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Internet/Broadband in India-So Important and Yet So Scarce

Getting Regulation Right Blog Aspect
Dr Archana Gulati
Published Oct 30, 2013
Updated Sep 06, 2023
An article by Mr Manzar in the Mint  highlights at the end of 2012, internet users were only 10% of the population making it among the lowest in the world in internet and computer penetration. Another article by him points to the sheer importance of internet in creating awareness about government services and entitlements among illiterate rural poor who otherwise remain ignorant and are duped by unscrupulous elements. This was in the context of Indias’ MNREGA-a rural employment guarantee scheme.  An inspiring  article on “‘Enabling access to vocational training content on cellphones” tells us about “‘SkillTrain” being run Mr Ganesh.B in the state of  Madhya Pradesh. “The company records videos of the module that students can download on their mobile phones for free and learn from it.SkillTrain offers four courses—mobile repairing, electronics, computer science and computer hardware—that extend from 12 to 20 modules. It plans to extend it to wider subjects such as welding, two-wheeler and automobile mechanic, electrician, plumbing and tailoring next year.”  The article also states that,  “It is estimated that about 15 million Indian students drop out of school every year. The gross enrollment ratio in higher education in India is at 17.9%, much below the the global average of 27%. The government has set an ambitious target to train 500 million people by 2022 to help them acquire vocational skills and provide an efficient workforce for industry. There is a shortage of trained manpower and even the available talent does not match the requirements of industry. School dropouts fail to go for mainstream education for several reasons, including ineligibility, the family’s financial conditions, academic pressures and regulatory requirements.” Learning on the mobile for a fees was found to be more economical by students rather than travelling long distances to a training centre. All this goes to show the importance of broadband connectivity which India is struggling to provide to especially its rural population.Please also see previous posts on Mobile VAS and USOF India’s Mobile VAS Scheme Sanchar Shakti..