Skip to main content

Information and Development: Connecting the dots

Note - Following is an excerpt from a Guest Lecture by Anshuman Sahoo at Jagan Nath University, Haryana in February 2017 on 'Information, Development, and Blogging - A short talk'.

In the dense reserved forests of Sundargarh in Odisha, India, lives one of the most ancient tribes of the Indian subcontinent, the ‘Paudi Bhuinyans’. Shy and reserved by nature, and total strangers to the modern technologies, they are considered to be one of the most underdeveloped communities in the country.
I was sent there by an organisation to conduct some field study regarding the impact of some recently enacted legislations on their day-to-day lives. However, I went a step ahead and contacted some local NGOs to work towards various community rights in the locality.
Within a month, there was a visible difference. Almost all the villagers had got the title of their land rights, had written receipts for every transaction they had with government officials, and formed associations within themselves to ensure democratic governance.”
Now, let’s ponder over a simple question.
What was the thing that I and the NGOs had that the tribal people didn’t have? What made us seem like more developed? What did empower us to bring on reforms?
Information, it is. Simply put, I knew things that they did not! You may call it awareness, knowledge, know-how or anything. The name may vary, but the function and importance remains the same. The key recipe in the dish of development; the most important thing that differentiates the developed from the underdeveloped!

Have you ever wondered what is the basic difference between an unemployed graduate from your locality and a highly paid professor at Harvard? There are many, but the main difference is that he knows things that the unemployed graduate doesn’t; and that makes all the difference. Have you ever thought why you pay that dentist, or lawyer, or teacher? Because they know things that you do not. They’re paid for the information they have access to.
Now that we know what the basic ingredient is, why not try to utilize it?
Mass communication has been revered as a powerful tool of social change by many a leading organisations and occasions. Long back in 1958, UNGA called for a concrete programme of action to build press, radio broadcasting, and Television as agents of social change. Mass communication is considered one of the most powerful tools available because of its ability to reach a large number of people simultaneously and efficiently with little effort from the broadcaster itself.

And the good news? In the era of information technology, every netizen is endowed with the provision of social networking and digital media: and that makes every netizen a potential media broadcasting agent, an agent of change!
We all have an endless list of options before us to get started as agents of change: Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, YouTube, Instagram etc. The information era has clouded us with information; access to information had never been easier. And what that means?
We have been empowered. And, with great powers, comes great responsibility. It’s time to stand up to our responsibilities!

Popular posts

Citing Legal Materials Using Bluebook - A Short Guide

© Anshuman Sahoo 2017.  Free for mass distribution till the source is properly mentioned. So, you collected the relevant materials for your research, went through them carefully, and evaluated the available materials. Now, what remains is to carefully dot down your arguments in your own words while supporting those arguments and ideas by citing relevant materials in the footnotes. It is necessary to cite relevant legal material that you have referred to because it reflects your research and in-depth study that you have undertaken to write that paper. Apart from that, while quoting the work of someone else, citation is necessary to avoid possible allegations of plagiarism. However, while citing the materials in the footnotes section, you cannot cite them as per your wish. For example, while citing page no. 99 of ‘The Start-up of You’ book written by Reid Hoffman, you cannot cite it as ‘page 99, The Start-up of You, Reid Hoffmann’ just because that seems convenient. There is

A journey called Law School: Few words for the newcomers

Law school has its own ways to teach us the needed, regardless of our consent or interest thereto! However, gradually, through the ups and downs of our journey, it seems that while there are some things that we can change, there also exist some things that need to be accepted. I have had my fair share of ‘law school experiences’ to enable me to write this piece. However, I cannot guarantee that you’ll be having the same experiences through your journey. Therefore, inapplicability regretted. So, shall we start? 1. You’ll be facing tough competitions. Yes, cutthroat competition. You’ll compete with unfaithful friends and sincere enemies. Be prepared to be betrayed, used, and knocked out. However, don’t let this affect you. Everyone you meet in Law School isn’t your competition, but a potential ally. Learn to build meaningful relationships. Remember, legends don’t compete, they collaborate! 2. You’ll be having not-so-competent teachers teach you. We all face it. And not just

Legal Issues Surrounding Cloud Computing

With the explosive growth of innovations in the Information Technology industry, the Legal provisions are currently lagging behind and desperately looking for ways to cope up with the never-seen-before advancements. Cloud computing, being one of such recent advancements, have raised a number of legal issues including privacy and data security, contracting issues, issues relating to the location of the data, and business considerations. The abovementioned issues are the primary ones faced by almost all the nations across the globe. However, when it comes to the Indian scenario, a number of additional complicated issues are faced by India owing to lack of awareness and lack of resources. With the ‘Digital India’ initiative in the news, it is obvious that more and more individuals and organisations will be using online services and infrastructure via the Cloud in the near future; and it is therefore necessary to analyse our position thereon and discuss whether our legal system is r
Creative Commons License

All these articles are written by me and are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License