36% Indian kids lacked Internet access during Covid lockdown: Report – Times of India

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NEW DELHI: During the isolation caused by Covid last year, schools moved their classrooms online to protect children from infectious diseases and keep lessons running smoothly. However, a new report on Friday showed that more than a third of children in India did not have access to the Internet during this period.

A report by LIRNEasia, a regional think tank working on digital policy in partnership with ICRIER, an economic policy think tank, found that 64 percent of all households with school-age children have access to the Internet, with the remaining 36 percent. a cent didn’t.

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The study involved a survey of 7,000 households across India, including 350 villages and districts. Among households with Internet access, 31 percent of children can receive some kind of distance education, while only 8 percent of households without an Internet say they have received some kind of distance education.

At the same time, a recent nationwide study by LIRNEasia found that internet use has more than doubled in the past four years and that Covid-related outages have contributed significantly to the increase in connection demand.

Among the population in the 15-65 age group, 49 percent said they used the Internet, compared with 19 percent in the 15-65 age group who said so at the end of 2017. This corresponds to 61 percent of households in 2021. use the Internet, up from 21 percent in 2017.

It showed that in 2020 and 2021 more than 130 million users were connected to the Internet. Of the nearly 80 million who started using the Internet in 2020, 43 percent or more than 34 million said they did so because of the Covid crisis.

“If we only think about connecting people, India is making great strides. But systematic and structural changes are needed before the real benefits of Digital India reach the people, ”said Helani Galpaya, CEO of LIRNEasia.

“During the pandemic, the number of digital services far exceeded predicted trends. This is a positive point. It is equally clear, however, that the benefits of digital expansion have been unevenly distributed across geography and population. income groups and lagging regions are not a given and will require political support, ”added Dr. Rajat Katuriya, Senior Visiting Professor at ICRIER.



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