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Indian netizens cross 49 Mn mark this year
ST Team
Friday, May 30, 2008
There has been a sharp rise in the population of netizens in the country. Since the beginning of this year 49 million Indians have logged on to Internet, out of which 35 million access the net at least once a month, says a study by the online research & advisory firm JuxtConsult.

The study, dubbed ‘India Online 2008’, says that every one in ten urban Indians is now net connected, and the number of urban netizens increased by 33 percent in the last one year, from 30 to 40 million. But, a word to those who want to harp on unequal distribution of net connections the Internet penetration (on the basis of percentage of population) in rural areas stands at 4.5 percent, while it is three percent in urban areas when compared to last year. And also, over two-thirds (70 percent) of all Internet users reside outside the metros.

And the Internet using population is evenly spread across all socio-economic classes (SEC) in the urban and rural areas, with the higher SECs A and B in urban areas now accounting for just over 50 percent of all users down 6 percent from last year’s figure of 56 percent, while, in contrast lower SECs C, D, and E account for around half of all the users. It’s almost the same in rural areas too.

Though the Internet usage boom can be called ‘democratization’ of the net, a much more suitable name seems to be ‘Indianization’ of the net, as over 70 percent of Internet users prefer to access the net in Indian languages, with English users at just 28 percent, down from 41 percent in 2007!

The survey says that over half of all net users (51 percent) in the country are salaried employees in the corporate world and it may be because women have comparatively less representation in corporate jobs that they stood at 17.6 percent among the total net users.
Though the study is named ‘India online 2008’, this is an offline survey of over 12,500 households across 40 cities and 160 villages countrywide to gauge the online behavior of Indians.

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