A digital village is basically an idea that targets to remove the digital divide, which enables technological development in a country to reach underdeveloped regions. It specifically refers to a village area that has data and voice connectivity throughout and inefficient use. Both are of these networking criteria is sufficiently high quality, with the available bandwidth for common uses like internet applications which will effectively work on computers, mobile phones and tablets alike.
Devices with internet compatibility are fast penetrating into the deepest interiors of the world today. The whole idea of a digital village is not about technology but is more about connectivity. The digital village is one step towards lessening the gap between and villages and cities.
Digital Village of India
The Akodara village in Sabarkantha district of Gujarat has become India’s first digital village in a short period of time. The village has a population of around 1,200 people and 250 households that use various kinds of cashless systems for goods and services payments. All transactions related to money are carried out through digital modes like net-banking or debit cards in the entire village. A village which is connected in such a manner, allows it to become a fertile ground for its inhabitants to embark on achieving better productivity and opportunities in life. Along with this, it enables the government to reach out to the underdeveloped regions and implement its agendas on development.
Some important facts about the new system adopted in Akodara are listed below.
- ICICI Bank took the initiative in 2015 under their Digital Village Project and made sure that they steadily achieved their goal of helping the village adopt digital technology for daily use, making it a cashless village.
- It was launched in 2016 January, by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the MD and CEO of ICICI Bank to mark a 60-year celebration.
- The bank personnel provided adept training to all villagers in the use of digital transactions and minimizing the use of cash transactions. They also made sure that all the households have accounts in their local ICICI Bank branch.
- In fact, their success is also owed to their own official website and mobile banking initiatives. Mobile banking is available in English, Hindi, and Gujarati for the convenience of the villagers. This has led to an almost 100% financial rate in the village.
- The major transactions that the villagers make are selling agricultural products at the markets and milk at co-operative societies. This entire process has been made cashless with the help of ICICI Bank.
- The schools, whether it be primary, secondary or higher secondary, all have been equipped with computers and smart boards for a better learning experience and to understand the importance of digital technology in today’s world.
The efficiency with which this project was completed successfully shows how digital technology can be imbibed practically into Indian villages without much fuss or difficulty. It is a prime example of how efficient the system can be in making the country a cashless economy.