A new report titled Index of Internet Readiness of Indian States, published by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), claims that Maharashtra has emerged as the top ranking state in terms of overall Internet readiness index, followed by Karnataka, Gujarat, Telangana and Tamil Nadu. Among the smaller states, Delhi has emerged as the topmost state in terms of Internet readiness index, followed by Puducherry and Goa.
Earlier this month, the IAMAI released a report stating that India’s mobile internet usage base will touch 371 million by June 2016, while 28% of existing mobile users (306 million) as of December ’15 came from rural India.
According to the IAMAI, Internet Readiness index has ﬁve components: e-Infrastructure index, e-Participation index, IT-Services and e-Governance index. The study echoes the properties of ‘e-Readiness index’, which is released by Economist Intelligence Unit in 2010. The index serves as reference point to understand the progress of ICT, and helps concentrate efforts on areas that lack advancement.
India needs to step-up ICT initiatives
According to ‘Networked Readiness Index-2014’, released by the World Economic Forum, India ranks at the 83rd position, declining from 68th in 2013. Therefore, IAMAI claims that a detailed analysis at micro level is crucial to ‘identify gaps in internet growth’ or the usage of internet.
Its study aims to rank states in terms of Internet readiness, and identify the policy aspects that have led to their success or failure. For example, North Eastern states do not figure among the top three and hence according to IAMAI, these states lack an infrastructure standard that most of the other states possess.
IAMAI further states that the driving factors inﬂuencing Internet readiness index of each state varies from one another. For instance, in Maharashtra, the e-infrastructure is relatively low when compared to Kerala, Karnataka, Gujarat etc., yet the state surpasses others in terms of other indices making it the best ‘e-Ready’ society.
ICT participation low
In case of Karnataka, participation of citizens in ICT environment is lower when compared to states like Kerala and Gujarat. Yet, because of high contribution of IT to overall economy, and success in e-government initiatives, Karnataka ranks second as the most e-Ready environment in the county.
Parameters for the study
The key parameters, that have been used in this report include: Mobile subscribers per person above 15 years of age; Share of private players in internet service providers; Percentage of households using computer/ laptop with internet connection; Number of e-transactions in a range online services per lakh person above 15 years.