Inclusive Internet Current Affairs - 2020

For the first time in India: More rural Internet users than Urban

The Internet and Mobile Association of India recently released a report according to which the active internet users in rural India has increased by 10% as compared to that of rural India. According to the report, rural India had 227 million active internet users and urban India had 205 million internet users. This is the first time in Indian history the number of rural internet users have surpassed urban internet users.

Key findings of the report

The report says that around 71 million kids between age 5 and 11 go online using devices of their family members. India has also become the second largest internet user after China. In India the number of active internet users of age 5 years and above is 504 million. In China, the number is around 850 million active users. In USA, there are 280 to 300 million users.

In terms of Internet penetration, India lagged behind US and China. It was 40% in India as compared to that of 61% in China and 88% in USA. Internet penetration is the percentage of the total population of a country that uses internet.

Internet usage in India

The female internet users were higher than that of the male internet users. The local languages are gaining importance in the internet platform of India. Around 13 million of the 22 million monthly page views are in local languages like Marathi, Hindi and Bengali.

Among states, Delhi topped in internet penetration followed by Kerala.

Internet Connections to 2 lakh Gram Panchayat by 2020

Government of India has set a target of providing broad band connectivity to two lakh Gram Panchayats by March 2020. So far (till 7th November, 2019) over 1,28,000 Gram Panchayats have already been connected. The project is being implemented under the BharatNet Project.

Highlights

According to the Ministry of Electronic and Information Technology, Wi-Fi hotspots have been installed in 45,000 Gram Panchayats. Service is being provided to 16,000 Panchayats. The updates were presented by the Electronics and Information Minister Shri Ravi Shankar in the Lok Sabha.

Bharat Net Project

The Bharat Net Project was launched in 2017. The main aim of the project is to provide affordable broadband connectivity at a speed of 2 Mbps to 20 Mbps for all . The first phase of the project was completed in December 2017 that provided broad band connectivity to 1 lakh Gram Panchayats. In its second phase the project intended to connect the remaining 2,50,000 Gram Panchayats by March 2019.

OFC in the Project

The project uses underground Optic Fibre Cables (OFC) lines. It is a new element in the history of connectivity of India. OFC has several advantages like low cost, easy maintenance, speed implementation, etc.