With access to and competence in new ICTs a defining feature of modern citizenship in much of the global South, we need to understand the complex and ambivalent discourse around public-private partnerships, digital inclusion and the very rebranding of development communication in the 21st century. India’s prominence in this area is partially explained by the economic and symbolic success of its export-oriented IT industry. The spectacular nature of economic disparities in the world’s largest democracy - an emerging market vying for global recognition with some of the most severe rural poverty rates worldwide - has meant that private sector actors are increasingly eager to present themselves as active participants in a new discourse of development. In unequal information societies across the global South like India, a critical analysis of corporate actors in the development arena must take into account the wider field of conflict and struggle over the redistribution of public resources evident in the era of liberalization.
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