EditorialSanctum

Digital inequality warning sounded for urban India

Recent indications that India’s Internet use is low and not reflected in the numbers of mobile phone connections and growth are buttressed by a new study. The results are likely to be similar in more prosperous cities, such as Bengaluru and Delhi, worse in poorer cities. Although Internet users in India are increasing, and the country is Asia-Pacific’s fastest growing smartphone market, only 22 percent of the adult population in India uses the Internet, compared to the global median of 67 percent, according to this survey.

India lags behind most major economies and performs worse than Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana and Indonesia, among other countries. Yet, in absolute numbers, India overtook the US and became the country with the world’s second-largest Internet market, with 402 million active Internet users in December 2015. These figures clearly hide great variations, the study revealed. Pune has grown rapidly over the last two decades to become the eighth-largest urban agglomeration in India. In 2015, Pune ranked second only to Bengaluru in software exports from India.

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