Connecting the Unconnected: ASK Kendra and Internet Accessibility Mayank Patil July 10, 2024

Connecting the Unconnected: ASK Kendra and Internet Accessibility

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According to estimates, approximately 742 million of the Indian population remained offline in 2022 which accounts for 53% of the population.

The internet powers the modern world in the contemporary era. As technology develops year after year, the internet is penetrating the remotest corners of the globe. Due to telecom corporations, the remotest corners around the globe have internet access. Digitisation is unquestionably here to spread and stay.

Although the attempts made to spread the internet are admirable, the process itself can be challenging. Instead of having all the necessary resources, residents in rural areas still struggle to get faster internet. The rural area’s internet connection is rather slow as compared to other cities which are already being used as test sites for 5G.

The Digital Divide

According to the estimates of Oxfam India, Despite rural India registering a digital growth rate of 13 % a year, only 31% of the rural population uses the internet as compared to 67% of their urban counterparts.

According to experts, the findings are not at all surprising as internet access in rural areas remains shoddy. There is a huge chasm between what is projected and what is reality. According to experts, connectivity remains an urban phenomenon in India and it will take a long time to bridge this gap.

In July, Google said it will invest 10 billion USD into digitizing India for the next 5 to 7 years. The investments will target making access to information affordable, helping businesses with their digital transition, building new productions, and increasing the usage of artificial intelligence in education, health, and agriculture.

The Role of Technology

According to an estimate, there were about 4.9 billion internet users globally in 2021, representing 63.2% of the global population. In the fast-paced contemporary world, technology is an essential component of everyday life. From the moment we wake up until we go to bed, we are surrounded by various forms of technology that make our lives easier, efficient as well as connected. Communication
  • • Global connectivity: Technology, especially the internet, enables us to communicate with people around the world in the blink of an eye which fosters global connections and comprehension.
  • • Real-time communication: Tools like email, smartphones, and instant messaging make it possible to share ideas, information, and emotions in real time.
  • • Accessibility: Assistive technologies help disabled individuals communicate effectively which improves their quality of life.
  • • Access to information: The internet can serve as a big knowledge repository that grants access to educational resources, research material, and online courses.
  • • Flexible learning: Technology also allows flexible learning options including digital textbooks and e-learning platforms which makes education accessible to diverse learners.
  • • Personalized learning: Adaptive learning software helps in tailoring educational content to individual needs which enhances the learning experience.
  • • Advanced Diagnostics: Medical technologies like genetic testing and MRI technology have improved disease detection and diagnosis.
  •  • Telemedicine: Healthcare consultations remotely have become possible which provides access to medical expertise even in remotest areas.
  • • Health tracking:  Wearable devices and health applications help individuals monitor their well-being and make informed health decisions.

Introduction to ASK Kendras

Seva Kendra means offering selfless services in one place. Taking the same initiative towards offering multiple digital services and solutions under a single roof, AISECT Seva Kendra is an online portal offering business-to-customer and government-to-customer e-services to every section of society.

ASK was initiated with the motive and vision to offer various services digitally in the field of recruitment, academics, online assessment examinations, online counselling, and business-to-customer services in association with departments of government, private houses of business along other organisations.

ASK Kendras in Action

AISECT Seva Kendra or ASKs are established in rural and local areas for the promotion of speedier and more efficient digital services to the general public. From mobile recharge to DTH. PAN to ADHAR card services to online fill-up, mutual fund services, and payments of electricity bills, AISECT Seva Kendra has a solution for all these needs at a single kiosk.

ASK’s main objective is to offer utility services to the commoner in every semi-urban, rural, and urban region where people don’t have access to these services to deliver a wide spectrum of services. ASK aims to set up kiosks in every locality so that people can access multiple service solutions that are integrated into all their basic digital needs while ensuring transparency, efficiency, and reliability at an affordable cost.

The Kendra also encourages people interested in the services to take up the franchise and establish an ASK Kiosk to increase the reach of these digital services in certain specific localities or regions.

The Self-Service Kiosks

Self-service Kiosks are interactive devices with touch screens that are installed in certain locations to aid consumers with various requirements at a particular place. For instance, by gathering information about processes and carrying out various tasks like booking reservations, filling out forms or making amendment requests, customers can use self-service kiosks in their appropriate way.

Self-service has been in use for quite a long time. Interactive digital kiosks have been created to be user-friendly. It allows customers to perform actions in an independent way with the aid of a simple interface with adequate security and without having to share their personal information or other requirements with any third party.


In conclusion, the digital divide in India remains one of the significant challenges instead of the increasing growth of the internet with rural areas lagging behind the urban landscape in terms of access and speed. Bridging this gap is a complex task and initiatives like Google’s substantial investment in digitisation are the steps in right direction.

Technology plays a pivotal role in the contemporary world which enables global connectivity, improved access to information, real-time communication, and advanced healthcare services. ASK, represented by AISECT Seva Kendra can be considered a promising solution that aims to bring digital services to urban and rural areas alike which offers a wide range of utility services under a single roof. The development of such initiatives and the continued expansion of technology offer hope for a more connected and digitally inclusive future in India.

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