Technology Economic and E-waste

ICTS are general-purpose technologies, i.e. technologies whose value and impact arise primarily from their use in other economic and social sectors. Three capabilities are especially important for economic and social development.

ICTS:
  • enable greater efficiency in economic and social methods;
  • improve the effectiveness of cooperation between different stakeholders;
  • and expand the volume and range of data available to people, businesses, and governments.

Systemic impacts which ICTs have had on the development of economies, societies, and cultures, include:

Economic Impacts

include the globalization of production in goods and services, changes in international trade and distribution networks, changes in patterns of consumption, the virtualization of some products and behaviors, and the growing importance of the ICT sector within the world and national economies.

Social Impacts

include mass-market access to an enormously increased range of information resources, enhanced freedom of expression and association, new patterns of work and human settlement, changes in the relationships between government, citizens,s and the state, and between citizens, and associated challenges to traditional ideas of privacy and individuality.

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4.1 Economic Benefits

The impact of ICT on the economic sector has a positive multiplier effect on the Business World. Some significant benefits include:

Secure Transactions

Banks and similar institutions could be said to be the sector that has benefited the most from the latest developments in ICT. Fund transfer can now be made in a matter of seconds within a locality and to most parts of the world with greater security than ever.

Ease and Availability

One doesn’t need to stand in long queues for fund withdrawal; with the use of the ATM Card and Internet banking, the banking transactions can be carried out at any time of the day within the capacity of transactions allowed. Such transactions could even have payment of bills such as water rates, electricity, etc.

Net Banking

With online or Internet banking a lot of payments and buying can be done online via one’s bank account at the convenience of one’s home or office. The life wire of any business is fund availability and its timeliness and net banking ensure both.

Global Market

With ICT, now the market is the entire globe. A small business in a small town can think of reaching a buyer in any part of the world. And buyer’s access is not just limited to his market, (s)he can now have access to the all-world market, courtesy Internet and ICT.

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5. E-WASTE MANAGEMENT

describes discarded electrical or electronic devices. “Electronic waste” may also be described as discarded computers, office electronic tools, entertainment device electronics, mobile phones, television packs, and refrigerators.

This contains used electronics that are destined for reuse, recycling, salvage, resale, or disposal. Of all the different types of waste, electronic waste has the characteristics of (a) being the fastest-growing segment of waste (b) being most valuable due to its basic composition (c) being very hazardous if not handled carefully.

important Concerns of Discarding e-Waste

While dumping e-waste, you should be careful about the data kept in discarded storage
devices. It is very important that you delete everything stored in them manually, be it your computer systems’ hard disc, laptop’s disk, smartphone’s memory disks, digital

camera’s storage, and so forth. Just deleting the digital information is not enough, someone can still undelete it. So, take care to format it or delete it using proper tools that shred the data in a form that can never be undeleted or unformatted later.

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Use proper tools to delete or shred
data before disposing of any old or
faulty storage device.

5.1 E-Waste Disposal Process

The government of India categorizes E-Waste under the broad class of hazardous waste. Within e-Waste, there are several categories such as Large and small household appliances, electrical and electronic toys and sporting equipment, tools, computers, related equipment, and so forth.

Composition of e-waste.

Electrical and Electronic tools contain metallic and nonmetallic elements, alloys, and compounds such as Gold, Silver, Palladium, Nickel, Tin, Lead, Copper, Aluminum, Platinum, Iron, Sulphur, Phosphorous, Arsenic, etc. E-waste management involves proper recycling and recovery of the disposed of material. The recycling and recovery contain the following unit processes.

Dismantling.

Removal of parts holding dangerous substances (CFCs, Hg switches, PCB); removal of smoothly accessible parts containing valuable substances (cable containing copper, steel, iron, precious, metal-containing parts).

Segregation of non-ferrous metal, ferrous metal, and plastic.

This separation is generally done in a shredder method.

Refurbishment and reuse.

Refurbishment and reuse of e-waste have the potential for those used electrical and electronic equipment which can be easily refurbished to put to its original use.

Recycling/recovery of valuable materials.

Ferrous metals in electrical are furnaces, non-ferrous metals in smelting plants, and precious metals in separating works.

Treatment/disposal of dangerous materials and waste.

Shredder light fraction is disposed of in dump sites or periodically incinerated (costly), chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) are feted thermally, Printed Circuit Board (PCB) is burned or disposed of in subsurface storages, Mercury (Hg) is usually recycled or disposed of in underground dump sites.

5.2 Benefits of e-Waste Recycling

The e-Waste disposal and proper recycling are very much necessary and important for the benefit of people, the environment, and the nation. The key benefits are :

Allows for recovery of valuable precious metals.

Most customer electronics contain useful materials like copper, gold, and zinc that can and should be recycled. Virgin Materials are extremely expensive than recycled materials for manufacturing.

Protects public health and water quality.

E-waste has a variety of harmful substances, which may contain lead, mercury, and cadmium. When e-waste is disposed into dumps, these poisons can be released into the atmosphere or leak in via the land and have negative health and environmental impacts.

Creates Jobs.

Recycling e-waste domestically creates employment for professional recyclers and refurbishers and creates new markets for the valuable and beneficial components that are dismantled.

Toxic Waste.

Mining produces toxic waste, which is linked with crop devastation and human health crisis due to water contamination

Saves landfill space.

E-waste is a growing waste stream. Recycling these things will help conserve dump space.

GENDER ISSUES WHILE TEACHING/USING COMPUTERS

The subject ‘computers’ is introduced in primary classes in most of the schools, ‘Computer Science as a major subject gets introduced only in high school. While training computers, there are many gender-specific problems that must be managed to enforce gender equity in computer science education. Let us talk about these problems.

6.1. Gender Issues

Gurvinder and Bela are Computer Science teachers at two different co-educational schools. Both said that in the class of the subject ‘Computer Science’, 60-70% are boys and the rest are girls. This trend i.e., more boys opt for ‘Computer Science’ than girls, has been continuing for years now. So ‘the under-representation of girls is one major issue. 17.6 There are some other issues as well. Let us discuss some major gender issues in school-level Computer Science education.

Under Representation

In India, this has been commonly observed in cities that girls are underrepresented in ‘Computer Science’ studies be it ‘Computer Science’ major subject in high school or ‘Computer Science major’ at the college level. There are far fewer girls than boys in the computer science section. A leading engineering institution in India has reported that there has been about 17% of girls represented in ‘Computer Science’ engineering in recent years.

There are multiple factors that are attributed as the causes behind this. These are :

(i) Preconceived Notions.

There are multiple preconceived notions overall that subconsciously play a role. Concepts like ‘boys are better at technical specialties, girls are good at humanities, skills, etc.; ‘girls must take up a career holding in mind that they have to grow a family.

They must not take up high involvement careers’, and ‘Teaching is the best option for girls as it gives you half-day off and an ample number of holidays so that you can skillfully take care of your family, etc. have their impact on decision making of girls while taking up topics.

Also, in India, parents play a vital role while choosing subjects and parents directly/indirectly force these pre-conceived notions to influence girls’ decisions and girls end up taking other topics than ‘Computer Science’.

(ii) Lack of Interest.

During primitive years, kids often play games on computers/ smartphones. Most games available today are boys-centric and gained their attraction on computers. Also, at home, boys get to play more on computers/smartphones (keeping in mind the entire India system) and generate more interest in computers than girls.

(iii) Lack of Motivation.

Girls are pressurised to choose a career option that will give them ‘a work-life balance in favor of family roles they have to play later on. Girls are always told directly/indirectly in households that they have to play an important family role later on and indulging in a subject which will consume most of your time is not advisable as no matter what, whatever job opportunity you choose, you cannot shy away from your family part. This ‘double burden’ theory also prevents girls from taking up technical topics like Computer Science.’

(iv) Lack of Role Models.

Girls these days see less of role models in the field of ‘Computer Science’ whom they can emulate. TV, movies, advertisements, everywhere it is portrayed that technical fields like ‘Computers Science’, are men’s fields. If you see a woman scientist in a group, there are 10 other scientists who are men, in a movie/advertisement, etc. what would you think subconsciously. All these things influence girls sub-psychologically and they infer that ‘Computer Science’ is for boys and does not take up the subject.

(v) Lack of Encouragement in class.

As there is a lesser number of girls in a class, the teachers for most work assignments end up choosing more boys. Also, less number of girls means lesser counterpart motivation. Also, some teachers pinpoint their roles in society such as ‘girls will get married and may not take it up as a profession. All this may play as a condition and girls do not generate as much interest as they can in ‘Computer Science’ subjects.

Not Girl-Friendly Work-Culture

It has been observed that when, in schools, work-partners are selected, boys prefer boys over girls. And even if a girl and a boy are made workmates, boys prefer to work actively and make girls silent spectators. Boys are not comfortable in conditions where they are not playing active roles.

Even if girls are given separate computers to work on, they are very shy about working actively. As per a study, the issues mentioned by girls in a computer room are like: ‘insufficient access time’, ‘difficulty with maintenance’ or ‘insufficient peripherals available’ etc. disobedient to issues mentioned by boys such as ‘software not usable’, ‘limitations of software’, ‘poor quality of support’ etc.

6.1.1. Possible Solutions

The issues listed above are not intentionally created, hence they need a different type of
handling.

  1. There should be more initiatives and programs that encourage girls to take up Computer Science subjects. Presently there are many initiatives supported by the government and run by many tech-giants to encourage more girls to take up ‘Computer Science’ subject.
  2. The Film and TV censor board should assure adequate representation of female role models in TV, cinema, etc. so that more girls get inspired to take up ‘Computer Science’.
  3. In the practice rooms, girls should be encouraged more to work on computers on their own and also to find solutions to their routine problems such as ‘peripheral not available’. They should assertively speak to the lab attendant to get all the peripheral devices they want. They should be encouraged to celebrate small success in the lab (such as a bug successfully removed) with big success (such as a project working superbly). This will instill more confidence and interest in girls working with ‘Computer Science’ subject.
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