Information and communication technology (ICT) devices have penetrated many areas of business, government and society, to the extent that they appear to be all pervasive. Governments of most developing countries are promoting ICT penetration with the aim of achieving economic development. In India the ICT efforts range from enabling online filing of taxes for businesses to providing healthcare facilities to remote rural regions. Many of these projects are hugely successful, while others have met with failures, either from lack of participation or from implementation challenges. But, overall these projects present unprecedented opportunities for social and economic development, entrepreneurship, market development, and governance reform.
This course will explore various dimensions of ICT and development with a particular emphasis on the Indian context. Some questions that will be explored are: What are the main ICT artifacts relevant for development? What is development? What are the various contending ideas of development? What is Sen's notion of development and what is its relevance for India? Has ICT contributed to development and poverty alleviation? What is the evidence? How can ICT be used for development goals like health, education, governance transparency, market participation and protective security? How do specific technologies like telecentres/kiosks, mobile phones, blockchain, Internet-of-Things and open source software contribute to development projects?