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DIGITAL LITERACY AND ITS SOCIAL IMPACT By Jitumoni Das

DIGITAL LITERACY & ITS SOCIAL IMPACT
DIGITAL LITERACY AND ITS SOCIAL IMPACT By Jitumoni Das
DIGITAL LITERACY & ITS SOCIAL IMPACT
Jitumoni Das 
Librarian,CIHCS
Abstract
Digital Literacy is way of living in today’s society. People are to be digitally literate for getting things done in each & every sector of living. Keeping in mind the same, various initiatives are being introduced & implemented by the Govt. also. Digitally literate is to be one of the integral components of life of every citizen. Empowerment in digital literacy for every section of life is the prime concern so far as digital India programme is concerned. However in earlier days a small section of people are already become digitally literate. But with the introduction of various developments in ICT and its wide use, at the same time the introduction of demonetization & other initiatives by the present Govt. it has become necessary for all section of the People. This paper is trying to focus on digital literacy and its use in our day to day life.
Keywords :Digital,literacy,empowerment.
Introduction:
Digital literacy as a concept of newly emerged information society is very familiar to all who are well versed with digitization & computerization. Literacy itself is a term used to mean ability to read & write. It is a comprehensive term includes every aspect of learning, education & reading/writing skills. While the term digital used to mean the information (broad sense) that are represented & readable in a computer. Both these two term represents its own meaning & collectively represents the idea of ability to learn by using computer. Digital Literacy is the ability to understand & use information  in multiple formats from a wide range of sources when it is presented via computer. The concept of literacy goes beyond simply being able to read; it has always meant the ability to read with meaning.
Impacts & Use of Digital Literacy:
Urbanization & the progress in technology over the past two/three centuries have meant that the flow of ideas & sharing of information can now be done much more quickly. This has led to the rise of knowledge economy. E-mail, www, Face book,  Twitter, you tube all speak to digital literacy leading to greater global participation in literacy. Digital literacy creates the potential for global access to knowledge & has a direct effect on a country’s economy. Lank shear &Knobel (2008) stated that Blogs, Video Games, Text Messages, Online Social Network pages, Discussion Forum, Internet memes, FAQs, Online search results & so on are used for social purposes. These types of texts allow people from different places & purposes to access the same content. By promoting the knowledge –enabled population & protecting them against all antisocial activities by ensuring their socio-economic mobility, social peace & progress in the society. It was in the seventies when two people could exchange messages via e-mail. In the late nineties, several other developments like website creation, blogging, social sites generation were seen. Thus the new link between technology & humans was seen via the internet. In the later half of the first decade of 21st century, some significant developments have made our life much easier; the development of ‘app’ can be called a major outcome of all this. The apps can be categorized as communication, social networking, educational, travel & tourism, shopping, tools, media & video, news & magazines, health etc. The numbers of users are signifying the popularity or how useful the app is to the common people. In India the communication based apps top the list of most used apps.Acc.to survey,32 apps are installed in a cell phone on an average basis. 
               In dealing with their social impact, the apps can influence the Indian Life in tremendous way. The communication apps become popular after the development of Whatsapp. Apart from this the Gmail Messanger, Hangout, Hike Messenger, Trucaller, Imo etc. have come up with unique features in different sectors. Influencing the common people with their low data consumption, faster exchange of media and documents, text messaging service, video calling etc. the communication based apps have transformed our life into a global village. Even public service sectors have been using communication based apps while performing any civic as well as social task. While apps in the media & video category are considered, YouTube is the sole king, as this app has become the best destination for producers and artists to gain high public reach. Apart from YouTube apps like Hotstar, JioTV have led the entertainment industry to a new direction. Face book with its billions of users across the globe making India socially connected is seen dominating the world in all major sectors. The importance of apps is always prioritized by the people. In this category Google+ is the second most used app by Indians after Face book. Although Books are regarded as mans best friend ; the technological dominance over knowledge exchange has led to the development of a new reading habit. The launch of Kindle in a joint venture with Amazone is a prime example. Some other apps like EPub, Instascribe has also motivated book lovers to gain knowledge. India is one of the chief destinations of app developers in the travel & tourism sector. The developments of apps like Uber, Meru, Ola, Make my Trip, etc have been credited in making the nation run in its own will. Providing efficient service in time, digital as well as cash payments are the reasons responsible for the soaring popularity of the apps. Moreover the efficient management of time by the use of such apps has extracted our lives from the conventional ways of booking our journey tickets. In the e-commerce sector, as per data obtained from online surveys, around 50 percent of Smartphone users in India use a shopping app every day. The higher order of flexibility in the business environment provided by e-commerce giants like Amazone, Flipkart, Snap deal, PayTM,Homeshop18,Myntra, Shopclues, Jabong, eBay, Oix, etc. has brought some remarkable changes. 
              The e-commerce apps have led to decline in the conventional marketing environment by reducing customers in the shops. Newspapers play a vital role in democratic set-up like India. In this country, almost all the major newspapers release their top stories via apps. The Indian Express, The Hindu, Daily Hunt are the ones which are credited in this regard to the creation of app-based newspapers in this country. Being highly user-friendly in nature, all the apps in this field play an important role in spreading news of all types. in due course of time ,Govt. of India as well as state Govt. have shown interest in gracing this country with the blessings of technology. Apps like MyGov (MyGov india) MEAIndia (Ministry of External Affairs of GOI), IRCTC Connect, Incredible India(Ministry of of Tourism) ,mPassport Seva (Consular, Passport and Visa)RTI India, etc. are the most used apps by Indian Citizens to maintain Public-Govt relationship. The apps like State Bank Anywhere (StateBank), Cent Mobile (Central Bank), iMobile (ICICI Bank),M-CONNECT(Bank of Baroda) are the dominating apps in the banking Sector. By easing the banking process, along with a higher order of security, the apps have provided the Indian Banking system a new dimension. To make the women of the country feel safe and empowered ,app developers have created apps like SOS-Stay Safe, Eye watch Woman,VithU,I’mShakti,Nirbhaya,Smart24X7,etc.These apps safeguard the woman by sending their locations to the nearest police stations, pre-designated contacts, etc. by simply clicking or checking the cell phones. Most of these applications are well connected to the GPS system to track the victim and to rescue them as early as possible.
Government Initiatives:
The Digital India Campaign launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on July 11,2015.The Govt.of India wants to ensure that the Govt.services are made available to citizens electronically by improved online infrastructure increasing internet connectivity so that every Indian becomes digitally empowered. This Initiative aims to connect rural areas with high speed internet connection. The creation of digital infrastructure ,delivery of services digitally and digital literacy-these are the three core components of Digital India.The Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana has also come under the realm of Digital India. The initiative of Assam Govt.is also very good achieving 100% success in implementing the Jan Dhan Yojana. Assam Govt. has developed an e- wallet’tokapoisa.in’is designed to handle multitude of payment systems and will address the complexity of various departments, unique requirements and ease of citizens,all in one application enabling the Govt to count the cash at any moment of time 24x7.,The BSNL is in the process of extending the National Fibre Network to all the Gaon Panchayats (GPs) in the country. In Assam approx. 1000GPs have been covered in the first phase with 100Mbps internet bandwith available in each terminal. The Khetri GP in Assam is the first Digital Gaon Panchayat with Wi Fi connectivity, using latest GPON(FTH) technology. Internet Access, e-commerce, internet telephony, CCTV surveillance, video calling ,internet radio, digital classroom, weather stations are few possible uses in Khetri GP. To make the villagers of the internet technologies,20 people have been selected as village resource persons. These youths are trained in the panchayat computer training centres by Amtron Engineers. The Common service Centres are also working in Assam to help the rural people. Making one person in every family digitally literate is one of the integral components of the prime ministers Digital India Programme. In this connection
,the Govt. of India has initiated the Digital Saksharata Abhiyan(DISA) or National Digital Literacy Mission(NDLM) .In alignment of this mission ,Assam has envisioned DISA to be implemented in Assam to bring digital literacy to to every household. Assam Govt, has started Chief Ministers Digital Literacy Programme. This programme will provide digital literacy training to 25 lakh people ,one per thousand in all the gaon panchayats in Assam.The major threat to digital literacy is the Cyber Security threats. While in the another side digital literacy will provide tremendous benefits to all the citizens.
Conclusion:
Digital literacy as we come to know that its impact is to be recognized by all in a very positive way. It will help us in getting a Good Governance, getting things done easily, decreasing documentation, creating lots of jobs, boost to industry, decreasing crime, corruption, creating transparency etc & we all are to contribute a lot to make India as a superpower. The major threat of Cyber Security may be tackled with applying various ways among the nations as advised by the Cyber Security experts. The next generation computers are going to be hack-proof as the scientists have built the same. Full implementation of Govt. initiatives will surely make 100% digital literacy in our country.

References:
1. Deka Jitendra (2017,January 20). All about apps. The Assam Tribune Horizon,1.
2. Digitalindia.gov.in
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