Rural India is the most ignored yet rawest part of this country. As per data census, there are more than 600,000 villages in India and the development of these villages can bring about the overall development of our nation. This one reason is why rural development is an integral part of Government policies. It includes improvement in infrastructure, access to education, improvement in the standard of living, rural economic growth and provision of basic amenities. For all such kinds of progress, it is essential that the latest means of communication and up-to-date information on agriculture, innovations, health and hygiene should reach the villages. Hence, the role of communication and information technology is tremendous in the overall growth of rural India.
With accordance to the need and understanding of the villagers, a few essential initiatives like E-panchayat and E-Seva have been initiated to make their lives better.
In short, the role of technology is in solving problems for rural India.
The backbone of the rural economy is agriculture, which also provides sustenance to over half the country’s population. The scope of applying technology to both farm and non-farm activities in rural areas is vast, as there are numerous potential benefits.
In irrigated areas, managing the release and distribution of water is critical for maximum production. Urban power transmission systems use information and communication technologies to optimize and monitor the distribution of electricity.
In rain-fed areas, construction of bunds and check dams is essential. Choosing the right location for such water-harvesting structures can be greatly facilitated by using satellite remote sensing data, as pilot projects have already demonstrated. The simple technology for the pump to be automatically switched on when the power is available has helped increase efficiency and profits for the agricultural sector.
Technology has provided information related to commodity prices, transportation, agricultural practices, weather, etc. With the help of a kiosk or a mobile handset, technology handles it all.
Power is the key, and now technology is capable of providing reliable and comparatively low-cost power than before. While many technologies exist for water purification, fuel for cooking has drawn attention as an important problem.
At the same time, technological innovation in healthcare is the need of the hour. Telemedicine is the bridge the rural-urban gap. With internet penetration increasing in India, hospitals have started looking at online tools as a viable option. Technology-enabled healthcare solutions and disruptive technologies will show the way to improve patient care, and National E-health solutions are already progressing through the country.
Let’s take an example of Eruvaka Technologies, an organization based in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh. Its mission is to accelerate the use of technology in aquaculture, which is the rearing of aquatic fauna. It’s an area where farmers face problems due to the unavailability of adequate technologies to measure and control water health.
The technology is to help farmers monitor aquaculture ponds. Also, this technology helps in developing solar-powered floating buoys that measure different water parameters, such as oxygen levels, temperature, and pH range. This is crucial for the growth and preservation of fish and shrimp. The collected information is uploaded to the cloud and transmitted to individual customers through an Android app, SMS, voice call or the internet. Farmers can also remotely control automated equipment such as aerators and feeders.
Another magnificent effort is made by Skymet, India’s largest weather monitoring, and agri-risk Solutions Company launched to aid farmers. Skymet’s weather monitoring website offers services such as weather forecast, crop insurance, and agri-risk management. The website helps prepare farmers for drought or unseasonal rain and assists them in taking appropriate preventive measures and in predicting yield at the village level for any crop.
While technological advancements always leave us perplexed in the many realms they liaise with, rural India is embracing technology and progressing.