Skip to main content

India slips in internet ranking, is worst performer among competing BRICS nations: UNESCO broadband report

By Rajiv Shah
Even when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was meeting Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg as part of his effort to gather international support for his high-profile Digital India campaign, a new report, sponsored jointly by UNESCO and International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and released by UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon, has found that India has slipped in global ranking for the use of internet, both broadband and internet in general.
The report, “State of Broadband 2015: Broadband as Foundation of Sustainable Development”, dated September 2015, ranks India 131st in the fixed broadband subscription category and 155th in the mobile broadband subscription category among 189 nations of the world. The report says that India has 1.2 per 100 capita fixed and 5.5 mobile per 100 capita broadband penetration.
A comparison with BRICS nations suggests as India ranks worst both in fixed and mobile broadband. In fixed broadband, Russia ranks 56th with 17.5 per 100 capita, China 67th with 14.4 per 100 capita, Brazil 76th with 11.5 per 100 capita, and South Africa 110th with 3.2 per 100 capita. And as for mobile broadband, Brazil 27th with 78.1 per 100 capita, Russia 40th with 65.9 per 100 capita, South Africa 69th with 46.7 per 100 capita, and China 78th with 41.8 per 100 capita.
The earlier report, released exactly a year ago, in September 2014, had found that India ranked 125th in fixed broadband subscription with 1.2 per 100 capita penetration, and 113th in mobile broadband subscription with a 3.2 per capita penetration, suggesting a sharp slip internationally on both the counts. The data come close on the heels of experts doubting the possibility of Digital India’s ability to take internet to every doorstep in India, a goal Modi has set for himself.
Prepared by the Broadband Commission for Digital Development, the report is has been prepared in response to the UN Secretary-General’s call to step up efforts to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Established in May 2010, the Commission unites government leaders, top industry executives, thought leaders, policy pioneers, international agencies and organizations concerned with development.
The 2015 report also finds that, with 15.3 per cent of households having internet, India ranks No 80 among 133 developing countries. The 2014 report had had found that, with 13 per cent households having internet, India ranked No 75 among developing countries. The only consolation for India is, in Pakistan, 13 per cent households have internet connections, with its ranking being 83rd among developing countries. Sri Lanka’s household internet penetration is equal to that of India.
Further, the 2015 report finds that in India 18 per cent individuals use internet, but this is worse than 135 other nations out of a total of 191. Iceland tops the list with 98.2 per cent individuals using internet, followed by Norway 96.3 per cent, and Denmark 96 per cent. In United Kingdom 91.6 per cent individuals use internet, in Japan 90.6 per cent, in the United States 87.4 per cent, and so on.
Coming to the BRICS countries on this score, again, India is again the worst performer. In in Russia 60.5 per cent individuals use internet (ranking No 44), in Brazil 57.6 per cent (ranking No 68), in China 49.3 per cent (ranking No 82), and in South Africa 49 per cent (ranking No 84).

Comments

TRENDING

Telangana govt proposes to give unfettered powers to forest officials, 'help' corporates

By Dr Palla Trinadha Rao*
The Telangana Government is contemplating to replace the Telangana Forest Act 1967 with a new law - the Telangana Forest Act (TFA) 2019, trampling the rights of adivasis ensured under the Scheduled Tribes and other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 (FRA Act 2006) and Panchayats Extension to Schedule Area (PESA) Act 1996 both of which are central acts.

RSS, Hindu Mahasabha were 'subservient' to British masters: Nagpur varsity VC told

Counterview Desk
Well-known political scientist Shamsul Islam, associate professor (retired), University of Delhi, in an open letter to the vice-chancellor of the Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University, Dr Siddharthavinayaka P Kane, has taken strong exception to the varsity decision to include RSS’ “role” in nation building in the syllabus of the BA (history) course, citing instances to say that the RSS ever since its birth in 1925 with its Hindutva allies like Hindu Mahasabha led by VD Savarkar worked overtime to “betray the glorious anti-colonial freedom struggle”.

British companies export 'deadly' asbestos to India, other countries from offshore offices

By Rajiv Shah
“The Sunday Times”, which forms part of the powerful British daily, “The Times”, has raised the alarm that though the “deadly” asbestos is banned in Britain, companies registered in United Kingdom, and operating from other countries, “are involved in shipping it to developing nations”, especially India. India, Brazil, Russia and China account for almost 80% of the asbestos consumed globally every year, it adds.

One lakh schools closed down, draft policy 'seeks' commercialisation: Whither RTE?

By Our Representative
A national consultation on the new draft National Education Policy (NEP) with senior experts, teachers’ association representatives and other stakeholders at the India International Centre in New Delhi on July 11, organised by the Right to Education (RTE) Forum, has expressed serious concern over curtailment in the budgeted expenditure on education year after year, even as closure of more than one lakh schools over the "last few years."

Lynching as state terror? Complete dearth of 'political will' to deal with mob violence

By Fr Cedric Prakash sj*
On Friday July 5, thousands of people had gathered at a rally in Surat to protest against the growing mob lynching incidents in different parts of the country. There are different interpretations at what happened during the rally: with police blaming the rallyists and those in the rally blaming the police for using teargas shells upon them without any reason.

Mental health: India's 95% patients "deprived" of medical care, treatment gap 70%

By Moin Qazi*
Among the many challenges India faces, the most underappreciated is the ongoing mental health crisis. Mental illness is actually India’s ticking bomb. An estimated 56 million Indians suffer from depression, and 38 million from anxiety disorders. For those who suffer from mental illness, life can seem like a terrible prison from which there is no hope of escape; they are left forlorn and abandoned, stigmatized, shunned and misunderstood.

Gender budgeting? Govt of India allocates just 2.1%, 0.73% for SC, ST women

By Rajiv Shah
The National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights (NCDHR), one of the most influential all-India Dalit rights networks, has taken strong exception to the manner in which the Government of India has undermined Gender Responsive Budgeting in the Union Budget 2019-20 for scheduled castes (SCs) and scheduled tribes (STs), pointing towards “wide gaps” between the goals and the situational reality of “the Dalit and Adivasi women on the ground.”

Universal healthcare? India lacks provisions to 'fight' non-communicable diseases

By Moin Qazi*
Universal health coverage (UHC) -- ensuring that all people receive proper and adequate health care without suffering financial hardship -- is an integral part of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. It enables countries to make the most of their strongest asset: human capital.

Beijing-based infrastructure bank 'funding' India's environmentally risky projects

By Our Representative
A new civil society note has questioned the operations of the Beijing-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a multilateral development bank that aims to support the building of infrastructure in the Asia-Pacific region, seeking to fund projects in India through the Government of India’s National Infrastructure Investment Fund (NIIF), calling it “a risky venture”.

UN report notes 'suppression' of Kashmiri independence groups in Pakistan

By Our Representative
A top United Nations (UN) body has suggested that the intense fervour of Kashmiri nationalism isn’t just sweeping the Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) state but is equally strong in the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), pointing towards how the Pak authorities have been seeking to suppress it by placing restrictions on rights to freedoms of expression and opinion, assembly and association on every section of PoK’s population.