Digital India initiative has three core components. The creation of digital infrastructure, delivery of services digitally and digital literacy. Digital Infrastructure will make cities connected and richer network infrastructure would mean better bandwidths. Delivery of services digitally would mean paperless transactions, cloud computing and digitally stored transactions which will make life easier. Digital literacy would promise digital awareness and education for all so that the infrastructure created by Digital India can be used by one and all. A question asked on women empowerment at the Facebook discussion set me thinking as to how can Digital India impact public in general and women in particular? I am a strong believer of Digital Technology and its power and hence public at large will greatly benefit because Digital is the new Equalizer. Now the big question is how is it going to help women at large? So here are my thoughts:
This is one of the core components of the Digital India program. Women will have to educated and trained in using Internet and Applications. Digital literacy will give push to women empowerment by equipping them with the best possible resources in the digital world accompanied with the skill set to use it. This means GOI will have to plan a roadmap to reach all women in this country by partnering with educational and training institutes to achieve digital literacy among women. The day all women will be able to access digital lockers, bank accounts, ecommerce and the likes we will see women powered through technology at their finger tips.
Digital is the new Equalizer
Hobbies To Profession
Women empowerment will be truly achieved only when they will become financially independent and contribute to the economic growth of their family. Digital infrastructure will give ample opportunity to women to use various audio-visual platforms available on the internet to convert their hobbies into profession. Right from cookery shows to crochet to painting to artwork anything and everything can be learnt, bought and sold on digital platforms. This will especially help rural women who have a lot of talent but lack the knowledge to market and sell their products and Digital India will give them a platform to do so. Helping Women Go Online - A Google India initiative is already doing good work in this space of making learning internet easier for women so that their hobbies can be converted into profession and thereby revenue.
Right from cookery shows to crochet to painting to artwork anything and everything can be learnt, bought and sold on digital platforms
The Social in Digital has a lot of promise of connecting people, networking opportunities, learning from domain experts and so on! The social connect that Digital India will provide has immense potential for women. Working women suffer from time poverty and this is where social media will make a lot of difference to the quality of their connections. For homemakers it's even better because they will never be out of touch with their friends and peers due to social media. Social connect will lead to better communities and conversations.
Working women suffer from time poverty and this is where social media will make a lot of difference to the quality of their connections
Part Time Careers
India is a country that has no space for people wanting to work part time or out of home. There are many women ready to work part time but unfortunately it's a skewed demand-supply situation. Digital India will create a lot of infrastructure and possibilities for women aiming at a part time work career. Digital documents, digital lockers, cloud computing and video conferencing will make working from home or working part time a reality. Digital India will improve the bandwidths to such an extent that it will be possible for women to work from any corner of the country. This will give a great push to women wanting to business from home as they can easily set up a digital store and establish their own business with limited investments.
Digital India is going to prove to be a blessing for work life balance especially for women professionals.
Work Life Balance
Digital India is going to prove to be a blessing for work life balance especially for women professionals. Remote access to work stations, digital lockers, cloud computing, digital infrastructure across country and so on is going to make work lives easier and help women prioritize as to where their physical presence is needed by being digitally present from anywhere. In US we have seen working women logging into their work stations and meetings while looking after their infant at home. If Digital India dream comes true I see a lot of work flexibility becoming a reality which for career women is going to be a blessing!
By Special Invite
Dr. Falguni Vasavada is an Associate Professor, Marketing Area at MICA. She is a double gold medalist with 17 years of teaching experience in the area of Marketing and Advertising. Since 2004, she is working in the Marketing Academic Area at MICA (Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad). Her Ph.D. is in the area of advertising. At MICA, she is involved in teaching, research and is Chairperson, Online Programs.