What do you understand by the term ‘digital divide’? Discuss?



A term used to describe the discrepancy between people who have access to and the resources to use new information and communication tools, such as the Internet, and people who do not have the resources and access to the technology. The term also describes the discrepancy between those who have the skills, knowledge and abilities to use the technologies and those who do not. The digital divide can exist between those living in rural areas and those living in urban areas, between the educated and uneducated, between economic classes, and on a global scale between more and less industrially developed nations.

The term "digital divide" has traditionally described inequalities in access to computers and the Internet between groups of people based on one or more social or cultural identifiers. Under this conceptualization, researchers tend to compare rates of access to these technologies across individuals or schools based on race, sex, disability status, and other identity dimensions. The "divide" refers to the difference in access rates among groups of people. 

The rich countries and the rich people even in poor countries can afford to make use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) services and would be able to survive in the technological era but those who cannot afford would slowly lag behind in the race towards development. Wealthy people will become wealthier and poor become poorer as a result of digital divide. It will have huge implications on individuals, families, societies and even nations. ICT may have created a new class of untouchables living in information poverty at one level and a new cadre of high technology entrepreneurs on the other.

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