Inclusive Internet Index – UPSC

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) conducts the Inclusive Internet Index. The index measures the extent to which the internet is available & affordable by region and is also relevant to all, allowing usage that enables positive social and economic outcomes at the individual and group level.

EIU is the research and analysis division of the Economist Group, based in London. It provides forecasting and advisory services, such as five-year country economic forecasts, country risk service reports, and industry reports.

Overview of the Inclusive Internet Index 2021

Released byEconomic Intelligence Unit, in partnership with Facebook
Ranking based on four parameters1. Internet Availability.
2. Internet Affordability.
3. Relevance of the Internet.
4. Readiness of people to use the internet.
Top five countries1. Sweden
2. the United States
3. Spain
4. Australia
5. Hong Kong
India ranks49th position

About the Inclusive Internet Index 2021

  • The “Inclusive Internet Index 2021” is commissioned by Facebook and conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit.
  • The index assesses the performance of 120 countries, representing 98% of the global GDP and 96% of the Global Population.
  • The overall index score is based on four categories: Internet Availability, Affordability, Relevance, and Readiness. It assesses how well 120 countries are achieving these pillars of internet inclusion.
  • The internet must be available and affordable for people to benefit from it. Also, the internet must be relevant to their lives, and the people must have the skills & confidence to use it.

Inclusive Internet Index domains

UsagePriceLiteracyLocal content
QualityCompetitive environmentTrust & safetyRelevant content

Key findings related to India

Overall, India ranked 49th out of 120 countries in the Inclusive Internet Index 2021. The rankings were based on availability, affordability, relevance, and readiness of the internet.

  • Based on the availability of internet, India ranked at 77th.
  • Based on the affordability of internet, India ranked at 20th.
  • Based on relevance, India ranked at 49th.
  • Based on readiness to access the internet, India ranked at 29th.

As of 2020, there were 687.6 million internet users in India. India is set to reach one billion internet users by 2025.

Along with India, Thailand also ranked at 49th position in the Inclusive Internet Index 2021.

Key Highlights of Inclusive Internet Index 2021

  • Sweden ranks first in the Inclusive Internet Index 2021, followed by the United States and Spain.
  • Majority of countries (77 out of 120 countries) showed an overall improvement in Internet Inclusion.
  • The Coronavirus pandemic has compelled people to use the internet more and for a wide range of activities than ever before. At the same time, the pandemic may have widened the divide between the online and offline populations.
  • Deterioration in relevant content and online trust raises the alarm, as the pandemic has made these factors more crucial than ever.
  • The internet provided a lifeline for many learners during the pandemic.
  • Gender parity is improving over the long term, but the gap is not closing fast enough in regions with the worst inequality.

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