Raktim Singh

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Digital Inclusion for Social Good

Digital Inclusion for Social Good

Digital technologies can help us to achieve lot of good things for society.

Technology has permeated all sectors, with industries recognizing its advantages. It aids companies in reducing costs and reaching new customers.

However, this technological advancement has also led to a societal rift, known as the digital divide. To fully harness the potential of technology, it’s crucial for all members of society to have equitable access and utilization.

Additionally, the utilization of technology provides numerous advantages to technologically adept clients. It enables them to purchase, sell, book tickets, and view videos in a personalized manner from any location in the world at any given moment.

Therefore, despite the appearance of a mutually beneficial arrangement, this results in a rift within society. However, the potential of technology to empower all members of society, regardless of their background, is immense. To fully harness this potential, all members of society must be able to utilize it equitably.

This implies that all members of society should be able to afford technology (i.e., purchase a relevant digital device and access the Internet), use a variety of Internet applications, and efficiently locate pertinent information.

Before proceeding, I am providing a list of specific terms and their definitions to facilitate our comprehension of this matter.

  1. Digital Divide: The disparity between individuals with access to affordable technology, the necessary skills, and support to engage online effectively and those without.
  2. Digital Inclusion: The Work: The activities required to guarantee that all individuals and communities, including the most disadvantaged and members of all genders, have access to and utilize Information and Communication Technology.
  3. The digital divide disproportionately impacts individuals of various genders, indigenous people, people with disabilities, those residing in rural areas, and elderly adults.
  4. Discrimination by internet service providers in the deployment, maintenance, or upgrade of infrastructure or service delivery is known as digital redlining.
  5. Current obstacles include the inability to afford affordable digital devices and lack of Internet access, Digital Literacy, Language Access, Fear and lack of trust, Jargon/too technical, Privacy and security concerns, geographical constraints, lack of motivation to use technology, and income levels.


An examination of the past:

When it became apparent that there was a substantial disparity between those with access to modern information and communication technology and those without, the pursuit of inclusion commenced in the 20th century.

The emergence of the Internet made addressing this divide more pressing, resulting in initiatives to bridge the disparity in access, skills, and opportunities.

Initiatives such as One Laptop per Child (OLPC), initiated in 2005 to distribute laptops to children in developing countries, are significant milestones. OLPC established the groundwork for comprehending the importance of digital literacy and hardware availability in the pursuit of digital inclusion.

In 2012, government-led initiatives, including India’s National Digital Literacy Mission, underscored the importance of policy frameworks in promoting literacy and accessibility. This highlights the crucial role of policymakers and technology companies in driving digital inclusion, inspiring them to take action.

Additionally, various nonprofit organizations (NGOs) and advocacy groups have emerged to advocate for the cause, emphasizing the significance of fostering inclusion.

Current Challanges:

Digital inclusion and digital literacy are frequently associated with poverty. Therefore, individuals cannot capitalize on various digital technologies and are not utilizing smartphones or smart devices, as they need more financial resources to purchase them or invest in the Internet.

Although this is partially accurate, we have a more significant issue. A substantial portion of the populace must be digitally literate even though they possess smartphones and can access the Internet.

Therefore, these are collections of individuals.

  1. Individuals who cannot afford smartphones and the Internet do not utilize them.
  2. Individuals who cannot afford smartphones or the Internet rely on the assistance of their peers and use them in restricted capacities.
  3. The Internet is accessible to individuals who possess a smartphone; however, they exclusively utilize it to consume content available on the Internet, to a certain extent.

Numerous professionals possess high-end smartphones and residential wi-fi but exclusively employ these devices for social media communication and video viewing. They should make an effort to explore the Internet’s additional capabilities.

This becomes crucial because, as the family’s leader, they are unaware of the numerous advantages of the Internet and cannot instruct or assist their family members or household staff, such as maidservants or chauffeurs.

I refer to this phenomenon as “Passive Digital Illiteracy.”

If the breadwinner of a family is a physician, it is not uncommon for a maidservant or chauffeur to seek advice from the physician in the event of an emergency.

However, the breadwinner of these households is unable to assist the chauffeur or maidservant of their residence despite using a phone and the Internet. This underscores the negative impact of digital illiteracy, making us realize the urgent need to address this issue.

Therefore, if the government has implemented a scheme to promote the welfare of women employed in the geo sector or, for example, an insurance scheme for drivers, the woman or driver cannot take advantage of the scheme’s benefits scheme’s benefits.

No one is permitted to disclose the strategies to them. Additionally, they must submit specific information online to participate in the program; however, they need to be provided with assistance. As previously stated, they typically contact their employer for assistance with any complex or ambiguous matters. However, the employer cannot offer assistance in these instances due to their lack of digital literacy.

A substantial portion of the population utilizes a variety of data accessible via the Internet. This is a one-way interaction. Many of these members have mastered the ability to engage in online chat and social media and view videos on social media.

However, there is no reciprocal communication. Two-way interaction refers to individuals’ capacity to engage with various applications. Several of the items may be

  1. Capacity to establish a registration ID and access an application.
  2. The capacity to generate and modify passwords at regular intervals or as frequently as necessary.
  3. Ability to implement the requisite software patches provided by APPs to protect the APP and the user from any security risks, data leaks, etc.
  4. Capacity to locate and retrieve pertinent information.
  5. The Internet is currently replete with a vast amount of content. The threat of false news and videos is perpetually present. Before taking any action, it is recommended that the information be verified using 2-3 applications.
  6. They need the capacity to verify that the application or website is what they were seeking. For instance, if a bank is known as ‘ABCD’ and its official website is www.ABCD.com. There may be websites with names such as www.ABED.com. It should be possible to differentiate between these two and prevent oneself from being deceived by questionable websites.


Benefits of digital inclusion: The importance of digital literacy.

This simplifies the consumer experience through the use of digital technologies and devices. Therefore, customers of a retailer that offers branded garments can browse the website’s catalog and place an order from any location.

The company can now reach more consumers through its website and the Internet. Establishing tangible stores in prime locations is unnecessary for the shop.

Even if it establishes a physical store, it doesn’t have to maintain an inventory of shirts in all conceivable colors, sizes, and styles. The company’s online catalog can display the entire inventory, and upon placing an order for a shirt, it can be dispatched directly from the inventory store to the customer’s residence.

The Internet makes online purchasing more convenient for customers, increasing the shop’s top and bottom lines.

This is also true of the government.

The ‘direct benefit transfer’ scheme is a worldwide government initiative to provide funds to legitimate beneficiaries. In the event of a flood, the government can transfer a certain sum to the residents of a particular geographic area.

Previously, the government disbursed funds through various agents; however, leakage resulted in only a specific percentage of the funds being allocated to the intended recipient. Technological advancements have enabled the true beneficiary to receive 100% of the intended amount, enabling the government to conserve the quantity of leakage.

Benefits of Increasing Digital Inclusion:

  1. Economic Empowerment:

They enhance inclusion, which results in increased opportunities. Individuals with the necessary skills can access job markets, engage in digital entrepreneurship, and partake in e-commerce, thereby contributing to the economic growth of the individual and the community.

  1. Enhanced Education Accessibility:

Digital inclusion facilitates access to resources. Educational applications, e-books, and online learning platforms are made available in underserved regions, thereby ensuring equal educational opportunities.

  1. Civic Engagement and Social Inclusion:

Society is promoted by digital inclusion. Promotes participation. Individuals can engage in political discourse by accessing government services, online communities, and media, eliminating barriers to inclusivity and representation.

Collaboration among governments, private entities, and local communities is necessary to enhance inclusion. It is an undertaking that necessitates the effort of a variety of stakeholders.

The historical context underscores the significance of promoting literacy and ensuring that technology is accessible to achieve inclusion.

It is imperative to implement strategies such as community-led literacy initiatives, device partnerships, and global connectivity projects. These actions illustrate a dedication to the comprehensive treatment of inclusion.

Technology continues to evolve, and it is imperative to establish an inclusive culture that accommodates a wide range of diverse requirements. The advantages of enhanced inclusion extend beyond empowerment; they also contribute to economic development, expanded educational opportunities, and broader social integration.

Societies can bridge the technological access divide and establish a more connected and equitable future by embracing solutions, fostering partnerships, and advocating for policies.

A diverse array of technologies and strategies are employed to enhance inclusion and guarantee that all individuals have access to digital tools and opportunities on a global scale. By analyzing these characteristics, we can better understand the evolving landscape of inclusion and the critical factors that facilitate positive change.

Methods for Enhancing Digital Inclusion:

To improve inclusion, it is necessary to

  1. Addressing a variety of factors, including the provision of technology access.
  2. Advancing digital literacy.
  3. Promoting a digital culture that is inclusive.

The objective is to equip individuals with the requisite skills and confidence to utilize digital tools effectively and provide them with the means to do so.

This can be accomplished through the following steps:

  1. Technology Accessibility:

The initial measure is to guarantee the reliability of technology. This encompasses initiatives such as providing low-cost devices, expanding internet infrastructure, and investigating solutions such as satellite-based internet connectivity for remote areas.

  1. Digital Literacy Programs:

Equipping individuals with the necessary skills to navigate the landscape is essential for promoting inclusivity. Participation in community-led initiatives that emphasize the acquisition of computer skills, internet usage, and critical thinking regarding information is indispensable. The primary considerations in developing these programs are the demographics and their distinctive learning requirements.

  1. Adaptive Technologies and Inclusive Design:

Inclusive design principles aim to develop tools and platforms that are accessible to all, including individuals with disabilities, acknowledging that various individuals require accessibility.

Additionally, the development of technologies such as voice-controlled interfaces and screen interpreters guarantees that digital experiences are designed to be inclusive.

  1. Regulatory Support and Policy Advocacy:

Governments and regulatory bodies influence the landscape of inclusion. Policies that mandate digital literacy education subsidize devices, and promote internet access contribute to the establishment of an environment in which all individuals can capitalize on digital inclusion.

  1. Private partnerships:

Collaborations between governments, private sector entities, and nonprofit organizations influence the promotion of digital inclusion. These partnerships foster innovation in the development of devices, the expansion of connectivity, and the scaling up of literacy promotion programs.

6. Can an online shop proprietor who experiences a rise in business through online commerce contribute a sum to a fund that can be used to promote digital literacy among the general public? The fund can be utilized to recruit instructors who will assist individuals from all income brackets in acquiring knowledge about the Internet and using various applications.

7. The government can now directly transfer funds to beneficiary accounts, thereby preserving the amount previously disclosed or taken by an intermediary. Therefore, they may allocate a portion of that sum to the fund in order to recruit additional instructors to instruct the general public on the use of digital applications. These instructors can assist government agencies in the development of APPs that are both user-friendly and straightforward.

8. Additionally, to enhance digital inclusion, it is imperative that we develop applications compatible with a variety of languages rather than relying solely on English. A more effective strategy would be for applications to integrate with voice. APPs should be capable of identifying a variety of languages and dialects spoken by members of that society in that scenario.

9. Assume that all individuals utilize digital media, including devices for communication, purchasing, selling, scheduling appointments with specialists such as doctors and attorneys, and digital media for prescriptions and legal advice. In that event, it will ultimately contribute to the development of big data for that society.

After the users have consented, the data can be processed to gain insight into society’s various issues and constraints.

  1. I am aware of certain apartments where the management council of the apartment residents has elected to install IoT devices in close proximity to the society’s water reservoir. This has facilitated the identification of a breach in one of the residences in the apartment complex, resulting in substantial savings in both water and money.

Similarly, installing CC TVs and cameras enhanced security and, in one instance, recovered a lost purse.

  1. In addition to these, it is imperative that we provide the following: affordable Internet, appropriate devices, digital literacy training, availability in vernacular languages, welcoming and user-friendly interfaces, and sandboxes for trial.
  2. Empowering Local Communities through Digital Literacy:

Engaging communities in literacy programs provides individuals with essential digital skills and fosters a sense of collective responsibility. These community-led initiatives are intended to address the requirements and challenges of populations, thereby facilitating digital inclusion through collaboration.

  1. Device Collaboration:

The development of affordable and accessible digital devices is being driven by the collaboration of technology companies with nonprofit organizations. This encompasses low-cost smartphones as adaptive technologies for individuals with disabilities. The objective is to ensure that technology is accessible to all individuals, thereby addressing the infrastructure component of inclusion.

  1. Global Connectivity Initiatives for the Removal of Geographical Barriers:

Ambitious initiatives prioritizing expanding internet connectivity, including satellite-based internet services and high-altitude aircraft providing internet access to remote regions, demonstrate innovative strategies for surmounting geographical constraints. These initiatives are designed to guarantee that digital inclusion is unrestricted, extending to the most underprivileged areas.

By adopting these strategies, we can strive to enhance inclusion and establish an inclusive world with equal access to technology and its advantages.

In our increasingly interconnected world, there is a growing concern about enhancing inclusion. Inclusivity is designed to guarantee that all individuals, irrespective of their socioeconomic status or geographic location, have equal access to, utilization of, and advantages from digital technologies.

Additional Innovative Methods to Enhance Digital Inclusion:

  1. Digital Literacy Gamification:

Specific programs employ gamification techniques to enhance digital literacy and make learning more interactive and engaging. By integrating game elements into the learning process, these platforms strengthen the enjoyment of skill development for younger demographics. Consequently, a more significant number of individuals are actively engaged in literacy-enhancing initiatives.

  1. Apps for Learning on Mobile Devices:

Mobile-based learning applications have emerged as instruments for fostering digital inclusion by capitalizing on the widespread use of devices. These applications enable users to improve their digital abilities at their convenience by providing access to content on the go. Community wi-fi Initiatives;

Communities are increasingly establishing and operating their wi-fi networks, referred to as “community-driven wi-fi initiatives.” These initiatives empower communities to regulate their connectivity, fostering self-reliance and decreasing their reliance on Internet service providers.

Additional Key Features for Digital Inclusion:

  1. Adopting Universal Design Principles:

Universal design is dedicated to developing environments accessible to individuals of all backgrounds and abilities. By employing design principles, we can guarantee that digital tools are accessible to all individuals, irrespective of their technological proficiency, age, or disabilities.

  1. Improving Device Accessibility and Cost:

It is imperative to increase the affordability and accessibility of devices to enhance inclusion. This encompasses the development of low-cost smartphones and adaptive technologies for individuals with disabilities as part of initiatives to refurbish and disseminate used devices to underserved communities.

  1. Digital Literacy Programs to Empower Communities:

Digital literacy programs that are managed by the community are instrumental in the development of digital skills. These initiatives are intended to promote collective learning and collaboration while simultaneously meeting the requirements of communities.

  1. The Promotion of Inclusive Internet Connectivity Solutions:

Innovative internet connectivity solutions, such as satellite-based internet services and community Wi initiatives, aim to surmount obstacles and offer inclusive connectivity solutions.

These solutions aim to address the issue of providing internet access to marginalized areas, thereby enabling a greater number of individuals to engage with the world.

Critical Technologies for the Improvement of Digital Inclusion:

  1. Augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR):

AR/VR technologies have the potential to enhance inclusion by providing learning experiences. These technologies could also establish classrooms and training programs, thereby increasing the accessibility and engagement of education.

  1. 5G Technology:

5G technology deployment positively impacts internet bandwidth and connectivity, which is advantageous for inclusion initiatives. Accessing resources and services becomes more efficient, particularly in regions with inadequate infrastructure, due to more consistent internet connections.

  1. Artificial Intelligence for Accessibility:

AI is being utilized more frequently to create product accessibility features. The efficacy of AI-powered voice recognition, text-to-speech, and image recognition is improved for individuals with disabilities. This enhances the digital environment.

In addition, the Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data are significant in this context.

Examples of Enhancing Digital Inclusion:

  1. Mobile-Based Learning Applications for Digital Literacy:

Mobile-based learning applications facilitate the acquisition of skills like that of a tutor. These applications facilitate the process of acquiring the ability to navigate the world.

These applications provide tutorials, quizzes, and lessons, allowing users to enhance their abilities at their tempo. It is akin to possessing a guide in the palm of your hand.

  1. Community wi-fi initiatives can be likened to constructing digital bridges connecting communities. Similar to how physical bridges unite people, these initiatives facilitate a sense of inclusivity and connection by connecting individuals to the resources available on the Internet.
  2. In the same way that the printing press democratized access to information in the past, affordable and accessible instruments serve as tools for equality. By making devices accessible to a population, people from communities can partake in the digital era and have an equal footing.

These sectors are implementing the utilization of advancements in inclusion.

  1. Education:

The education sector is utilizing initiatives in inclusion to revolutionize the learning experience. Many learners can now access education more easily through online educational platforms, digital textbooks, and interactive learning materials.

  1. Medical Care:

By facilitating consultations, telemedicine services, and digital health records, digital inclusion revolutionizes healthcare. Improved healthcare outcomes are achieved when individuals residing in marginalized areas have access to healthcare information and services online.

  1. Financial services that promote financial inclusion:

Access to banking services is being broadened by the financial sector’s adoption of inclusion. Digital payment solutions, inclusive financial technologies, and mobile banking applications empower individuals previously excluded from banking systems.

In conclusion,

Collaboration, innovation, and a steadfast dedication to inclusivity are essential to enhancing inclusion.

Inclusion encompasses principles such as affordable devices, community-driven programs, and design. These components are essential for establishing an interconnected society.

Technological advancements such as augmented reality (AR/VR), 5G networks, and artificial intelligence (AI) considerably improve inclusion.

They enhance the quality of life by facilitating connectivity and accessibility. For example, the influence of these endeavors is illustrated by affordable devices, community wi-fi initiatives, and mobile-based learning applications.

Prominent organizations are spearheading inclusion. They acknowledge their obligation to guarantee that technology benefits all individuals. This dedication extends across industries, including financial services, healthcare, and education. Advancements in inclusion are revolutionizing the manner in which individuals access information, services, and opportunities.

We must remain dedicated to inclusivity as we advance along this path of inclusion. The benefits of age must be extended to all regions of the globe. Ultimately, pursuing enhanced inclusion is a fundamental step toward establishing a more interconnected and equitable world, transcending technological pursuits.

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