Delhi has pipped last year’s winner Maharashtra as the most internet-ready state, according to the Index of Internet Readiness of Indian States report published by the Internet and Mobile Association of India and Nielsen.
The Indian capital topped the list in internet-readiness for its strong hold on e-infrastructure and e-participation. It was followed by Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
The index was a composite benchmark of four components – e-infrastructure, e-participation, IT-environment and government e-services.
The latest survey, however, introduced a fifth index – the core internet index – which was made up of select variables from the above indices, to give a sharper perspective for digital industries looking to expand their businesses across Indian states.
Aruna Sundararajan, secretary, ministry of electronics and information technology, said that India is undergoing a paradigm shift in the digital sphere and is expected to leapfrog from the present ranking of 155 to the world’s top five countries in connectivity within the next five to six years.
She cited various state government initiatives, including those of Chattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, to improve connectivity and internet reach.
Post demonetisation, the number of point-of-sale terminals have increased to three million from 150,000 earlier, and the infrastructure for digital payments is set to grow three times within a span of one year, she added.
Among the smaller states, Delhi is followed by Chandigarh and Puducherry. Chandigarh stands second in both e-infrastructure and e-participation.
Among the northeastern states, Nagaland tops the list, closely followed by Manipur and Tripura. Nagaland leads in IT environment and performs moderately well in other categories.
The report said that Karnataka, Delhi and Maharashtra were the top three states for the highest number of digital startups.
It also said that out of the 242 startup incubators in the country, 61 were in Tamil Nadu. About 83% of these incubators are spread across Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Kerala, Telangana, Gujarat, West Bengal, Delhi and Rajasthan.
In the North East, Manipur is the only state with a startup incubator, the rest have none. All the North East states have ranked pretty low in terms of their internet readiness, excluding Nagaland.
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