84 percent of Indian rural populace oblivious of internet

By siliconindia   |   Tuesday, 14 September 2010, 05:17 Hrs   |    9 Comments
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84 percent of Indian rural populace oblivious of internet
Bangalore: The divide between the rural and urban population of India is well known. The gap exists in many forms, be it economy, technology or literacy. While the urban India digs into technology and internet for the completion of minutest of things, around 84 percent of rural Indians are unaware of the internet. This was revealed in a research jointly conducted by Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IMRB. The internet has failed to penetrate in the heartlands of India, and people's unawareness has been attributed for the same. However, infrastructural factors like electricity have also played deterrent in internet's reach in these areas of the country. The research added that 38 percent of people in rural India do not feel the need for internet, while 31 percent of them do not have internet access point. Other figures of interest thrown up by the research say 25 percent population has no Internet connection and about 22 percent has no electricity. Another impediment cited for the lack of internet penetration in rural India is the lack of personal ownership of digital gadgets. Presently, the primary modes of accessing internet in these areas are through the common service centers (CSCs) and cyber cafes. Around 70 percent of rural populace access internet through the aforesaid means. This figure brings forth the need to improve the infrastructural setup with Government of India's schemes like CSCs and State Wide Area Network (SWAN) Scheme. Speaking about the findings of the research, Dr. Subho Ray, President, IAMAI said, "The high percentage of people in rural India who are not aware of Internet underlines the need for better infrastructure and schemes like CSCs and SWAN. Such schemes will go a long way in increasing the Internet penetration in rural areas."