Knowledge and information are essential prerequisite for desired development. Development is a complicated and multidimensional activity. Even now, the concept of rural development defies any clear definition as it has gone through a number of changes over a period of time. One of the major components and driving force of rural development is communication. Although it is not a panacea for rural development process, it can open new communication channels and also plays a pivotal role in creating an enabling environment that bring new knowledge and information resources to rural masses for sustainable development. In the post media liberalization period, rural development projects in India added Information Communication Technology (ICT) to provide diversified information to rural people. What is the nature of recent changes in Indian rural society resulting from the use of ICT? How the traditional rural social structure responds to it? How it contributes to the process of rural development? Can ICT able to bridge the so-called inequality?
This book is an attempt to provide answers to these questions. It is a micro indepth investigation of two villages of Western Maharashtra where India’s one of the oldest ICT project (Warana Wired Village Project WWVP) was implemented by Prime Ministers IT Task Force in 1998. The study explores the role of ICT in the process of rural development and analyzes its limitations, social applicability and finally it tries to provide an alternative communication model for sustainable rural development. The book will be helpful for students and scholars of development studies and journalism, and to NGOs and planners.