Social and economic impact of modern communication technology:
Quite obviously a society which will utilise advanced communication technology in the ways mentioned above, would develop an entirely different social and economic system. It would be a transformed society with an entirely different life style. Besides the impact on industry, administration, public institutions and social services, even family life would undergo change. Using new technology, newspapers are already being published simultaneously from many cities, railway and airline bookings are being made by computers that carry booking information updated every moment, doctors in one country can treat patients in another, conferences can be held with people sitting in their own offices; these are wonderful developments. We have mentioned, in Block 3, how communication and remote control of devices have made it possible to land a craft on the moon and to fly it back with a sample of moon soil, entirely automatically.
Entire factories are being run automatically, by robots in the advanced countries. All this communication revolution is there, but the main question, however, is whether the advance communication technology will, in fact, benefit all countries equally and all sections of our people equally. There is already reason to believe that the advanced countries not only have q monopoly of technology of communication, but also the power to'distort and display information in the way they like. Moreover in any one country, those who already have greater access to information are likely to benefit more than the others-probably making the rich-poor divide sharper. A simple example is advertising on TV or other media, which can create a demand for things we do not need, or promote a culture of superficial westernisation. Of course, it allows the bigger firms to beat smaller ones which cannot spend equally on advertisement. The impact of information technology on our traditional communication system has also to be considered. In other words, what impact will the new'communication technology have on our traditions and culture?
In our country, traditional forms of communication have been used for such purposes as dispellirig superstition, outmoded perceptions and unscientific attitudes. These have been found effective and acceptable to the people because people are familiar with them. Practitioners of the traditional media use a subtle form of persuasion by presenting the message in artistic and yet all too familiar forms. Examples abound where song, drama, dance groups and thelike are used to campaign against social evils or for advance in farming, health, nutrition and family welfare.