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Universal Service Policy in India – Theory and Practice

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Dr Archana Gulati
Published Jan 01, 2010

Management in Government, Vol. 41, No. 4, January-March 2010

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Abstract

The Universal Service Support Policy of India came into being with effect from March 2002 and is amongst the several excellent regulatory measures taken by the Government towards reforming the Indian Telecom Policy. The Universal Service Fund of India has performed very well in so far as is evident from the several initiatives taken by it and their success thereof. Nevertheless, there is a long way to go before we manage to bridge our vast urban rural digital divide. In this article, the author explores some of the theoretical underpinnings and practical realities of Universal Service Policy with specific reference to India. She cautions against measures that involve state support to achieve short term benefits without careful evaluation of long term impacts on rural telecommunications and suggests the possible way forward to tackle the challenge of bringing ICT connectivity and its expected socio-economic benefits to rural India.