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Broadband Readiness Index for states

Topics covered:

  1. Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.

 

Broadband Readiness Index for states

 

What to study?

For prelims and mains: key features, need for and significance of the index.

 

Context: DoT and Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop a Broadband Readiness Index (BRI) for Indian states and Union Territories (UT). 

The index will include indicators such as percentage of households using computers/ laptops with internet connection, percentage of households with fixed broadband connection, internet users as a percentage of the population, smartphones density, percentage of households with at least one digitally literate member, etc.

 

Objectives:

  1. Appraise the condition of the underlying digital infrastructure and related factors at state/UT levels.
  2. Provide useful insights into strategic choices made by states for investment allocations in ICT programmes, the statement said.
  3. Encourage states to cross learn and jointly participate in achieving the overall objective of digital inclusion and development in India. 

 

Significance:

The framework will not only evaluate a state’s relative development but also allow for better understanding of a state’s strengths and weaknesses that can feed into evidence-based policy making.

 

Background:

The National Digital Communication Policy (NDCP) 2018 acknowledged the need for building a robust digital communications infrastructure leveraging existing assets of the broadcasting and power sectors including collaborative models involving state, local bodies and the private sector. The policy recommended that an index for states and UTs be developed to attract investments and address Right of Way (RoW) challenges across India.