Journal : People's Daily (Chinese) Date : Author :  Zou Song Page No. : 21
URL : http://paper.people.com.cn/rmrb/html/2015-08/14/nw.D110000renmrb_20150814_9-21.htm

I was surprised when I first heard  that “Internet helps 45% sale of the movie tickets in New Delhi capital circles”. It seemed to me that I was way behind the rapid cyberizing trend in the country’s capital.

Is “45” a high percentage point? Compared with 13% in America, the leading giant in the world movie and Internet industry ? The number is much higher. In China, people turn to the Internet for cheaper tickets, while in New Delhi, the price of tickets sold online is almost the same as they are sold at the ticket window. People buy tickets online just for convenience.

So are Indian audiences seeking out the fashionable and having very deep pockets? The answer is uncertain. The New Delhi capital circles refers to New Delhi Municipality and some surrounding satellite towns such as Gurgaon and Noida. The movie theaters in the region are mostly modern theaters with multiple movie halls. Here most of the audiences are from middle class, holding smart phones in their hands and bank cards in their bags. For this group of people, life without Internet is unbearable. However, in Faridabad, not far from New Delhi, people still choose to queue up at the ticket window. Buying tickets online is a strange thing for them as most of them don’t have smart phones. If you go further to towns and villages near the capital circles, going to movies becomes a rare thing. In places where power supply only lasts for several hours in a day, people have no idea what value Internet can bring to their life.

The different ways to buy movie tickets mirror a widening “digital divide” in India. India owns world-class colleges of computer science which are well-known for being the “Silicon Valley of technology”. Many of its Internet consultancy firms play leading roles in business. However, embraced by the strong arms of these IT giants, the ancient nation still contains some “Internet low lands” which haven’t been “connected with the digital network”. Although India is now the fastest-growing smart phone market in the world, the popularization rate of Internet and broadband remains low in the country. By the end of last year, only 100 million Indians were using broadband. And its average speed of connecting to network ranks 115 in the world.

While people living in the city complain of the speed of 4G network, rural residents have to set time to use electricity. It is not easy for “digital India” to run under these circumstances.The “blueprint of digital development” issued by the Indian government at the beginning of this July said that India planned to cover 250,000 villages with optical fibre network before 2019. The project aims at bringing the vast rural areas in India into the Internet age. Many Indian media hold the view that the reality is far more complicated. In those rural areas where literacy level and poverty rate are not so optimistic, the cheapest Internet data package maybe a burden for most people.

It is not only in India but also in many other developing countries that the information industry is considered to be an impetus driving the national economy to a higher ground. Many media reports have indicated that the combination of information industry (IT) with traditional business can bring great benefits to the life of poor people in places such as Africa and South America, and it can also help to bridge social gulf caused by the “digital divide”. But for India, a large and complicated developing country, one industry alone is incapable of supporting the whole national economy. As some critics in India say, there always exists the wish of making India’s IT industry a driving force for its social development. But the obstacle still lies in the  lack of coordination between the development of basic industries and the information industry in India.

However, it’s a good thing to live in a world where people tend to seek win-win cooperation. Indian Prime Minister Modi expressed a strong desire to work with China for improving India’s infrastructure during his visit to China. That is also a reflection of a great impetus to the economic development of India— the FT’s comment that “the abbreviation ‘Chindia’ indicates thriving and prosperity”  may become ireality.

 

“数字印度”亟待弥补发展断层

来源:《人民日报》

时间:2015年8月14日

邹 松 发自新德里

 

“数字印度”亟待弥补发展断层

 

“新德里首都圈卖出的电影票45%来自网络销售。”初闻此事,笔者吃惊不小,看来自己只是勉强跟上了印度首都人民飞速发展的网络化步伐。

“45%”很高吗?跟影视业与互联网业走在前列的美国相比,这个数字远高于美国的“13%”。跟希望抢到网上便宜电影票的中国不同的是,印度新德里网上与窗口的购票价格基本相同,约为二三十元人民币一张,选择在线购买,大多只是图个方便。

那么印度观众的确如此时髦且荷包鼓鼓吗?答案似乎并不肯定。新德里首都圈指的是新德里市以及古尔岗、诺伊达等几个周边卫星城,这里的电影院多为多厅现代化影院,来此观影的观众普遍是手里拿着智能手机,包里揣着各种银行卡的中产阶层。对这些人来说,没网的日子无法容忍。不过,就在距新德里市几十公里的法里达巴德市,这里的人们仍然会选择在售票窗口排起长队,网上购票对他们来说还很陌生,毕竟多数人都还没换上智能手机。如果再往新德里首都圈周边的村镇走走,看电影就变成了稀罕事,在全天供电只有几小时的地方,人们并不清楚网络能给自己带来什么。

同样一场电影的不同购票方式,反映出印度正日益拉大的“数字鸿沟”。印度拥有全球最炙手可热的计算机学府、世界闻名的“技术硅谷”,不少网络咨询公司也堪称业界翘楚,但在这些信息科技的巨擘之下,这片古老的土地上还有很多未被“互联”的“网络低地”。印度虽然是目前世界上发展最快的智能手机市场,但印度的互联网和宽带普及率仍然很低。截至去年,印度使用宽带的人数只有1亿,在网络连接的平均速度方面,印度排名世界第115位。

一边是4G网络还嫌慢的城市生活,另一边是用电还需定时的乡村节奏,“数字印度”做起来颇为不易。在今年7月初印度政府公布的“数字发展蓝图”中,印度要在2019年前使光纤网络覆盖25万个印度村庄。这一计划旨在让印度广大农村不被网络时代抛弃。印度很多媒体认为,现实情况可能比较复杂,在文化水平、贫困率都不太乐观的印度农村,最低价格的网络流量套餐都可能会成为一种负担。

不仅是印度,信息产业也被很多发展中国家看作实现经济跨越式发展的动力。在很多新闻媒体的报道中,可以看到信息产业与传统行业的结合,对改善非洲、拉丁美洲等地区贫困人群的生活条件大有裨益,也部分实现了弥补“数字鸿沟”带来的社会断层。但对印度这样一个庞大而又复杂的发展中国家来说,一个产业不足以支撑经济的崛起。正如印度国内的质疑者所言,用信息科技带动印度社会发展的意愿一直存在,但困难仍然在于印度基础产业与信息产业的发展不协调。

不过,好在这是一个合作与共赢的世界。印度总理莫迪访华期间,他曾表示与中国合作改善基础设施的强烈意愿。这也让人们看到印度经济发展的一大推动力量——或许真会应了《金融时报》曾做出的评论,“中印(Chindia)”这个简称寓意蒸蒸日上、繁荣兴盛。

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