Context: According to the 'India Internet 2019' report brought out by the Internet and Mobile Association of India and Nielsen, India is the world's second-largest internet market, trailing only China. But, penetration is still low, indicating a huge room for growth.
Prelims: Current events of national and international importance.
Mains: GS III-
- Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.
- Challenges to internal security through communication networks, the role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cybersecurity; money-laundering and its prevention.
India Internet 2019- Major Findings:
- India now has 451 million monthly internet users, second only to China.
- Nearly 72 percent of India's urban internet users (approximately 139 million) and 57 percent of rural users (about 109 million) access the internet daily.
- Those aged between 16 to 29 are the most frequent users.
- Time spent by rural users (15 to 30 minutes a day currently) is also likely to go up riding on better connectivity, increasing the affordability of mobile internet led by Reliance Jio, and the overall boom in smartphone adoption.
- However, despite the huge user base, internet penetration in India is only about 36 percent, indicating much headroom for growth.
- Gender disparities: Gender disparity continues, with male users accounting for 67 percent of the country's internet population.
- The divide is starker in rural India, where only 28 percent of the users are women.
- Meanwhile, urban India has a 62:38 split between men and women.
- Chennai (56:44) and Kolkata (58:42) have the most evenly distributed gender ratios among users.
- Internet penetration: In terms of penetration, Delhi-NCR leads (69 percent), followed by Kerala (54 percent), J&K, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab (49 percent), Tamil Nadu (47 percent) and Maharashtra (43 percent).
- In comparison, East and Northeast India have lower internet penetration, with Assam leading at 38 percent.
- When it comes to cities, Mumbai tops with 11.7 million users, followed by Delhi with 11.2 million. Bengaluru and Kolkata ranked third with 6.1 million users each, while Chennai completes the top five with a user base of 5.4 million.
- Despite the growth of mobile phones, a large part of India's internet consumption happens at homes and workplaces. Less than one-third of the users access the internet on the go.
- In a huge improvement in the last three to four years, 85 percent of the users have 4G connections.