February 22

Report: India’s Digital Divide: From Bad to Worse?

The India Inequality Report 2022: Digital Divide by Oxfam sheds some light on the impact of the digital divide on inequality in India during the pandemic. It explores the lack of access to ICTs as one of the major characteristics of the divide, and points to the fact that approximately 70 percent of the population has poor or no connectivity to digital services. Government schemes such as BharatNet, which aim to provide digital connectivity in rural India, have also failed to deliver effective results. Among the poorest 20 percent households, only 2.7 percent have access to a computer and 8.9 percent to internet facilities. The report also highlights the social, political, and environmental factors that determine who goes online and for how long, and who doesn’t. For example, only 38 percent of households in the country are digitally literate. Additionally, only 31 percent of the rural population uses the internet as compared to 67 percent of the urban population.

Photo courtesy of Hello Lightbulb.

Source: India Development Review (link opens in a new window)

Education, Health Care, Technology