What is the digital divide?
The digital divide can exist between those living in rural areas and those living in urban areas, between genders, between the educated and uneducated, between economic classes, and on a global scale between more and less industrially developed nations.
Status in India
- Although India has 220 million smartphone users and is the second largest smartphone market in the world, the overall penetration is still just about 30 percent of the population.
- There is a huge rural- urban and inter-state digital divide in India.
- According to statistics, more than 75 percent of the broadband connections in the country are in the top 30 cities.
- Similarly, many states like north-eastern states, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, Chhattisgarh and Assam lag behind other states.
Recently, the Supreme Court has flagged the consequences of the growing digital divide. It observed, the digital divide caused by online classes will defeat the fundamental right of every child to education
How have online classes impacted children?
- Little children whose parents are too poor to afford laptops, tablets or an “optimum” Internet package at home for online classes during the pandemic have dropped out of school and even run the danger of being drawn into child labour or worse, child trafficking.
- Even, the right to education has now hinged on who could afford “gadgets” for online classes and who could not.
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