Located at the east-central part of India, the state of Gujarat shares its borders with Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, as well as international borders with Pakistan. Being one of the highly industrialized states of the country, it is time and again looked upon as a model state for development across the nation.
The GDP of Gujarat has stayed above the national average and the region has taken giant leaps of progress in industry as well as agriculture. In fact, over past few decades, Gujarat has grown tremendously in key areas development, including education, employment, public health care, transportation, industry and tourism. However, this growth spurt is visible only in select urban areas. 13% of Gujarat’s population is tribal and resides in remote habitats, which are characterised by rocky terrain, uncertain rainfall and large tracts of forest land. Although ethnic Gujarat boasts of rich cultural heritage, its residents often suffer complete isolation from the outside world. This has kept them deprived of information access, hence further aggravating their socio-economic backwardness. Several citizen policies and schemes introduced by the government go futile as the prospective beneficiaries stay ignorant of them.
A strong ICT infrastructure built in these hard-to-reach corners of Gujarat would not only support an uninterrupted flow of information, but ensure that it promptly reaches the right audience. In fact, digital tools, such as laptops, tablets and the internet made available through CIRCs would give people the power to obtain every piece of information, whenever they desire. This would not only keep them abreast with national as well as international know-how but make them aware of their rights and entitlements, government welfare schemes and programmes, sustainable livelihood opportunities, innovations in farming techniques, financial benefits and educational services. Computer literacy if complements current educational system, will sharpen skills and enhance capabilities. Widespread digital inclusion will help promote entrepreneurship and generate an array of alternate livelihoods. Besides, understanding of e-commerce applications would help traditional artisans and craftsmen showcase their creations on the international platforms and connect with national as well as global markets.
CIRCs have been acting as robust connecting spaces where community members gather, discuss and exchange views on various local issues and formulate viable solutions. In this way, CIRCs not only empowers communities with knowledge and information access, but also builds confidence to step out and actively participate in governance.
|Area||1.96 Lakh Sq. Km.|
|Total Population||6.04 Crore (Rural 57%)|
|Population Density||308/Sq. Km.|
|Sex Ratio (per 1000 males)||919:1000 (Rural 949:1000; Urban 880:1000)|
|Total Literacy (7+ years)||78.03% (Male 85.75%; Female 69.68%)|
|Rural Literacy (7+ years)||71.71% (Male 81.61%; Female 61.36%)|
|Urban Literacy (7+ years)||86.31% (Male 90.98%; Female 81.03%)|
|Total Scheduled Caste Population||6.74%|
|Total Scheduled Tribe Population||14.75%|
|Total Worker Population||41% (Female 23.38%)|
|Total Gram Panchayats||13,996|