Skip to main content

India behind BRICS countries in internet readiness, slipping to No 91. Reason: Poor infrastructure, skills

By Our Representative
A new report by World Economic Forum (WEF) has said that despite “improvements” in India’s political and regulatory environment as also business and innovation environment, India has slipped down two positions to 91st rank in Network Readiness Index (NRI) – a term used for identifying information and communication technology (ICT) penetration.
WEF is one of the world’s most recognized Switzerland-based global institutions seeking to engage business, political and academic leaders for “improving” industry agendas. The organization from India which helped WEF prepare the report is the premier industry body, Confederation of Indian Industries (CII).
The first ten countries identified in NRI ranking by the report, titled “Global Information Technology Report 2016 Innovating in the Digital Economy”, are Singapore, Finland, Sweden, Norway, United States, Netherlands, Switzerland, United Kingdom and Japan.
In Asia, the report says, apart from Singapore, the other five top countries region in terms of overall ICT readiness remain China, Malaysia, Mongolia, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.
The report finds that India is far behind all other BRICS countries, which are supposed to its main economic competitors, with Brazil ranking 72nd, Russia 41st, India 91st, China 59th and South Africa 65th. In all, 139 countries have been ranked.
India vis-a-vis lower middle income group average
The report notes that India has slipped despite the fact that India’s political and regulatory environment has improved (78th, up four), as also its business and innovation environment (110th, up five).
“Although India’s absolute score has changed only marginally in recent years, the drop can be attributed in part to the fact that other countries are moving ahead at higher speeds”, the report states.
It underlines, “In addition, lack of infrastructure (114th) and low levels of skills among the population (101st) remain the key bottlenecks to widespread ICT adoption, especially in terms of individual usage (120th).”
The report says, “A third of the Indian population is still illiterate (95th) and a similar share of youth is not enrolled in secondary education (103rd). Only 15 out of 100 households have access to the Internet and mobile broadband remains a privilege of the few, with only 5.5 subscriptions for every 100 people.”
This, the report believes, is happening “in spite of the fact that affordability has long been one of the strengths of the Indian ICT ecosystem, with the country ranking 8th this year in this area.”
The report underlines, “A deep divide persists between well-connected metropolitan hubs and remote rural areas, where even the most basic infrastructure is insufficient”, and in order to overcome this divide, in 2015 the government “launched the Digital India programme, which aims to close this gap by fostering investment in digital infrastructure, improving digital literacy, and increasingly providing online services to citizens.” 
India's ranking under four pillars of NRI index
“India’s performance in terms of providing online services and allowing e-participation has so far been in line with that of peer countries, but far from the global best (57th and 40th, respectively)”, the report states.
Based on a survey of 14,000 business executives, half of them belonging to international organizations, those that provided data for coming up with the report included the International Telecommunication Union, UNESCO and other UN agencies, and the World Bank.
The authors of the report – Silja Baller, Soumitra Dutta, and Bruno Lanvin – say, “The NRI data show that the minds of business executives around the world are increasingly focused on innovation, as reflected by the steady upward trend in firms’ perceived capacity to innovate.”

Comments

TRENDING

Mystery around Gujarat PSU 'transfer' of Rs 250 crore to Canadian firm Karnalyte

By AK Luke, IAS (Retd)*
While returning from a Board meeting of the Oil India Limited (OIL) in Ahmedabad some time in 2012, two officers of the Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd (GSFC), Nanavaty and Patel,  saw me off at the airport. They said they were proceeding to Canada in connection with a project GSFC had entered into with a company there. As we were running late, I hastily wished them the best.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad 'declared' two-nation theory in 1937, Jinnah followed 3 years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

Indians have made 119 nations their ‘karma bhumi’: US-based Hindu NGO tells Rupani

Counterview Desk
In a stinging letter to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, the US-based Hindus for Human Rights (HfHR), referring to the report citing his justification for the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) – that “while Muslims can choose any one of the 150 Islamic countries in the world (for residence), India is the only country for Hindus" – has said, he should remember, Hindus have made several countries, including USA, their home.

J&K continues to be haunted, as parts of India 'degenerate' into quasi-Kashmir situation

By Rajendran Narayanan*, Sandeep Pandey**
“Jab har saans mein bandook dikhe toh baccha kaise bekhauf rahe?” (How can a child be fearless when she sees a gun in every breath?) remarked Anwar, a gardener from Srinagar, when asked about the situation in Kashmir. On November 30, 2019, a walk through an iron gate in a quiet neighbourhood of Srinagar took us inside a public school. It was 11 am when typically every school is abuzz with activity. Not here though.

Tata Mundra's possible closure? Power ministry's 'pressure tactic' on consumer states

By Bharat Patel*
Tata power has announced to the Union Ministry of Power that Tata Power may be forced to stop operating  its imported coal-based Mundra Ultra-Mega Power Project (UMPP) after February, 2020. It is not only unfortunate but also criminal that irreversible damage has been caused to the fragile ecosystem of Mundra coast for a project that will have a running life of only seven years.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam*
RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Population control? 10% Indian couples want to delay next pregnancy, but fail

Counterview Desk
Shireen Jejeebhoy, director at Aksha Centre for Equity and Wellbeing, previously senior associate at the Population Council, India, argues that the debate on the country's population was fuelled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day address to the nation, where he drew attention to “concern” about the challenges posed by this ‘exploding’ population growth, needs to centre around the promotion of rights and education, instead of the language of explosion and the threat of coercion that this term implies.

Savarkar 'opposed' Bhagat Singh's, Netaji's dream of India, supported British war efforts

By Shamsul Islam*
In a shocking development, the student wing of the RSS put the busts of martyrs Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose with Savarkar's on one pedestal at the University of Delhi late in the night on August 20, 2019. Bhagat Singh sacrificed his life for a socialist-democratic-secular republic and Netaji raised Azad Hind Fauj (INA) consisting of people of all religions and regions for armed liberation of India.

Kerala governor turned History Congress into political arena, 'insulted' Prof Irfan Habib

Counterview Desk
In a signed statement, office bearers of the Aligarh Society of History and Archaeology (ASHA), Prof Syed Ali Nadeem Rezavi (president), Prof Jabir Raza (vice-president), Prof Manvendra Kumar Pundhir (secretary) and Prof Farhat Hasan (joint secretary), have said that Kerala governor Arif Mohammad Khan had sought to insult veteran historian Prof Irfan Habib, 88, at the 80th session of the Indian History Congress, even as turning it into his “political arena”.