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Vast “digital divide” exists among states: Assocham

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New Delhi: There exists a stark “digital divide” among states, with Delhi having the highest score of 238 percent while Bihar and Assam lag behind at around 55 percent, the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Assocham) said on Sunday, on the basis of “tele-density” or telephone connections for every 100 individuals.

India may have achieved a significant success in reaching the number of telephone subscribers to over one billion, but the tele-density data points to a stark ‘Digital Divide’ with large populations in Bihar, Assam, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh still being deprived to communicate with the rest of the country,

The digital divide is clearly visible between different states with some of the eastern states not finding favour with the telecom service providers. The reasons may vary from the lack of infrastructure like power availability to even indifference in terms of business opportunities,” it added.

Compared to the national tele-density of 81.82 percent, the figure for Bihar is 54.25 percent, Assam 55.76 percent, Madhya Pradesh 62.33 percent and Uttar Pradesh 62.74 percent, the report said.

On the other end, while the tele-density in Delhi is over 238 percent, that of Himachal Pradesh is 123.19 percent. Other states figuring higher on the tele-density scale are Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Karnataka and Kerala.

Assocham said the central government along with the states should double their efforts to ensure that both state-run BSNL, as well as private telecom service providers, should reach the states with low tele-density, otherwise the digital divide could widen.

(Inputs from IANS)

(Picture courtesy: www.dawn.com)

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A welcome step for women empowerment laws, soon to be introduced law will help to prevent women’s abuse in NRI marriages: Rakesh Srivastava

Rakesh Srivastava talked about increasing women employment, equal work participation, and gender equality

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A soon to be introduced law will help in women empowerment as it will prevent women’s abuse in NRI marriages
A soon to be introduced law will help in women empowerment as it will prevent women’s abuse in NRI marriages. Pixabay
  • Efforts are required for training and skill up-gradation of women in traditional, new and emerging areas to promote women’s employment
  • In November the government will honor 100 women achievers
  • Gender Equality is still not reflected in ‘participation in economic activities’ which is not a good thing for women empowerment

New Delhi (India), September 7, 2017: Rakesh Srivastava, Secretary, Ministry of Women and Child Development said that very soon a law will be finalized which will protect Indian women who are abandoned by their NRI husbands or foreign partners. He said this on 6th September 2107. It will be a praiseworthy step for women empowerment.

Srivastava was present for the inauguration ceremony of 2nd Conference on Women at the workplace- “Role of Leadership”, New Delhi. The Conference was organized by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).

Women Empowerment by increasing job opportunities for women

According to ANI report, Rakesh Srivastava said “India has taken a lead role in gender budgeting in the world. Efforts are also required for training and skill up-gradation of women in traditional, new and emerging areas to promote women’s employment in both organized/unorganized sectors, including entrepreneurial development.”

Women Achievers will be honored

Srivastava also informed that in November the government will honor 100 women achievers. The event will be held in Hyderabad and will possibly be attended by The US President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump. The government decided to honor women achievers will inspire other women to reach great heights of success, this step will foster women empowerment.

Equal Opportunities for Women

He further added that if suitable strategies and also laws which help in women empowerment are implemented- it will ensure equal opportunities for women to enter as well as enjoy decent work in a healthy work environment. This will also include fair and equal wages, health measures, social security measures and occupational safety.

Also Read: Misery of the outcast wives in India by their NRI husbands

Knowledge about Gender Equality will increase Women Empowerment

He cited that gender equality is critical for the development of any country. Srivastava said that by removing barriers which prevent women from having the same access to economic opportunities, education, and productive inputs as men will lead to productivity gains. It is a crucial step to be taken in today’s globalized and competitive world.

Srivastava said, “India has been ranked 87 out of 144 countries on the latest World Economic Forum’s Gender Gap Report 2016, but in the economic sphere, much work remains to be done as India ranks 136 in this pillar out of 144 countries.” He added that gender equality is still not reflected in ‘participation in economic activities’ which is not a good thing for women empowerment.

Workforce Participation Rate in Men v/s Women

“In 2011, the workforce participation rate at all India level is 25.51% for women as compared to 53.26% for men. While there is no urban-rural gap for males (53%), there is a considerable rural-urban gap for females, when workforce participation rate for rural women is 30% it is only 15.4% for urban women,” Srivastava said, mentions ANI report.

Also Read: In Netherlands, PM Narendra Modi pitches for Women Empowerment in India

Women Empowerment by building women’s Hostels for widows and women in distress

Rakesh Srivastava, the secretary of Ministry of Women and Child Development also shared that the government is working on women’s hostels that can also be utilized by the widows and women in distress in India.

Srivastava said “Women form an integral part of the Indian workforce. They need to be equal partners in the society for them to be equal participants in work. Women have to contend with discriminatory laws, institutions and attitudes that restrict their leadership and full participation in public life.” He added that what prevents women from becoming effective leaders is unequal access to resources.

October 15 will be observed as ‘Women Farmer’s Day’ all thanks to Krishna Raj, Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare. This move by a minister, noticing rural women’s contribution in farming paves way for women empowerment of rural women.

Krishna Raj said, “Women can make enormous contributions to economies, whether in businesses, on farms, as entrepreneurs or employees, or by doing unpaid care work at home.”


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‘India Connected: Mapping the Impact of New Media’ : Book Release in Kolkata brings Digital Divide under spotlight

The book outlines the influence of social media on Human lives while contrasting it with the traditional media

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Book Release of 'India Connected: Mapping the Impact of New Media' at Kolkata Press Club.

Kolkata, November 5, 2016:  To create awareness about digital divide that has become the new caste system of the world, the book release of ‘India Connected: Mapping the Impact of New Media’ was organized at the Kolkata Press Club on Saturday, November 5.

Edited by Dr. Sunetra Sen Narayan and Dr. Shalini Narayanan, the book outlines the influence of social media on Human lives while contrasting it with the traditional media. Not just that, it also accounts challenges that lies ahead of us and the opportunities that social media flags in the Indian setting.

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Book 'India Connected: Mapping the Impact of New Media'
Book ‘India Connected: Mapping the Impact of New Media’

Dr. Narayanan says, digital divide is created due to factors like gender discrimination, income, differently abled people, literacy, and connectivity or speed. If we control them, we can bridge the gap.”

The book release was followed by a panel discussion on New Media and Historical Exclusions: The Challenges Ahead that focussed on the digital divide based on income, gender, and disability.

Documentary filmmaker and Chairperson of West Bengal Commission for the protection of Child Rights- Ananya Chatterjee Chakroborti says,  “Digital Divide is the new caste system in the world and there is a huge gap between country’s rich and poor. But, an organisation called IndiaUnheard is doing a fabulous job in bridging the gap.”

IndiaUnheard is the first ever community news service launched by Video Volunteers. This new initiative is constituted of a network of community correspondents who are trained to tell unique stories; stories about their own communities; stories which are otherwise left untold. The website flags the stories of the plight of these people as well as their success stories.

Go to NewsGram and check out news related to political current issues.

Dr Uma Shankar Pandey, Head of Department of Journalism and Mass Communication of Surendranath College for Women, Kolkata says the problem is that in India, there are 25 crore people who have access to the internet, but the rest 1 billion are deprived of it.

“There is more to this one, what makes the gap worse is that there is 27% gender inequality, which means that boys have more access to internet than girls. Also, there is 12% urban-rural gap, which means rural people are less likely to have access to mobile or internet connections than urban people. This creates a class divide,” he adds.

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“What’s striking is that new media has also brought with it, imposition of a value system,” says Vice Chancellor of Jadavpur University Prof. Suranjan Das. Media can be the torchbearer of ethics, once it is separated from biases.

Among the distinguished authors who contributed to the volume of the book are Prof Stephen McDowell of Florida State University, Tallahassee; Dr B P Sanjay, Pro Vice Chancellor at the University of Hyderabad; Prof J Jethwaney, IIMC and others.

– by Deepannita Das of NewsGram. Twitter: @deepweep

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Women in the work sector: Not much has changed

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Image source: huffingtonpost.in

New Delhi: According to a survey conducted recently, women tend to quit their jobs more often than men especially the ones who are working in the private sector. The glass ceiling remains unbroken due to a number of factors, including sexism and harassment at the office.

“About 40 percent of working mothers want to quit jobs to raise their kids. Gender bias together with workplace harassment and inconvenient working hours remained top reasons as to why the majority of respondents wanted to quit their jobs,” said a survey conducted by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) under the aegis of its Social Development Foundation.

The survey was conducted ahead of International Women’s Day that is celebrated globally every year on March 8.

The association had interacted with a total of about 500 working women, including 200 working mothers in 10 cities of Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi-NCR, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Lucknow, Mumbai, and Pune during the course of past fortnight to gauge their career related goals.

About 25 percent of the total respondents said they wanted to quit their jobs and cited various reasons ranging from inconvenient working hours or late sitting, pay gap, gender bias, workplace harassment, lack of safety, poor working conditions, the pursuit of higher education, family related issues and others, the survey said.

Motherhood and lack of quality time with family were the primary reasons to quit for 80 out of 200 working mothers interviewed by the association.

Regarding harassment, about 30 percent of the total women interviewed by ASSOCHAM said they had been harassed at work, were denied promotion and plum assignments.

Besides, many of them also said they did not get much support from their authorities if they complained and, as a result, felt bogged down further due to guilt and shame.

Most of the respondents said their organizations did not have redressal mechanisms in place and did not comply with legal requirements to provide a safe workplace for women and display a very casual approach to such issues.(IANS)