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Inclusive Internet Index 2018: India ranks 47th

India was ranked 47th out of 86 countries in Inclusive Internet Index (III) 2018 report. India has slipped by 11 positions compared to 36th rank in 2017 III report due to low internet usage and poor quality.

The report was commissioned by Facebook in 2017 and is conducted by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). It provides rigorous benchmark of national-level Internet inclusion across four categories: Availability, Affordability, Relevance and Readiness. 2018 edition of report has covered 91% of the world’s population and expanded data set of 86 countries, up from 75 countries in 2017.

Key Highlights of 2018 III report

India was ranked 62nd in Availability, 39th in Affordability, 37th in Relevance and 23rd in Readiness categories. Singapore, Canada, Poland and Malaysia have topped in respective categories.

Internet connectivity: It has grown by 8.3% over past year and has shown 65.1% increase in low-income countries with largest year-on-year increases in Rwanda (490.8%), Nepal (138.1%) and Tanzania (87.8%).

Mobile Internet gap: It is shrinking between rich and poor. In low-income countries, average cost of 500 MB mobile broadband connection fell from 12.1% of monthly income in 2017 to 10.0% in 2018, a 17.3% cost reduction.

Gender gap in Internet inclusion: It is still far too pervasive. In 69 out of 86 countries, more men have access to internet than women. On average across indexed countries, men are 33.5% more likely to have Internet access than women. This gap is substantially more pronounced in lower-income countries.

Empowerment: Use of internet is empowering, especially to citizens in Asia, Middle East and Africa. Privacy and security concerns have limited the use of the Internet especially in Europe.

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NPCI allows Whatsapp to beta test its payments service with limited users

The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has allowed Facebook-owned WhatsApp to beta test its BHIM UPI beta payments service with limited user base of 1 million and low transaction limit.  Four banks will join social messaging app’s BHIM UPI model in phases and full feature product will be released after beta test is successful.

Key Facts

The multi-bank model will offer advantages such as transaction load distribution between banks and helps to integrate popular apps easily with BHIM UPI. The inter-operability will allow to send and receive money through any BHIM UPI ID, intent and collect call and read and generate BHIM/Bharat QR code that are required in final BHIM UPI app.

National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI)

NPCI is the umbrella organisation for all retail payments system in India. It is being promoted the Reserve Bank of India. It was founded in 2008 as a not-for-profit organisation registered under section 25 of the Companies Act, 2013. It has successfully played pioneering role in development of a domestic card payment network called RuPay, reducing the dependency on international card schemes.

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