LIRNEasia and ICRIER jointly released the findings of a nationally representative, 7000+ sample survey assessing access to services during COVID-19 in India. The research highlighted two distinct stories on the state of digital in India. On one hand, India has seen significant growth in digital adoption. The proportion of internet users grew from 17% in 2017 (when LIRNEasia conducted a similar survey) to 47 in 2021. 132 million individuals came online between 2020 and 2021. Of the 81 million that came online in 2020, 43% (34 million) were motivated by COVID-19 related reasons. A majority of those who came online were women, and those residing in rural areas. On the other hand, however, while connectivity helped facilitate access to services, it didn’t guarantee it. For example, only 31% of school aged children from internet connected households had access to education during school closures. Further, only 10% of the employed population worked from home during lockdowns.
The survey findings were released at a virtual launch event conducted on 12 November 2021, which included a panel discussion with leading government, private sector and civil society representatives. Panelists included
– Abhishek Singh (President & CEO, National e-Governance Division, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology)
– Dr. Jaijit Bhattacharya (President, Centre for Digital Economy Policy Research)
– Nishanth Baghel (Director of Technology Innovations, Pratham)
– Helani Galpaya (CEO, LIRNEasia).
The slide-set presented at the event can be found here.
A livestream of the event can be found here.
The methodology note can be found here.
Press releases from the event can be found below: