The Bold Voice of J&K

Social media for rural development  

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Dr. Banarsi Lal
In present era Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have changed the human beings’ way of communication. Social media have become the fulcrum of social interaction in both the rural and urban areas.It has been observed that ICTs have significant impact on the rural development by mediating the flow of modern technology and also in updating the knowledge and skills at the grassroots level. Now-a-days mobile phone has become the choice of the people at a mass scale as it is being used in both the rural and urban areas. Among the various social media Facebook has become the primechoice of the people. The genesis of Facebook was traced in 2004 when a Harvard University student, Mark Zuckerberg developed media platform said to be Facebook to connect with the other students.Presently Facebook has become the promising media and India alone is having around 195 million Facebook users, the largest in the world. India is followed by the USA (191.3 million) and Brazil (90.11 million). There are around 1.19 billion users of Facebook across the globe. Twitter, a microblogging siteis also avery important social media and one can express 140 characters or less through it. Another important social media is You Tube which was created in 2005 by Steve Chen and Chad Hurley by which we can share the videos. For the professionals and academicians Linked In and Research gate are the best social media. Google has recently launched its own version of social media which is said to be Google+ which is similar to Facebook. Basically social media is a way to build relations, share information and connect with different kinds of people from different places who may never meet you in real life. Social media helps to develop a community of one’s own type which was not possible in our past time. Social media in agriculture helps to bridge a geographical distance between the farmers of different places. There are more than 100 Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) based initiatives such as e-Choupal, e-aqua, Digital Green etc. which have been launched in India for the development of agriculture and rural development. Many of them have won accolades nationally and internationally for their innovative methodologies for the rural development. Social media can be understood in different perspectives and we all should know the precise definition of social media. Various scholars define it in different ways. Most of the people believe that social network is linked with social net working sites, microblogging, various internet forms etc. Any media which interact with the public at some level be it community radio, television, NGO etc. have the social responsibility. This a very important responsibility as it influences the development of the society. Media cannot shirk from the social responsibility and thus making all the prominent media networks as social media networks. The mass media such as TV, radio, newspaper etc. are indispensable and encourage people to express their views. The media should involve the people for planning the various development programmes and schemes. The media varies from country to country and region to region. We should focus on the fundamental problem in rural India. Role of media is extremely important for lot of citizens of rural areas where the benefits of internet are not reaped properly. Social media and rural developed are linked together and there is need to made some deliberations on modern day media with the traditional media. Rural development in general is used to define the action taken for improving the standard of the people. Agricultural activities are prominently considered in this direction. India is having complex society with different cultures,castes, languages and there is disparity between the rural and urban people. Diverse social and infrastructural needs of the rural people must be addressed simultaneously to ensure the prosperity of the nation. After independence India has grown a strong nation and its economy is rapidly improving. The development is not a linear process but a multifaceted system. From time to time India has started various programmes and schemes for the development of rural areas. Unlike the Europe’s there is not systematic growth in the industrial sectorin India. This can be due to large size of the nation.
(To be continued)

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