Role of Communication in the Economic Development:
This is as much as one-sixth of the world's population. In the year 1981,446 million Indians were illiterate, i.e., they could not read or write. The literacy percentage was about 36%. There are 15 major languages recognised in the Constitution, but the number of subsidiary languages and dialects may be in thousands. Nearly 75 per cent of the population lives in 5,75,000 villages. AS you have learnt in Block 5, a high percentage of the population is not able to get proper food, clean drinking water, adequate shelter, health care and clothing.
These figures lead to two conclusions in relation to the role of communication in our country. First, all means of communication should be used for economic development, i.e., to increase production and national income and to improve the living standard of the people, particularly those sections which are under-privileged. Second, since such a large number of persons are illjterate they will have to be reached by means other than that of the printed word.
It is for these reasons that India chose to develop its economy through a planned system. The Five Year Plans are, broadly, intended to accelerate development in industry, agriculture, etc., through exploitation of the national resources in a manner that the benefits go to people as a whole: and not only to further enrich those whoye already affluent. That is why the rolc of communication, in this regard, was emphasised in the very First Five Year document in 1952. In Chapter 8 on "Public Cooperation in National Development" it said, "An understanding of the priorities, which govern the plan, will enable each person to relate his oq her role to the larger purpose of the nation as a whole. The plan has, therefore, to be carried irlto every home, in the language and symbols of the people, with the as'sistance of creative writers and artists, which have to be specially enlisted. All available methods of communication have to be developed and the people approached through the written and the spoken-word no less than through radio, film, song and drama."