Taking ten years to increase from 10 million to 100 million, India is projected to grow to 402 million by the end of 2015, up a whopping 50% as compared to last year’s 300 million (IAMAI & IMRB). Currently India has the third largest global internet population. The US is currently sitting in the second spot trailing far behind China’s 600 million internet users.
Internet in India is extremely mainstream today and the large users base is good news for the growth of the digital industry, e-commerce, and various internet start-ups. Many e-commerce firms in specific have been ramping up their operations rapidly, obviously excited by the increase in online buying.
While the connection of these 100 million Indians is beneficial, it is not doing much to close the gap in internet access between the less fortunate and the rest. It’s mostly urban India that is increasing leaving poverty stricken rural areas still without access. Women also have less access. While the access of women is increasing at a close rate to that of men at 46% and 50% respectively, the ratio of male to female internet users in India currently sits at 62:38.
It is significant that India has increased the amount of Indians that have access to the internet by such a large amount in only one year as this is aiding in the global push to connect the next 4 billion. Unfortunately, historically disadvantaged communities like the poor and females still have less access. In the end on a global scale however, progress is progress.