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India Is Unconnected

by Pankaj Pachauri Aug 24, 2020 • 05:52 PM Views 5104

The Coronavirus pandemic has forced a rapid transition to digital platforms or mobile apps for each service. Yet, India is home to more than 685 million people i.e., half of its population who are unconnected, which is more than any other country. In April alone, more than 90 million subscribers were lost in urban areas during the pandemic. About 29% of students do not have laptops or smartphones, largely due to affordability issues, and 33% of students find online classes difficult, as per an NCERT survey. GoNews’ Editor-in-chief Pankaj Pachauri gives an overview.

Bihar state where assembly elections are to be held in the coming days, the education situation here is so bad that the drop-out rate of children is 40 percent. That is, four out of every ten children leave their schooling after class 9th and class 11th.. Talking about mobile phone and internet connectivity here, the state's teledensity is 52 percent. Whereas, in the rural areas of the state, the teledensity is just 40% i.e. the internet connectivity is less in the villages than in the cities.

In terms of internet connectivity worldwide, there are 1012 million people in South Asia who do not have internet connection. Of these, 685 million people in India alone do not have internet connectivity. Similarly, 625 million people in East Asia do not have internet connection. There are 229 million internet connections in South-East Asia.

Statistics released by the World Economic Forum show that India ranks first among countries where Internet connections are extremely low. According to the data, over 685 million people in India, ie more than 50 percent of the population, do not have internet connection. Similarly, over 582  million people in China, 142 million in Pakistan, 118 million in Nigeria and more than 97.4 million people in Bangladesh are deprived of internet connection.

According to the TRAI, more than 90 lakh subscribers were lost in April alone in urban areas, while the rural areas witnessed an increase in the subscribers as millions of migrant workers returned to their native places after left jobless due to the lockdown.