Copyright Â©2007 by the Department of Information Technology, Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Government of India.
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is increasingly recognised as an essential tool of development a tool which empowers the poor by enhancing skills, increasing productivity and improving governance. The success of ICTenabled development (or e-Development) is measured not only by the diffusion of technology, but also by advances in development itself. The contribution of ICT can be viewed at two different but interrelated levels: ICT growth and ICT diffusion. The former refers to the contribution in output, employment, export earnings, etc., resulting from production of ICT related goods and services that are limited to just one segment of the economy. The latter refers to IT-induced development through enhanced productivity, competitiveness, growth and human welfare resulting from the use of this technology by differentsectors of the economy and society. International research findings in the context of developing and developed countries reveal that unlike old technologies (radio, television, etc.) which are more demand driven, ICT is more supply driven and leaves greater scope for diffusion agents (Non-Government Organisations or NGOs, Government, private sector and other actors) to influence the diffusion process. Firstly, unlike earlier technologies, investment in the Internet, personal computers, etc. essentially complements investments already made in communications technologies like satellites, telephone and cable TV networks. Secondly, newly developed software technology in India has replaced the requirement of broadband and thus provides full connectivity in rural areas. Thirdly, ICT is multi-user by nature, which, in turn, leaves scope for Internet kiosks, Internet cafes and Community Information Centres (CICs), providing access to many. In India, the IT sector has not only grown in size but also complexity. Indian States resemble little nations. So, it is important to take regular stock of e-Readiness at the Country and State/ Union Territory levels to ascertain the status of underlying infrastructure, human resources, policy regime, environment climate, etc. and arrive at the steps needed to be taken to optimise the potential. Before we introduce our e-Readiness methodology, it would be instructive to look at the various e-Readiness assessment models used elsewhere.