Daily Post 1415


For whatever we have invested in our telecom and the digital systems since the days of Sam Pitroda, it was destined to be tested in full measure during COVID-19. India with the world have converged into a system, the adoption and the extent of the adoption of it, has been hotly debated for more than a decade. The backbone of connectivity was to created – a total transformation in our living, ways we did business and the way the wealth was created and transacted. It was to be a new ecosystem of education, learning and growth. It was not a variegated connection to internet at the whims and fancy of the network. The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman is indicative of this journey. When the access to internet is itself a challenge, how do we achieve India Online?

Classes Online has been a clarion call as we moved past the first weeks of the lockdown. It was a challenge even in urban India, a stage beyond which nobody even attempted. The ecosystem could have been built if the robust connectivity existed. The Digital India backbone was to transform into India Online. The Fiber Optic Network was to bring a paradigm shift in the connectivity landscape of the nation. With large chunks of Govt. Schools outside the online education system, students have to learn through TV based teaching / learning. Even where the education has gone online, adhocism is on full display. There is a desperate attempt to make it happen for free. With unwanted intruders getting into digital classes, the first few weeks have been harrowing. From Cyber Security to standardised formats of multimedia course content, nearly all critical elements are missing.

Education Online has found its own equilibrium, way below accepted levels anywhere. Exams are being held on Google Forms and sincere teachers are running helter-skelter to look for better solutions. Text based exams are very difficult to handle. School managements have their own ways of handling change. Even now mass scale school / board created video classes are not thought of. Results have been declared without a few exams conducted, marked on earlier performance. It is for sure both a raw and non-objective deal. When large scale online entrance exams have been happening in this country, why that cannot be held in the present context. The mess in the current DU exams could have been avoided, when issues cropped up during mocks / testing itself.

Can we not create robust systems? When IT behemoths have brought cloud to the land, reeking connectivity does not add to our glory. Waiting for sever connect and upload / download tasks give serious hiccups is a daily rigmarole. The initial time of GST implementation blues have found uncanny ways to bounce back in COVID-19, as the digital challenge is huge. Broken Online will become our trademark, if we don’t create a Online Living Infrastructure, Services & Operations Protocol and make it happen. Banking / UPI services have performed commendably. Work from home is trying to find its own roots. Certainly improving. New Normal has already become the normal. COVID-19 seems to be a near permanent guest, only India Fully Online can provide some succour in this hard patch, we are all passing through.


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