Kerala the first Indian state to make internet access a basic human right

Signal of change / Kerala the first Indian state to make internet access a basic human right

By Anna Warrington / 13 Mar 2017

The Indian state of Kerela has proposed on its budget to make access to the internet a basic human right. Under the proposal, the project named K-FON (Kerela Fiber Optic Network) aims for the government to provide 2 million households with free internet access within 18 months. This comes as another step in Kerela's history with prioritising IT. In 2003, it was one of few states in India to make IT education complusory in schools, and in 2016 Kerala was the first 'Digital State' having linked all villages to the National Optical Fiber Network project (NOFN).

So what?

The UN Human Rights Council added the Right to Internet Access as part of its charter of fundamental human rights in July 2016. Since then countries such as Sweden and Finland have made steps to recognise this right, and now Kerela's government is doing the same. Allowing free internet access across the state could have a huge positive impact on education and employment opportunities. How will the government ensure that this infrastructure is maintained and there are no social or structural barriers preventing women, children, or disabled people from accessing the internet?

Sources

https://www.indiatimes.com/news/india/kerala-has-become-the-first-indian-state-to-make-access-to-internet-a-basic-right-a-model-for-the-country-to-follow-272911.html

What might the implications of this be? What related signals of change have you seen?

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