I ict and society
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I. ICT and Society. Objective To examine the Historical Development of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and its impact on society. The Early Years of Communication. 700-800 BC - homing pigeons

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I ict and society

I. ICT and Society


To examine the Historical Development of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and its impact on society.

The early years of communication

The Early Years of Communication

  • 700-800 BC - homing pigeons

  • 1800’s electric current deflects a magnetic needle, leading to the creation of the telegraph. Samuel Morse later uses a magnetic telegraph and the Morse code to keep the communication movement on track.

  • 1876 - the invention of the telephone by Alexander Graham Bell.

  • 1897 - Professor Joseph John Thomson discovers the electron.

  • 1915 - The American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T) makes the first call the across country using radio.

  • 1939 - John Atanassoff constructs the first semi electronic digital-computing device.

  • 1962 - Paul Baran of the Rand Corporation develops Packet-switching network.

  • 1969 - the year of the Internet (ARPA.)

Historical perspective of ict

Historical perspective of ICT

  • Between 1950 and to 1970

    (+Research and Development, compute bound)

  • Between 1970 and 1985

    (+ High value data processing)

  • Between 1985 and 1991

    (+ Low cost PC’s)

  • Between 1991 and 2001

    (+ Internet)

  • Post 2001

    (+ ICT gains strategic sector status)

Information brings about







Information brings about

Networking of:

People Projects Ideas Innovations

Hence, a power shift & social transformation

Ict applications at the local level some examples

ICT applications at the local level, some examples

  • Local government support and social services

  • Smart Communities/Schools, Multi-purpose Community Tele-centres

  • Market information/opportunities: buy and sell at better terms

  • Plug-in to the Law: Citizens’ Rights

  • Employment opportunities: crafts, tourism…

  • Local content creation

Ict applications at the national level some examples

ICT applications at the national level, some examples

  • Pro-poor policies – empowerment through greater connectivity, knowledge sharing, transparency

  • Higher quality public services through e-Government

  • Systems to foster employment, investment and commercial activities; e-Commerce (services/goods)

  • Enabling regulatory framework and cyber-laws

  • Practical applications of ICT for Sustainable Human Development - e.g. tele-working, telemedicine, e-learning

Ict applications at the regional level some examples

ICT applications at the regional level, some examples

  • Portal for Government to Government, to Business and to Citizen transactions, transcending existing barriers to trade and commerce

  • Educational Applications (eg ASEAN SchoolNet + Knowledge Worker Exchange + Distance Learning)

  • Regional cooperation: New opportunities for developing countries to be globally competitive

Ict provides opportunities for development of information systems to

ICT Provides Opportunities for Development of Information Systems to:

  • monitor water and land resources

  • transport and store food

  • manage pests/diseases

  • support crisis prevention and recovery

  • provide early warning

  • forecast food crop output

  • etc

Indian example green revolution

Indian Example: Green Revolution

MT Tons


Change agents

Change Agents

  • Extension services

  • Input (seed, fertilizer, irrigation)

  • Mechanization (tractor/thrasher)(Cost, maintenance, indigenous)

  • Knowledge / information

I ict and society




The Growth of Technology












Years to spread to 25% of population

Post 2001

Post 2001


  • ICT has emerged as a Strategic Sector

  • Security of Cyber Space has gained significance

  • Technology Neutrality and Availability has become


  • Knowledge management and IPR are attracting attention

  • Privacy of Individual citizens is getting affected

  • Convergence of media means cross sector regulations, and merging of institutions

Factors for change

Factors for Change

Technology Push

  • High rate of Technological development

  • Ever decreasing cost of Technology

  • Increasing awareness and skills to handle ICT

  • Increasing absorption of Technology at Local Levels

Demand Pull

  • Melting of geographical boundaries for Trade and Commerce

  • Opening new opportunities and job prospects

  • Easy access to information across the Globe

  • More informed decision-making process

  • New tools for improving Specific Development Goals

Case study indian railway reservation system

Case study - Indian Railway Reservation System

8700 trains every day

550,000 reservations every day

858 locations for booking tickets


Designated Counter for each train

Unmanageable due to large volume leading to malpractices

Unable to perform remote location booking

All misc services provided at the reservation centre

Now (15 years later):

Passengers can book for any train from any location

Full information about seat availability available on the web

Automatic voice response systems for enquiries

Enhanced productivity and flexible citizen services

Today we have new issues

Today we have new issues…

  • digital divide

    • education

    • knowledge

    • health

    • communication

    • job opportunities

    • business

  • cultural norms

  • economic divide

Other social issues

Other Social Issues

  • Poverty

  • Gender (performing tasks from home any time)

  • Youth (greater participation from youth)

  • Disadvantaged (greater opportunity to compete)

Audio visual

Audio Visual



  • ICT is redefining the economic, social and cultural scene

  • The impact of ICT is much more and further reaching than any other technology invented so far

  • ICT is empowering society in both the economic and social contexts

  • Digital Divide is increasing among and within nations

  • The Government should recognise that communication and knowledge are two intertwined success factors

  • New challenges for governance and institutions because of new issues

Food for thought

Food for thought

  • Where do I realistically feel my country should go over the short-term ?

  • What needs to be done to speed things up?

  • What is the role of government?

  • Based on my country’s strengths/weaknesses what can we plan over the long-term ?

  • What are the lessons from success and failures, and best practices?

I ict and society

Thank you!

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