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Practical Application: Evaluating the Impact of Digital Communication

Instructor: Mary Matthiesen-Jones

Mary has worked around the world for over 30 years in international business, advertising, and market research. She has a Master's degree in International Management and has taught University undergraduate and graduate level courses .

Digital communication is used around the world to bring individuals, organizations, and nations together. Practice applying your understanding of the cultural, economic, and political impacts of digital communication in one of the world's largest countries.

The Effects of Digital Communications

You might not think about the broader effects of digital communication when you use technologies such as a computers or a smartphone. In the three lessons:

  1. The Economic Impact of Digital Communication
  2. The Cultural Impact of Digital Communication, and
  3. The Political Impact of Digital Communication

we learned about both the positive and negative impacts that emerge with the use of digital communications. Having an appreciation of these effects allows us to be smarter consumers of digital communications and better evaluate their effects on our lives.

Let's review a scenario where digital communications impacts all three of these areas and see if you can identify possible effects based on what you learned in these lessons.

Digital India

The ''Digital India'' initiative, which was announced in 2015, was designed to expand access to digital technologies to all parts of the country, with its one billion+ people. India has the world's second largest population, is the world's sixth largest economy, and the world's third largest internet market.

In urban areas there is 65 percent internet penetration, while in rural areas it is only at 20 percent. However, 68 percent of the population lives in rural areas. The national digital literacy rate is only about 6.5 percent compared to over 80 percent of adults in the US who are digitally literate, even if they do not use digital technologies regularly.

Traditional gender inequality in India is also evident in digital literacy rates, with less than 1/3 of Internet users in India being women, although they account for 49 percent of the population. Over 40 percent of men own cellphones, compared to than 30 percent of women , and this gender gap increases in rural areas.

The Digital India initiative with its digital identification scheme also addresses one of India's major issues - providing people with verifiable identities so that they can access government services.

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