KnowNet Initiative

Knowledge incubates in the Human Mind and when applied innovatively becomes a factor of growth and development.


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The human race has entered into the new millennium. The new millennium sees ourselves moving towards a world of greater inter-connectedness-- in terms of flow of information, capital, goods and services, inter-twined economies and their globalised impacts. The force (along with the others) that is fueling this transition is Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

The advances in information and communication technology, are re-structuring the global social economic equation - shifting from income divide to knowledge divide. The info-technological revolution on one hand is spearheading the growth of Knowledge Societies in developed countries and has aroused much interest among the civil society, markets and the agents of change. On the other hand, more than 850 million people in developing countries are excluded from a wide range of information and knowledge. An isolated world does exist amidst the world that has over a billion mobile phone subscribers and over 500 million Internet users. The poor, especially in developing countries remain much isolated - economically, socially and culturally from the burgeoning information and progress in the arts, science and technology. 

It needs to be realized that with the inception of ICT in the modern society:

  • Knowledge does not remain confined within a closed domain or a geographical boundary--- but often becomes a freely exchangeable public good.
  • Knowledge gets transmitted almost immediately from the source of its origin to multiple users and it becomes almost impossible to obliterate the knowledge hosted on the internet.

The direct implications of these attributes are that whoever accesses and manages the knowledge better and uses it more innovatively will reap the maximum benefits of it. Further, same knowledge would have differentiated values for different users and it is the ability and vision of the end user to recognize and embrace the differentiated values of knowledge and put it to gainful use to realize even more value out of it.

The obvious fact is that Developing Nations and its people are at an unequal platform in comparison to their counterparts in Developed Nations to harness the true potential of "Knowledge" because of the various barriers to their transformation to Knowledge Societies.

Something certainly needs to be done about it and . . .

 . . . . hence the evolution of the Initiative.

Vikas Nath

Conceiver, Initiative and

Policy Analyst, UNDP, New York

(Inlaks Scholar, London School of Economics, UK)

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