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Internet penetration can change Indian rural landscape

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The future of India lies in its villages, the famous quote by Mahatma Gandhi is the reality of India today and we are not leaving any stone unturned to achieve that. This agrarian country is soon going to be the second largest internet user base in the world and this is merely the beginning of a developing rural India.

India rural population is 83.3 Corers and it is sighting a boom of internet usage as the number of users are growing at a pace where it is expected to touch 87 million users by December 2015, and 109 million by June 2016.

India has a growing internet penetration in the villages, producing new probabilities of sharing information and services among the rural people. There is an undeniable connect between the progress of internet usage and rising standards of living.

Better living standards are not only signified by higher levels of efficiency and services but also by greater opportunity and enablement of more information about developmental strategies. Internet growth boosts innovation by giving users an access to world of information and helps to shape innovation according to the local needs by creating research that is more collaborative.

India, in the age of globalisation, is focusing on connecting remote rural place to the developed world. This is not only a governmental agenda but the need for the hour. The villages comprise of the high potential of achieving urban development if not less.

The internet is a key factor to achieve the aim set for the rural advancement in the country. There are several schemes initiated by the government- National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN, will provide three internet connections and one Wi-Fi hotspot in each of the 2.5 lakh gram panchayats), National Data Sharing and Accessibility Policy-2012 (NDSAP) and, of course, the Digital India programme.

These policies are expected to bring drastic change and help the rural India. With the help of the internet, villagers can access to government maintained data, which will enable the far-reaching use of a valuable public resource for the benefit of the community. It will also avoid duplication, by sharing of data and the easy availability of it to the rural side, no middle man can fool them.

An easy flow of information facilitates in making important decisions without incurring high costs.

Availability of internet is also essential for the villagers as many decision-making tasks become convenient such as protecting the environment, development planning, managing assets, improving living conditions, social cognizance and controlling disasters.

If the women in a remote village in Bihar, with no previous knowledge of government schemes, can now lead an entire group of entrepreneurs based on the availability of information on the internet than it does prove the potential to achieve path breaking change in the rural India.

In a recent report by internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IMRB International on Tuesday, the number of internet users in India is set to touch 402 million mark, surpassing the US. Although, the worth noting fact of the report is the rise of women internet user base.

India needs to focus on empowering its rural half and one of the best measures available right now is the internet. There is a dire need to expand the initiative of digital India to the remote corners of the country for them to extract supreme advantage from it.

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Russian Lawmakers Come Up In Support For Bill on ‘Sovereign’ Internet

The bill faces two more votes in the lower chamber, before it is voted on in the upper house of parliament and then signed into law by President Vladimir Putin.

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The coat of arms of Russia is reflected in a laptop screen in this picture illustration taken Feb. 12, 2019. Pixabay

Russian lawmakers backed tighter internet controls on Tuesday to defend against foreign meddling in draft legislation that critics warn could disrupt Russia’s internet and be used to stifle dissent.

The legislation, which some Russian media have likened to an online “iron curtain,” passed its first of three readings in the 450-seat lower chamber of parliament.

The bill seeks to route Russian web traffic and data through points controlled by state authorities and proposes building a national Domain Name System to allow the internet to continue functioning even if the country is cut off from foreign infrastructure.

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The legislation, which some Russian media have likened to an online “iron curtain,” passed its first of three readings in the 450-seat lower chamber of parliament. Pixabay

The legislation was drafted in response to what its authors describe as an aggressive new U.S. national cybersecurity strategy passed last year.

The Agora human rights group said earlier this month that the legislation was one of several new bills drafted in December that “seriously threaten Internet freedom.”

The Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs has said the bill poses more of a risk to the functioning of the Russian internet segment than the alleged threats from foreign countries that the bill seeks to counter.

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The Agora human rights group said earlier this month that the legislation was one of several new bills drafted in December that “seriously threaten Internet freedom.” Pixabay

The bill also proposes installing network equipment that would be able to identify the source of web traffic and also block banned content.

The legislation, which can still be amended, but which is expected to pass, is part of a drive by officials to increase Russian “sovereignty” over its internet segment.

Also Read: Now Russian Telecom Watchdog To Direct Facebook, Twitter to Localise Users’ Database

Russia has introduced tougher internet laws in the last five years, requiring search engines to delete some search results, messaging services to share encryption keys with security services, and social networks to store Russian users’ personal data on servers within the country.

The bill faces two more votes in the lower chamber, before it is voted on in the upper house of parliament and then signed into law by President Vladimir Putin.(VOA)