UPSC Courses

DNA banner


  • 08 December, 2022

  • 6 Min Read

India Inequality Report 2022: Digital Divide

India Inequality Report 2022: Digital Divide

Oxfam India recently published the 'India Inequality Report 2022: Digital Divide.'

Highlights from the report:

Data from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy's (CMIE):

  • The report examines primary data from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy's (CMIE) household survey, which was conducted from January 2018 to December 2021.

Internet users among Indian women:

  • Indian women are 15% less likely than men to own a mobile phone and 33% less likely to use mobile internet services.
  • In India, women account for only one-third of internet users.

India's global position:

  • According to the study, India has the widest gender gap in Asia-Pacific, at 40.4 percent.

The urban-rural digital divide:

  • The report also highlights the digital divide between rural and urban areas.
  • According to the report, despite a significant (digital) growth rate of 13% in a year, only 31% of the rural population uses the Internet, compared to 67 percent of their urban counterparts.

Divided by caste:

  • In rural India, ST households are the least likely to use formal financial services, followed by SC households and OBC households.
  • The general and OBC populations are more likely to have access to a computer than the SC and ST populations.
  • Between 2018 and 2021, the difference between the general category and ST can be as much as 7% to 8%.


  • Sikhs are the most likely religious group to own a computer, followed by Christians, Hindus, and Muslims.

State information:

  • According to the report, Maharashtra has the highest internet penetration, followed by Goa and Kerala, and Bihar has the lowest, followed by Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand.

Access to a computer and the internet for educational purposes:

  • According to the National Service Scheme [NSS (2017-18),] only about 9% of students enrolled in any course had access to a computer with internet, and 25% of enrolled students had access to the internet via any device.
  • Higher levels of education and income increase the likelihood of owning a computer.

The impact of the pandemic and digital payments:

  • The pandemic's digital push resulted in India having the most real-time digital transactions in 2021, with 48.6 billion.
  • However, the richest 60% of Indians are four times more likely than the poorest 40% to make a digital payment.

Other indices are cited:

  • According to the United Nations e-participation index (2022), India ranks 105th out of 193 countries in three important dimensions of e-government: provision of online services, telecommunication connectivity, and human capacity.

More information on the digital divide:


  • The digital divide refers to the disparity between demographics and regions that have access to modern information and communications technology (ICT) and those that do not or have limited access.
  • Telephones, televisions, personal computers, and internet access are examples of this technology.
  • Even among populations with some access to technology, the digital divide can be seen in the form of lower-performance computers, slower wireless connections, lower-cost internet access such as dial-up, and limited access to subscription-based content.

Bridging the Gap:

  • Those who advocate for closing the digital divide argue that it will improve digital literacy, digital skills, democracy, social mobility, economic equality, and economic growth.

The gaps that cause the division:

Online security:

  • A survey found that more than half of young women have experienced online violence, such as sexual harassment, threatening messages, and having private images shared without their consent.
  • The vast majority believe the situation is deteriorating.
  • Women's rights activists and female journalists faced more abuse than most.

Artificial intelligence that is insufficient:

  • The third threat is posed by poorly designed artificial intelligence systems, which reproduce and exacerbate discrimination.

Solutions and Way forward:

Addressing the schism:

  • Addressing the digital divide requires the government to make special, urgent and focused efforts.
  • Year after year, significant investments in digital infrastructure are required.
  • A Broadband Infrastructure Fund with a large corpus from private, multilateral, and government sources, including spectrum auction proceeds, is required.

The formation of an entity:

  • An empowered entity must be established that is accountable for quality and timeliness in designing and building digital highways, their rural branches, and ensuring their optimal utilization by sharing infrastructure.

Women's online safety:

  • Social media platforms can use their "algorithm power" to address the issue of safety in a proactive manner.
  • Governments must strengthen laws to hold online abusers accountable, and the public must speak up when they see abuse online.


  • Digital skills, which are now required for both survival and livelihood, must be taught on a war footing by transforming government digital literacy programs into skilling missions and expanding outreach, including through the private sector.

Source: The Indian Express

Pradhan Mantri Suryodaya Yojana

Recently, Prime Minister announced Pradhan Mantri Suryodaya Yojana under which 1 crore households will get rooftop solar power systems. India’s Status of Current Solar Capacity India currently stands at 4th place globally in solar power capacity. As per Ministry of New an

Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA)- NGO 

The Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2010 (FCRA) registration of two prominent non-governmental organisations (NGOs) — Centre for Policy Research (CPR) and World Vision India (WVI) have been cancelled this month. What is FCRA? Key provisions of FCRA, 2010 Key aspects Description

Voice clone-AI

Voice clone fraud has been on the rise in India. AI voice cloning – It is the process of creating a synthetic replica of a person’s voice through machine learning and speech synthesis technology.It is called as voice deepfakesor audio deepfakes. Objective – To achieve a high level of na

Science communication- how to promote

Steps taken by India to promote Science Communication Publications and Information Directorate (PID) - An organisation under Council of Science and Industrial Research (CSIR) established in 1951 for publishing and disseminating scientific information in India. National science magazines- The PI

Universal Basic Income (UBI)- Analysis

Universal Basic Income (UBI) can strengthen welfare architecture and unlock the nation’s latent demographic potential. UBI - It is an income support mechanism typically intended to reach all or a very large portion of the population regardless of their earnings or employment status. Objective- To provide enough to co


Search By Date

Newsletter Subscription
SMS Alerts

Important Links