New Delhi, December 27: Mobile data plans in India are among the cheapest in the world and the average retail price of smartphones are steadily declining, India may have the world's second largest internet user base, but connectivity remains out of reach for nearly 950 million citizens, according to the ASSOCHAM-Deloitte joint study.
Internet penetration is increasing in India, the access to affordable broadband, smart devices and monthly data packages is required to spread digital literacy to make their ends meet, noted the study titled 'Strategic national measures to combat cybercrime,' jointly conducted by ASSOCHAM and research firm Deloitte.
Existing government infrastructure assets should be further leveraged for provision of digital services at remote locations. Digital literacy needs to be increased by providing institutional trainings in schools, colleges and universities; accelerating partnerships with global technology leaders and using the workforce trained under Skill India to impart trainings. An integrated approach between Digital India and Skill India needs to be constructed to design programmes and impart training.
The government should increase awareness regarding the value add of technology to increase technology adoption. The benefits of technology such as increase in the standard of living of the weaker sections of society and enhancing financial inclusion should be communicated to citizens.
Private sector players should be incentivized to develop infrastructure, provide services and promote digital literacy as part of the Digital India program. Start-ups should be involved to create and customize apps to local needs to increase adoption of digital technology, adds the joint study.
India has over 1,600 languages and various dialects. This diversity has resulted in strong language barriers. In areas where people only use local languages, integration of local language and technology is required to drive digital literacy.
Fear of cybercrime and breach of privacy has been a deterrent in adoption of digital technologies in India. In order to encourage people to switch to digital means, it is important to provide awareness and education on cyber security, risks and safeguarding of information on the internet.