Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is a very effective tool for development purposes. Along with the benefits also come the drawbacks and challenges of ICT. India has not given enough attention towards effective utilisation of ICT for development. The fears of ICT emergency in India have now taken a shape of ICT failures in India. In the absence of political insight and will, ICT has just remained a tool to advance political interests in India.
According to Praveen Dalal, the Leading Techno-Legal Specialist of India, “ICT is bringing rapid and challenging changes for India. The issues of “digital divide”, “spectrum allocation”, “security concerns”, “defence force requirements”, “law enforcement requirements”, “wireless networks vulnerability”, etc are posing a herculean task before the Government of India to provide the maximum benefits to the stake holders. The lack of sound ICT Strategies and Policies in India is the main cause of these troubles. We cannot solve these issues by piecemeal actions and half hearted efforts. Our efforts must not only be “holistic” but must also be “dedicated” towards the larger interest of India. . ICT for development cannot succeed till we have good policies in this regard. Issues like digital divide, absence of legal framework, Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) issues, digital preservation matters, etc are still untouched in India”.
The indifferent attitude of government of India (GOI) is also apparent in the fields of digital contents creation and management as well as digital preservation in India. There is no legal and regulatory framework in India in this regard. Ironically the Information Technology Act, 2000 (IT Act, 2000) is the sole technology law of India. Even it is weak and ineffective. We have to apply the traditional laws to solve problems of digital contents in India.
ICT has the potential for business development and enterpriseship. It can also be used for imparting education in the widest form through e-learning in India. However, the same cannot be achieved in the absence of expertise in this regard that is presently missing. E-Governance and good governance are also missing and that is failing the NEGP and e-governance initiatives of India. With the elections nearby, may be it is a good idea to press for good laws after any political party comes to power.