominated the development scene in which its persuasive role has been most dominant within the democratic political frame work of the country. Persuasive communication for rural development has been given highest priority for bringing about desirable social and behavioral change among the most vulnerable rural poor and women. Initially, the approach lacked gender sensitivity and empathy of the communicators and development agents who came from urban elite homes. Added to these constraints is political will that still influences the pace and progress of rural development. Technological changes further compounded the direction of rural development as information and communication technology (ICT) has been thought by communication and development workers as a panacea for other ills that obstructs the development process. It has lead to indiscriminate applications and use of ICT in every aspect of information dissemination, management & governance of development. While there are few shining examples of achievements of ICT in development, there are a large number of failures and unauthenticated claims.
The closing decade of twentieth century was the opening of historic information and communication technology interventions for development. This period has witnessed enormous and unprecedented changes in every aspect of communications technologies policies, infrastructure development and services. The ICT boom in India has already started changing the lives of Indian masses. The role of ICT in Rural Development must be viewed in this changing scenario.
ICT and e-Governance for Rural Development Several
states have initiated the creation of State Wide Area Networks (SWAN) to facilitate electronic access of the state and district administration services to the citizens in villages. The Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) are being increasingly used by the governments to deliver its services at the locations convenient to the citizens. The rural ICT applications attempt to offer the services of central agencies (like district administration, cooperative union, and state and central government departments) to the citizens at their village door steps. These applications utilize the ICT in offering improved and affordable connectivity and processing solutions.
Computerization of land records have been a great success in application of ICT in rural development. Land records are great importance to contemporary socio economic imperatives and their revision and updation are necessary for capturing the changes in rural social dynamics. Land records are an important part of rural development. The govt. of India started the centrally sponsored scheme of Computerization of Land Records (CoLR) in 1988-89 with main objectives of:
- Creating database of basic records
- Facilitating the issues of copies of records
- Reducing work load by elimination of drudgery of paper work
- Minimizing the possibilities manipulation of land records, and
- Creating a land management information system