Wednesday March 27, 2019
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Forerunners of Silicon Valley up for endorsing ‘Digital India’

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

San Jose: As a part of the ‘Digital India’ campaign, executives of top global tech firms, including Apple, Google, Microsoft and Qualcomm announced significant plans for India as Narendra Modi met with Apple chief executive Tim Cook, MicroSoft’s Satya Nadella, Google’s Sundar Pichai, Qualcomm’s Paul Jacobs, Cisco’s John Chambers, Adobe’s Shantanu Narayen and TiE’s Venk Shuklathese companies.

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“I see technology as a means to empower and as a tool that bridges the distance between hope and opportunity,” Modi said at the ‘Digital India’ dinner engagement to conclude a packed day here.

“Social media is reducing social barriers. It connects people on the strength of human values, not identities,” said the Prime Minister, an avid user of the medium himself, which includes his penchant for selfies with his hosts and guests.

“Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are the new neighbourhoods of our new world,” he said.

“Since my government came to office, we attacked poverty by using the power of network and mobile phones to launch new era of empowerment,” Modi said, adding: “In this digital age, we have an opportunity to transform the lives of people in ways that were hard to imagine a couple of decades ago.”

Earlier, a host of tech leaders said they were upbeat on engaging with India better. “India under the Prime Minister’s leadership is moving in the right direction with ‘Digital India’,” Jacobs said, announcing an immediate investment of $1.5 million for innovation labs in the country to support product designing.

“Now it is time for us to collectively empower people from all over the world,” Nadella said, adding that Microsoft intended to partner individual states and tech companies in this regard.

Nadella gave the example of Surat where Microsoft was working with municipalities on data analytic systems.

Pichai, had a take on another of Modi’s initiatives – that to foster, nurse and promote entrepreneurship. “India is the fastest growing ‘start-up nation’ in the world,” the Google chief executive said.

Some of Prime Minister Modi’s other remarks at “Digital India” dinner:

– From large corporates to young professionals in this great centre of innovation, each can be part of ‘Digital India’

– We recognize that ‘Digital India’ cannot not be built without bridging the digital divide.

– Status now is not whether you are awake or asleep. It is whether you are online or offline.

– After MyGov.in, we launched Narendra Modi Mobile App, which is helping me stay in close touch with people.

– We will use information technology to set up Smart Cities in India.

– Like airports, we will have Wi-Fi at 500 railway stations in India with Google as partner

– We will connect all schools and colleges with broadband.

– We will expand our public Wi-Fi hotspots.

(With inputs from IANS)

Next Story

Is Internet Usage In India Calculated In A right Manner?

According to industry experts, the research methodology to derive the average number of Internet users would entail a large-format survey.

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According to Mohanty, Internet usage is calculated based on the number of people using Internet. Pixabay

If we look at government or independent research figures, Internet users in India are growing exponentially — currently hovering around 560 million and likely to cross 600 million by the end of the year.

According to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), India has amn Internet subscriber base of nearly 560 million, including 482 million broadband subscribers – which means 43 per cent overall Internet penetration.

The country has 366 million Internet subscribers in urban locations and 194 million in rural areas, says the latest TRAI report that came out in December.

The “ICUBETM 2018” report from market research firm Kantar IMRB said this week that the number of Internet users in the country will reach 627 million by the end of this year.

The numbers are overwhelming but when it comes to the methodology behind deriving the average number of Internet users, there appears some gap.

For example, if a person in a family has 2 mobile numbers and he or she uses multiple devices for Internet access, how is that accounted for?

According to industry experts, the research methodology to derive the average number of Internet users would entail a large-format survey.

“Such a survey would typically cover 50,000 to 1,00,000 households in India, spread across urban and rural India, and covering all socio-economic classes (SEC) segments,” says Satya Mohanty, Head-User Research Practice, CyberMedia Research (CMR).

According to Mohanty, Internet usage is calculated based on the number of people using Internet.

“Therefore, if in one household, there are three people using one device PC/smartphone, then it is calculated as three users instead of one user,” he told IANS.

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The numbers are overwhelming but when it comes to the methodology behind deriving the average number of Internet users, there appears some gap. Pixabay

The average number of users derived from the sample survey is extrapolated to the total number of households in India to find out total number of users.

“For example, consider that the survey findings point to the average number of Internet users per household being 2.5. And, in India, there is 250 million households. Replicating the average figure of 2.5 with the total number of households, we have 625 million Internet users in India,” Mohanty elaborated.

According to Kantar IMRB, their latest “ICUBETM 2018” report covered over 70,000 individuals, selected through a sampling process across over 400 urban areas and more than 1,500 rural locations.

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“As data costs plummeted, more Indians than ever before are experiencing broadband for the first time on mobile”. Pixabay

“ICUBE members are of users and not subscribers. Thus people carrying multiple phones will be counted as a single user,” Biswapriya Bhattacharjee, Executive Vice President, Kantar IMRB, told IANS.

Similarly, Bhattacharjee added, a person using his or her spouses/parents’ phone for Internet access will also be counted as an Internet user.

One thing, however, is clear: the data usage is growing thanks to Reliance Jio, along with the increasing number of smartphone and entry-level feature phone users.

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“Jio has been a transformative force in enabling digital inclusion, by connecting the unconnected. Since its foray, Jio has achieved a remarkable feat of covering 95 per cent of India’s population with aggressive 4G network roll-out aided by innovative pricing strategy,” Prabhu Ram, Head-Industry Intelligence Group, CMR, told IANS.

“As data costs plummeted, more Indians than ever before are experiencing broadband for the first time on mobile,” Ram added. (IANS)