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Time for OTT review? Delhi & K'taka top Net readiness, K'taka & Delhi lead in digital start-ups

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NEW DELHI: Will the OTT and VoD companies recast their strategies now that Delhi has emerged as the top-ranked state in terms of overall Internet readiness, overtaking last year’s winner Maharashtra?

Delhi takes the first slot not only amongst small states and Union Territories but also when all states are taken together. The capital city-state is followed by Karnataka, Maharashtra, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

Delhi gets this rank primarily because of its fabulous e-infrastructure and e-participation according to a pioneering report titled ‘Index of Internet Readiness of Indian States, published by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and Nielsen.

Releasing the report, Electronics & Information Technology Ministry (MeiTy) Aruna Sundararajan said: “We are hopeful that India will leapfrog from the present 155th position to world's top 5th in connectivity, within the next 5 to 6 years. India today is one of the most rapidly digitising economies in the world with the telecom industry leading the change. Things have improved multifold with state governments of Chattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana among others taking proactive steps to improve connectivity and internet reach.”

“The combination of various indigenous digital platforms along with innovative and disruptive startups holds the greatest scope for digital transformation in India. Post demonetisation, the country today has 3 million POS as compared to 1,50,000 POS earlier which is clearly a transformation and going forward too the infrastructure for digital payments will grow 3X within a span of one year.” she added.

Among the smaller states, Delhi is at the top followed by Chandigarh and Puducherry. Chandigarh is ranked second in both e-infrastructure and e-participation. Puducherry ranks after Chandigarh when measured on the e-infrastructure index.

Significantly, even within smaller states, the northeastern states ranked low in terms of overall Internet readiness. Therefore, much more needs to be done in the form of investment and infrastructure development in the region. 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 to get to the top.

Internet readiness index is a composite benchmark of four components, i.e., e-Infrastructure index, e-Participation index, IT-Environment and government e-services index. All four components have equal weightage in this model. Separately, a fifth Index (named the Core Internet Index) has been created this year, consisting of select variables already used in constructing the above indices. The purpose of the index is to give a sharper perspective for digital industries looking to expand their business in Indian States.

The overall top rankers amongst states as per their scores in the various indices are as follows:

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One of the key highlights of this year’s report is measuring the digital start-up eco-system of states. The report finds that Karnataka, Delhi and Maharashtra are the top three states with the highest number of digital start-ups. The study says that of the total 242 start-up incubators in the country, 61 start-up incubators are in Tamil Nadu. About 83% of these incubators are in 10 states, i.e., Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Kerala, Telangana, Gujarat, West Bengal, Delhi and Rajasthan. In the North East, except for Manipur where a single start-up incubator is present, none of the other states have one.  

The report highlights the performance of the states regarding different measures of Internet readiness index. Given the rapid advancement in e-services and e-commerce, it is essential to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the states. While this would help the business and governments to leverage the strength, policy measures can also be taken where improvements are required.

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