ICT Development Index 2016

  • India is ranked 138/175 countries
  • South Korea is ranked 1st
  • In 2015, India ranked 135
  • It is released by International Telecommunications Union (ITU)
What is ICT Development Index (IDI)?
  • The ICT Development Index (IDI) rankings compare the state of ICT development across countries.
  • It is published annually by the UN ITU. The IDI is based on 11 ICT indicators, grouped in three sub-indices: access, use and skills.
  • It is standard tool that governments, operators, researchers, development agencies and others can use to measure the digital divide and compare ICT performance within and across countries.
What does the report say about India?
  • India’s score has improved from 2.50 (in 2015) to 2.69.
  • Broadband access in India has become cheaper compared to the year 2015, but the data caps are among the most highest and restrictive in the world.
  • In India over 40% of the population still does not own a mobile phone.
  • There is also a significant gender gap in mobile phone access in India.
  • Besides, there is lack of mobile ownership seen in lower income category, and among those who are not educated.
  • People in rural regions are more likely to not own a mobile phone.
  • Fixed line telephone subscriptions have gone down in India, and now only two people in a hundred have a landline.
  • However, mobile phone subscriptions, computers in households, amount of available bandwidth, and access to an internet connection have all seen increase in India.
  • The percentage of users on the internet has gone up from 21% in 2014 to 26% of the population in 2015.
What does the report suggest?
  • For improving the IDI, India needs to improve internet access to the underserved to reduce digital divide.
  • There is also a need to change the definition of the minimum broadband speed.
  • The FUP (fair usage policy) levels must be relaxed which are among the most restrictive in the world.
  • Efforts should be taken to promote the use of mobile phones in rural areas.
  • Besides more efforts must be taken to increase access of mobile phones to more women.

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