The digital divide in India is tearing at the fabric of the country’s society, writes Ashish Khetan.
A study by a research group based in New Delhi says that, on average, one Indian family is deprived of at least two digital devices.
A recent report by the government says that more than 2.2 million people in India have lost their digital devices in the past 12 months.
The study says that this is a reflection of the fact that more and more Indians have become mobile users.
However, it is the digital device that is being used by the majority of Indians that is a significant factor in this widening digital divide.
According to the report, the proportion of mobile users in India has increased to around 20 per cent from around 7 per cent a decade ago.
When people do not have the option to connect to a computer and use the internet to study and write, their education and careers are threatened.
While the number of students studying in schools is increasing at a faster rate, the number studying at universities is declining.
India has one of the highest proportions of people living in rural areas.
The study also says that the proportion in rural India has decreased to 20 per 100,000 people from 25 per 100 and the proportion living in urban areas has decreased from 25 to 15 per 100.