Assam is one of the 7 sister-states of north-east India. It shares its boundary with the other six sisters, namely Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura and Meghalaya, as well as with the state of West Bengal through the Siliguri Corridor. Assam also shares international boundaries with Bangladesh and Bhutan.
One of the few domestic sources of petroleum is found in the town of Digboi in Assam. The state also boasts of large deposits of coal. Besides its rich mineral reserves, Assam performs fairly well socio-economic parameters. For instance, literacy rate in Assam is close to the national mean, with female literacy rate above the national average.
Cross border tensions caused due to erupting rows with the neighbouring states has resulted in isolation of many places in Assam stay isolated from any development. Assam is connected with Mainland India with a very thin strip of land, known as the Siliguri Corridor, or the ‘chicken’s neck’. Hence, the state remains nearly disconnected geographically from the mainland.
Although Assam is considered among the progressive states of India, yet isolated pockets do exist where inhabitants live in the absence of media and digital tools. Moreover, around 12% of the state population falls under the schedules tribe category, and still has to cover a long way before coming at par with the mainstream population.
These isolated and remote regions of Assam need a strong ICT infrastructure built to ensure that every piece of information promptly reaches the right audience. Information could range from their rights and entitlements, government welfare schemes, financial facilities, etc., to national and international know-how. Training in basic computer applications provided especially to the tribal sections would help them walk shoulder to shoulder with mainstream population. Computer literacy would help rural students sharpen their skills and enhance employability for future. Moreover, widespread digital inclusion would help promote entrepreneurship and generate an array of alternate livelihoods for traditional workers. Further, understanding of e-commerce applications would help local artisans and craftsmen showcase their creations through online platforms and connect with national as well as global markets.
CIRCs have been acting as robust connecting spaces where community members gather and identify issues relevant to the community and formulate viable solutions. In this way, CIRCs not only empower communities with knowledge and information access, but also encourages active participation in local governance.
|Area||78,438 Sq. Km.|
|Total Population||3.12 Crore (Rural 86%)|
|Population Density||398/Sq. Km.|
|Population, 0-6 years||15%|
|Sex Ratio (per 1000 males)||958:1000 (Rural 960:1000; Urban 946:1000)|
|Total Literacy (7+ years)||72.19 % (Male 77.85 %; Female 66.27 %)|
|Rural Literacy (7+ years)||69.34 % (Male 75.40 %; Female 63.03 %)|
|Urban Literacy (7+ years)||88.47 % (Male 91.81%; Female 84.94 %)|
|Total Scheduled Caste Population*||6.9%|
|Total Scheduled Tribe Population*||12.4%|
|Total Worker Population||38.36% (Female 22.46%)|
(* The figures are according to 2001 Census)