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3.3 million active internet users in rural India: Survey

According to I-Cube 2008, a survey jointly undertaken by IMRB International and Internet and Mobile Association of India, there were 3.3 million active internet users in rural India as on March 2008. During the survey, 5.5 million people in rural India claimed that they had used internet at some point in time.

According to I-Cube 2008, a survey jointly undertaken by IMRB International and Internet and Mobile Association of India, there were 3.3 million active internet users in rural India as on March 2008. During the survey, 5.5 million people in rural India claimed that they had used internet at some point in time. The survey also reveals that rural India had 15.1 million people who were computer literates.

I-Cube which traditionally mapped internet users in urban India has for the first time covered rural India in the survey. Since rural India was mapped for the first time, the year on year growth of internet users in rural India could not be estimated this time.

According to the survey, rural India had 368 million literate people out of whom only 63 million were found to be English-speaking as on March 2008. Given the high levels of literacy in rural India and very low levels of English speaking population, the survey made a clear case of content and applications in local languages in order to ensure higher and faster adoption of internet in rural India.

“The rural market holds tremendous potential for any media. However, for internet to flourish in rural India, the applications need to be in vernacular languages, preferably with text-to-speech capabilities,” Mohan Krishnan, senior vice president, BIRD, a specialized unit of IMRB International, has said. “It would be better if visual symbols, graphics and rich media applications are used.”

“Given the various government and private sector efforts to connect rural Indians, this was the right time to take the survey to rural India and find out the state of affairs there,” Subho Ray, president, IAMAI, has said. “In fact, penetration of internet in rural India is directly related to the activities of the government and NGOs.”

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