The role of ICT in proverty alleviation in India

Sanjay Chopra, The Doctoral School of Public Administration Sciences in National University of Public Service, Budapest


This study examines the role of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in combating poverty in a developing country like India. ICT includes a wide range of appliances and applications that facilitate access to information. Over the last couple of decades, quick access to relevant and reliable information has transformed the way the world lives and transacts business, transforming lives in the process. In this study, we examine the current and potential role such access to information has in speeding up India’s fight against poverty. The traditional view of Poverty describes it as an economic phenomenon, measured in monetary terms. Such a description facilitates its quantification and tracking across time. With the broadening of understanding, poverty has evolved into a multi-dimensional concept, that goes beyond material deprivation to include, among others, illiteracy, vulnerability, powerlessness, gender inequality, social exclusion and a lack of opportunity to fulfil one’s potential. With these broad definitions, the present study answers the following questions:

  1. What is the role of ICT in economic empowerment of the poor including employment and income generation?
  2. What is the role of ICT in combating social exclusion especially for women?

Keywords: ICT, Poverty, multidimensional poverty, education, gender inequality, social exclusion.


[1] AJAYI, O. O., E-learning: A Shorter, Safer, and Surer Route to Reaching the Education For All Destination. Journal of Science and Technical Education (JSTE), Akungba. 1, 1, (2009), p. 138-145

[2] ALKIRE, S., The capability approach and human development. University of Oxford. (2011). Retrieved from: [http://www.ophi.]. Accessed: [2018.12.19]

[3] ALKIRE, S., Capability Approach and Well-being Measurement for Public Policy. OPHI Working Paper 94, Oxford University, (2015).

[4] ANAND, S. and SEN, A. K., Concepts of human development and poverty: a multidimensional perspective, Human Development Papers, United Nations Development Programme, New York (1997).

[5] CHRISTENSSON, P., ICT Definition. (2010). Retrieved from [] Accessed: [2018.12.20]

[6] CLARKE, S., WYLIE, G. & ZOMER, H., ICT 4 the MDGs? A Perspective on ICTs Role in Addressing Urban Poverty in the Context of the Millennium Development Goals. Information Technologies and International Development. (2013), 55-70.

[7] DH News service, Deccan Herald, April 17, (2018). Retrieved from []. Accessed: [2019.01.02].

[8] Direct Benefit Transfer, Government of India, Retrieved from []. Accessed: [2018.12.24].

[9] ET BUREAU, The Economic Times, April, 23, (2018). Retrieved from: [//]. Accessed: [2018.12.21].

[10] Feminist Approach to Technology, (2016). Retrieved from: [‘About FAT’,]. Accessed: [2019.12.26].

[11] GORDON, D. and SPICKER, P., (eds): The international glossary on poverty, London: Zed. 2. D Rae, 1981, Equalities, Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University, (1999).

[12] IAMAI, I. I., Internet in India, (2017). Retrieved from []. Accessed: [2018.11.25]

[13] India Brand Equity Forum. Ministry of Commerce and Industry. Government of India. Retrieved from []. Accessed: [2018.12.31].

[14] KABEER, N., Women’s Economic Empowerment and Inclusive Growth: Labour Markets and Enterprise Development. SIG Working Paper 2012/1. Ottawa: IDRC, (2012).

[15] LAL, S. B., RAMA, B., AHMED, H. S. K., Information Technology for Rural Development: An Overview, The Economic Challenger. 6, 23 (2004), p. 34-37.

[16] LAL, S. B., “Impact of Information and Communication Technologies on Women Empowerment in India”, Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics. 9, 4 (2011), 17-23.

[17] MACK, J. and LANSLEY, S., Poor Britain, (1985), Allen and Unwin, London.

[18] OECD, Measuring the Information Economy. Annex 1. The OECD Definition of the ICT Sector. OECD (2002). Retrieved from [] Accessed: [2018.12.31].

[19] Retrieved from [] Accessed: [2018.12.21]

[20] Open Government Data Platform India, Retrieved from [] Accessed: [2019.01.02].

[21] PASRICHA, J., “Violence” Online in India: Cybercrimes against Women and Minorities on Social Media, Feminism in India, New Delhi (2016). Retrieved from []. Accessed: [2018.12.21]

[22] RAVALLION, M., The Two Poverty Enlightenments: Historical Insights from Digitized Books Spanning Three Centuries. (2011).

[23] ROWNTREE, B. S., Poverty. A Study of Town Life. London: Macmillan, 1902.

[24] SANAP, M. K., Role of Information and Communication Technology in the Women Empowerment, Chronicle of the Neville Wadia Institute of Management Studies & Research, Pune, (2015).

[25] BAKER, S., ‘We want that for ourselves’: how girls and young women are using ICTs to counter violence and demand their rights, Gender & Development, 26, 2 (2018), p. 283-297.

[26] SEN, A., Poverty and Famines, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1981.

[27] SEN, A., ‘Poor, Relatively Speaking’, Oxford Economic Papers, 35 (1983), p. 153 – 69

[28] SEN, A. K., Inequality Re-examined. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1992.

[29] SPICKER, P., Definitions of poverty: Eleven clusters of meaning. In D. GORDON, & P. SPICKER (Eds.), The international glossary on poverty. London: Zed Books, (1998).

[30] TOWNSEND, P., A Sociological Approach to the Measurement of Poverty: A Rejoinder to Professor Amartya Sen, Oxford Economic Papers, (1985).

[31] TURBAN, E., RAINER, R. K., POTTER, R. E., Introduction to information technology. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York (2005).

[32] WORLD BANK, World Development Report 2000/2001: Attacking Poverty. World Development Report. New York: Oxford University Press. World Bank. 2001. Retrieved from [] Accessed: [2018.11.25].


Central and Eastern European e|Dem and e|Gov Days 2019

Cyber Security and eGovernment
Proceedings of the Central and Eastern European E|Dem and E|Gov Days, May 2-3, 2019, Budapest
Facultas, 1. Ed., 536 p.
ISBN: 978-3-7089-1898-3,
ISBN: 978-3-903035-24-9

Editors: András Nemeslaki, Alexander Prosser, Dona Scola, Tamás Szádeczky