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A Study to Examine the Digital Divide Factors: Jammu and Kashmir Perspective

Author(s): Preeti Dubey | JeevanJyoti | Devanand

Journal: BVICAM's International Journal of Information Technology
ISSN 0973-5658

Volume: 3;
Issue: 2;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: ICT | Digital Divide | Internet | Community Information Centers | Common Service Centers.

Digital divide refers to a substantial asymmetry between twoor more populations in the distribution and effective use ofinformation and communication resources. Despite the boomin the availability of access to communication resources sincethe beginning of the 1990s, the divide is deepening and thedifferences in the usage of communication resources betweencountries and regions intensifying. Even though the ruralareas have benefitted to some extent from the boom in accessto communication resources, the regional divide is morepronounced within the developing countries. Factorsinfluencing digital divide vary from region to region. In anattempt to find the factors responsible for the digital divide inJammu and Kashmir region, a pilot survey was conducted.This paper reports on the results of this pilot study. The studywas conducted by floating questionnaires and by interviewingpeople of rural as well as urban areas. Questions were relatedto internet access, its usage, problems faced in its use etc. Onanalysis of data, many other observations other than thedigital divide factors have been reported. It was found duringthe study that the government is providing facilities forinternet access but awareness of these initiatives is stilllacking. People residing in rural areas are hesitant to useinternet due to lack of English language proficiency. Thispaper is a result of the pilot survey to examine the factorsresponsible for the regional digital divide and will help insuggesting methods to bridge this divide.

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