Government to develop Broadband Readiness Index for states, UTs: How it will work
DoT and ICRIER signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop a Broadband Readiness Index (BRI) for Indian states and Union Territories (UT).
The Department of Telecom (DoT) and the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop a Broadband Readiness Index (BRI) for Indian states and Union Territories (UT). The first estimate will be made in 2019 and subsequently every year until 2022, said a statement issued by the Ministry of Communications.
This index will appraise the condition of the underlying digital infrastructure and related factors at state/UT levels. It will provide useful insights into strategic choices made by states for investment allocations in ICT programmes, the statement said. The index will encourage states to cross learn and jointly participate in achieving the overall objective of digital inclusion and development in India.
"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. The methodology developed as a part of this research will be adapted and used on an annual basis for systematic evaluation of state-performance on metrics set out as the goals for 2022 under the new policy. As a result, ranking and understanding State/UT performance over time will be an important part of the exercise," it said.
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. The primary survey will be conducted annually until 2022.
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.