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India ranks 91 on readiness for digitised economy
09
Jul '16
Notwithstanding its ranking as the eight best country in terms of network affordability, India has slipped two places to the 91st position on a global list of nations in terms of their readiness for transition to a digitised economy and society.

Among the major emerging markets, India is ranked the lowest, media reports citing the annual Networked Readiness Index released on Wednesday by Geneva-based World Economic Forum (WEF).

Singapore continued to remain on top and Finland too retained its second place in the Index, while Sweden, Norway, the US, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the UK, Luxembourg and Japan followed as other top ten nations.

Russia retained the top place among emerging economies at 41st position, followed by China at 59th (up three places), South Africa up 10 places at 65th and Brazil moving up to the 72nd position.

The index, forming part of the WEF's Global Information Technology Report, measures countries' success in creating the conditions necessary for a transition to a digitised economy and society.

India's position on the list has come down for the fourth year in a row, from 68th in 2013, 83rd in 2014 and 89th in 2015, the report said.

While the country has scored better in terms of political and regulatory environment (78th position), it fares worse in terms of business and innovation environment (110th).

In terms of infrastructure, it is worse still at the 114th place, while it ranked very high at the 8th place in terms of affordability.

India also fares poorly on sub-indices for skills and individual usage. “Lack of infrastructure and low levels of skills among the population (101st) remain the key bottlenecks to widespread ICT adoption, especially in terms of individual usage (120th),” the WEF report said.

It further noted that a third of the Indian population is still illiterate and a similar share of youth is not enrolled in secondary education.

“Only 15 out of 100 households have access to the internet, and mobile broadband remains a privilege of the few, with only 5.5 subscriptions for every 100 people,” it said, pointing that the divide between well-connected metropolitan hubs and remote rural areas persists.

In 2015, India launched the Digital India programme, which aims to close this gap by fostering investment in digital infrastructure, improving digital literacy and increasingly providing online services to citizens.

India's performance in terms of providing online services and allowing e-participation has so far been in line with that of peer countries, but is still far from the global best, it said. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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