NSO’s Report on Digital Divide

Published: September 9, 2020

National Statistical Organisation (NSO) recently published the report on ‘household social consumption’ in its 75th round of the survey which was conducted between 2017-2018. The report shows that how digital divide have increased across States, cities and villages, and income groups.

Key Findings of the report

  • One in 10 households have access to computer across the country.
  • Quarter of all homes have Internet connection which is accessed through fixed or mobile network using smartphones.
  • Cities have 42% Internet-enabled homes while in rural India 15% are connected to the internet.
  • Delhi has highest Internet access covering 55% of the households.
  • Kerala emerges to have least inequality where 39% of the poorest rural homes and 67% of the richest urban homes have Internet.
  • States including Karnataka and Tamil Nadu have less than 20% penetration.
  • Odisha have lowest internet penetration with one in 10 household have access to internet.
  • Himanchal Pradesh have highest internet penetration covering more than 70% households.
  • 20% of Indians above the age of 5 years have basic digital literacy.

What is digital divide?

It means uneven distribution of access and use of internet and technologies among the group. This term was first used by Lloyd Morrisett.

Internet as Fundamental Right

Kerala High Court in 2019 had declared the right to Internet access is a fundamental right that forms the part of the right to privacy and the right to education under Article 21 of the Constitution.

Government Initiatives to reduce digital divide

  1. Bharat Net Programme that acts as the infrastructural backbone to provide Internet access all across the country.
  2. National Digital Literacy Mission (NDLM) have been launched to empower at least one person per household with digital literacy skills by 2020.

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