Only 20 percent Indian population have access to internet, a survey conducted by The Pew Research Center reveals. Despite the increasing smartphone craze and continuous effort from the Central government that lays emphasis on internet use, people in India still are much behind the world in terms of internet usage.
The survey found that only 14 percent Indians own a smartphone that supports internet despite the fact that smartphones are getting cheaper day by day with the arrival of Indian brands (Micromax and lava) and Chinese brands (Xioami and Gionee).
Nearly 65 percent of internet using community uses the web for social networking while 55 percent have used internet in search of job opportunities.
The study was conducted over 36,619 people across 32 nations from March 17 to June 5, 2014 and found that a median of 44 per cent use the internet at least occasionally, either through personal computers, smartphones or other devices. However, access rates in developing nations in South and Southeast Asia were considerably very low including Indonesia (24 percent), India (20 percent) Bangladesh (11 percent) while Pakistan had worst internet access rate with only 8 percent population having access to the web. It is to be noted that these four nations constitute quarter of the world’s population still they have such disheartening statistics.
The study noticed the fact that young, educated and literate people who can read or speak English were amongst the internet users. While people from poor background who didn’t know English weren’t found interested in internet.
The reason behind these low statistics might be that 42 percent of people in emerging and developing nations believes that internet has negative impact on morality while only 29 percent think opposite of it and believes it to be a blessing in disguise.
Moreover, nearly one-third of the population believes that internet has a significant impact on politics either positive or negative.
A recent study by Mckinsey & Company and Facebook found that India will have 500 million internet users by the end of 2018. Urbanization, expansion of mobile coverage, lower data cost and increasing awareness and education will be the contributing factors in the growth. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s emphasis on technology and internet usage may prove to be a driving force in India’s internet population growth. The study blamed low literacy rate one biggest factor for low popularity of internet in the country.