Realizing a Billion Aspirations
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Author: Nandan Nilekani,Viral Shah
Publisher: Penguin UK
Category: Business & Economics
A timely call to reshape government through technology, from Nandan Nilekani and Viral Shah, two leading experts in the field. For many aspects of how our countries are run - from social security and fair elections to communication, infrastructure and the rule of law - technology can play an increasingly positive, revolutionary role. In India, for example, where many underprivileged citizens are invisible to the state, a unique national identity system is being implemented for the first time, which will help strengthen social security. And throughout the world, technology is essential in the transition to clean energy. This book, based on the authors' collective experiences working with government, argues that technology can reshape our lives, in both the developing and developed world, and shows how this can be achieved. Praise for Nandan Nilekani: 'A pioneer . . . one of India's most celebrated technology entrepreneurs' Financial Times 'There is a bracing optimism about Nilekani's analysis . . . which can only be welcome in this age of doom and gloom' Telegraph 'The Bill Gates of Bangalore . . . Nilekani achieves an impressive breadth' Time Nandan Nilekani is a software entrepreneur, Co-founder of Infosys Technologies, and the head of the Government of India's Technology Committee. He was named one of the '100 Most Influential People in the World' by TIME magazine and Forbes' 'Business Leader of the Year', and he is a member of the World Economic Forum Board. Viral B. Shah is a software expert who has created various systems for governments and businesses worldwide.
How Technology is Destabilising Global Politics
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Author: Martin Moore
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
Category: Political Science
Democracies are being gamed. Authoritarian governments, moneyed elites and fringe hackers are exploiting our digital infrastructure and the vulnerabilities in our democratic system to influence our politics and elections. In just a few years, it has become a perpetual information war. Inherently unstable and prone to wild volatility, our digital ecosystem has at its heart a vacuum open to the influence of those with the motivation, money or expertise to exploit it. Played successfully it can lead to unprecedented swings of public opinion. Martin Moore explains how hackers interfere in our democratic processes, why they can do it and outlines what we need to do to save democracy for the digital age. This is a story about active measures, data mining, psy-ops, mercenaries, microtargeting, the alt-right, plutocrats, the collapse of local news, Silicon Valley, Trump, trolling, surveillance – and you.
How the Smartphone is Transforming the World's Largest Democracy
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Author: Ravi Agrawal
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Former chief CNN India correspondent and award-wining journalist Ravi Agrawal takes readers on a journey across the Subcontinent, through its remote rural villages and its massive metropolises, seeking out the nexuses of change created by smartphones, and with them connection to the internet. As always with India, the numbers are staggering: in 2000, 20 million Indians had access to the internet; by 2017, 465 million were online, with three Indians discovering the internet every second. By 2020, India's online community is projected to exceed 700 million, and more than a billion Indians are expected to be online by 2025. In the course of a single generation, access to the internet has progressed from dial-up connections on PCs, to broadband access, wireless, and now 4G data on phones. The rise of low-cost smartphones and cheap data plans has meant the country leapfrogged the baby steps their Western counterparts took toward digital fluency. The results can be felt in every sphere of life, upending traditions and customs and challenging conventions. Nothing is untouched, from arranged marriages to social status to business start-ups, as smartphones move the entire economy from cash-based to credit-based. Access to the internet is affecting the progress of progress itself. As Agrawal shows, while they offer immediate and sometimes mind-altering access to so much for so many, smartphones create no immediate utopia in a culture still driven by poverty, a caste system, gender inequality, illiteracy, and income disparity. Internet access has provided greater opportunities to women and changed the way in which India's many illiterate poor can interact with the world, but it has also meant that pornography has become more readily available. Under a government keen to control content, it has created tensions. And in a climate of hypernationalism, it has fomented violence and even terrorism. The influence of smartphones on "the world's largest democracy" is nonetheless pervasive and irreversible, and India Connected reveals both its dimensions and its implications.