The ITU’s ICT Development Index has been released. The performance of most South Asian countries has increased since 2008, but not enough. The rest of Asia shows a marked contrast. Vietnam advanced 10 places in the rankings and Indonesia six. Korea retained its first place. Thailand dropped nine places.
The IDI is a composite of three sub-indexes. South Asia has done well in access, with rankings increasing in all countries, except for the Maldives. India jumps seven places. The only countries that do well in the use sub-index are Sri Lanka (advance of 10 places) and Nepal (nine places). Pakistan and the Maldives fall back 13 places. Only Bhutan and the Maldives advance three and two places respectively in the skills sub-index. Sri Lanka and Bangladesh fall back one place, while all others hold their places.
What the above illustrates is that one cannot move ahead in the overall rankings simply by improving one dimension or one sub-index. For example, Bhutan advanced by four places in access, by three in use, and by three in skills. This translated into an overall advance of four places for Bhutan. Sri Lanka advanced by 10 places in use, but this appeared to be negated by a one-place retreat in the skills component and a lower-than-most advance of two places in access.
The Maldives increased by the most (0.51), yet dropped a rank position, indicating that the countries in the range where the Maldives is located is highly competitive. The least increase shown by Bangladesh (0.21) resulted in a slippage of one position in the rankings.