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India’s ICT ranking could see big jump if smartphones are taken into account

The new draft telecom policy released by the Department of Telecom is a lucid, comprehensive attempt that balances the present hard realities with the aspirations of the future. There is a wide base of population that needs to connect while the already connected want to climb up the technology ladder to stand at par with global advances.

The focus of the policy looks at ‘Connect’ and ‘Propel’. That is how our telecom ecosystem exists. One of the six strategic objectives to be achieved through this policy guide by 2022 is to propel India’s rank on the International Telecom Union’s Global ICT (Information and Communication Technology) Development Index in top 50 nations from its lowly 134th rank in 2017. To make India advance in this global benchmarking framework, the government has to do more than putting impetus through a policy document. There is in fact a ‘flaw’ in the present methodology that will always skew the results in favour of early adaptor nations of ICT. With the present framework, India can never rank high on this global benchmarking measure. For countries like India, the mobile phone is the first and only computing device for a majority of the population. Today’s smartphone is more powerful than supercomputers of yesteryears. They have 2.7 Ghz clock rates and deca-core processors with 8 GB RAM — something which even the most powerful computers a couple of decades ago did not have.

The point being made is that smartphones are no less capable in computing power and there is no reason to exclude them while gauging the ICT infrastructure and access of any country. There will be complexities like taking into account that many households have a PC as well as a smartphone, and in many families each member has at least one Smartphone. (IANS)

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Ankur Kalita