According to Study Only 20 Percent Indians Have Access to the Internet
The present Indian government has put stress on connecting India to pave the path for the country to become a powerful force in the digital age. But there are major hindrances in that path. The backbone of the infrastructure, the cables that connect the country together are in poor shape. Along with that, 26 percent of India’s population is illiterate. A new study by The Pew Research Center says that only 20 percent of Indians have access to Internet. This report takes the government’s target of connecting all Indians even further away.
The study says that 20 percent of Indians had occasional access to the internet while only 14 percent of folks own a smartphone. This comes a few days after the country’s telecom minister stated that the country has 95.5 crore mobile subscribers. He also said that there are over 30 crore internet subscribers in the country which means that there is still a mammoth task of connecting 90 crore Indians.
The Pew study had some interesting insights about the internet usage by Indians. It found that 65 percent of respondents used internet for social media while 55 percent used it for job hunting.
There were some questions in the study related to internet’s influence on the lives of people. It reported that 64 percent found internet to be beneficial for education while 53 percent found it to be useful for personal relationships. The recent elections created a vitriolic atmosphere on the internet, but even then 36 percent Indians thought internet’s influence has been good for Indian politics while 30 percent said it had a bad influence. A 42 percent also said that internet had a bad influence on personal morality while 29 percent saw it as good for morality.
The study was conducted in 32 developing nation and surveyed 36,619 people. It found that countries like India, Indonesia, Pakistan and Bangladesh who make up for a quarter of the global population have a dismal access to the internet. Only 24 percent of Indonesians, 11 percent of Bangladeshis and 8 percent of Pakistanis are connected to the internet.
The study also indicated that internet use was more prominent amongst educated; English speaking population, which is a given considering the massive amount of content on the web is in English. There is now a movement towards local languages which will definitely enable more people to join the information revolution. But one thing is sure that if the Indian government wants to create a Digital India, it not only has to invest resources in developing infrastructure but also invest in creating a digitally literate population.