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by IRC-ADMIN - Mar 9 2019 10:00AM

Digital India has been one of the main objectives of the Modi government. A lot has been achieved in this pursuit. Narendra Modi and his government have not shied away from implementing technology and empowering people with them wherever possible. A recent study too appreciates the effort put by the government of the same. India has the cheapest mobile data in the world with 1GB costing just Rs 18.5 ($0.26) as compared to the global average of about Rs 600, research by price comparison site showed. This is just another feather among the multiprong success of digital India campaign in the country.

The study was conducted in 230 countries. The information they collect is basically the average rates of 1GB mobile data in different countries. Through this article, IRC would like to look deep into this study and understand its multiprong implications.


The global average is $8.53 for 1 GB. "A country whose young population has a particularly high technological awareness, India offers a vibrant smartphone market, with strong adoption and many competitors. Data, therefore, is quite staggeringly cheap," it said. With over 430 million smartphone users, India is the second largest smartphone market in the world after China. 2016 saw a price war between telecom companies to slash prices and acquire more of the market. This resulted in some telecom companies even giving smartphones virtually free. Thus making India the best destinations for smartphones and the internet in the world. Today India stands atop the pyramid of cheapest Internet data with a very minimal cost of Rs 18 per GB. Before Modi government, the price of 1GB stood somewhere between Rs 100-200 (by today's standards that would have made India's position 50-60 in the world) making internet and its wide opportunities unavailable to a large section of the population of the country. This support for the telecom sector by the government to private players has ensured that the best is available to the people of this country. The competition in the sector has ensured that the prices come down drastically so that the best prices and easy accessibility to the internet are available to the poor of this country. India is followed by Kyrgyzstan where 1GB data is available for USD 0.27, Kazakstan (USD 0.49) and Ukraine (USD 0.51). Zimbabwe is the most expensive country where the average cost of 1GB data comes at an eye-watering USD 75.20.

Africa has both the cheapest and most expensive rates, with Rwanda, Sudan, and Congo all offering less than USD 1 data prices but Equatorial Guinea and Saint Helena both charging more than USD 50 for 1GB. One GB of mobile data in China costs an average of USD 9.89. Sri Lanka offers 1GB of data for an average of USD 0.87 while Bangladesh tags it at USD 0.99. In Pakistan, 1GB is available for USD 1.85.


Digital India largely and the reduction in prices of mobile data particularly has touched the lives of people in a positive way. It goes without saying that it has brought in a large amount of employment and has widened avenues for businesses. India’s growing digital profile wherein a country of 130 crore people, we have 121 crore mobile phones, 122 crore Aadhaar, nearly 50 crore internet users. Cheaper data means more internet users, which are in itself a humongous customer base for different services, entertainment, information, communication, and even digital products.

Let's take an example of small households that are a part of the cottage industry, which nither have access to bigger marketplace nor has the budget for marketing, are now able to sell their products through online e-commerce websites to bigger and new customers. Many of them have put testimonials in the public domain of how their lives have changed after digital India. Not only that easy access to data has empowered them by acquiring knowledge of newer marketing and production techniques thus optimizing their businesses.

Many new budding artists have got a chance to show their talent and monetize it through various platforms like Youtube, Facebook, and other social media platforms. Many e-News portals have propped up, which are catering to the people's need for information. Many have started their own online coaching institutes and making good money from that. This bigger customer base on e-world has given enough confidence that people have started developing indigenous social media platforms. More you see, more employment avenues you will get, it is seamless. 

India's digital payment ecosystem has also increased by 200% since November 2016, an expanding electronics manufacturing sector which has doubled in the last four years and a booming e-commerce system rising at 19% per annum – will propel India towards becoming a trillion dollar digital economy in the next three to four years.

What should be noted here is how the vision of one man is turning into results just after five years of hard work. Digital India is just one of the many success stories of the Modi government. The paradigm shift and the significance this government scheme achieved under the NDA unlike the UPA era where almost everything stood on paper is definitely rewarding. The lives it touched, the economy it transformed is nothing but an example of Sahi Vikas!

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