History of Internet in India
We Indians were always late on the train of technological advancements since our independence from British colonialism. India opened its economy for the world in 1991, which led to the entry of many MNCs that brought advanced technology and products to the Indian market. The telecommunications industry was one of the major ones that were still far behind compared to other industries in India at that time.
Internet service in India began in 1986, which was initially restricted only to educational and research-based communities. It was initiated as an Educational Research Network (ERNET) by the Department of Electronics (DoE), with funding from the Government of India and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). Later, on 15 August 1995, the first publicly available internet service in India was launched by the government-owned Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited (VSNL). As it was the initial phase of the commercial internet roll-out, VSNL had a monopoly in it for a few years. Private players selling the service was not that affordable for many and had a very slow start that continued for years.
The government formulated a broadband policy that defined an always-on internet connection with a download speed of 256kbps or above. As it didn’t go as per expectations, the growth of internet connectivity didn’t go well. This bottleneck was removed after the roll-out of 3G sim cards, followed by the most revolutionary service in India, the 4G service.
Today, India ranks at the top position in the cheapest internet services with almost 55% of the population using the internet in daily life, to the year 2020. Wireless internet connection holds a major position since the worldwide spread of the Chinese virus that gave a major shock to the world at the beginning of 2020. Later, a complete lockdown in the nation forced to accept the change, and the number of internet users rose drastically.
Currently, India has the second-highest number of internet users in the world. India’s overall net penetration is 61%, with total subscribers ranging somewhere between 700 – 850 million. The World Economic Forum estimated that 1.1 billion Indians would have access to the internet by 2030, with 80% subscriber base.
India has made clear statements on the development in almost every industry. The e-commerce market in India has skyrocketed in the last few years as the industry has successfully gained trust. Major e-commerce players like Flipkart, Amazon, and Snapdeal, to name a few, showcased the best practices with a variety of products and services under one umbrella.
The sudden announcement of demonetization in November 2016 gave a shock to the currency circulation in the nation that was, later turned into an opportunity by the financial service providers with the help of UPI (Unified Payment Interface). UPI surged 86% year-to-date with the $844 billion (₹ 63.32 lakh crore) as of the end of November against $452 billion (₹ 33.88 lakh crore) seen in FY20.
The Need for Strict Law
Indian consumers have experienced fairly high fraud encounters in the past year. 31% of Indians, among those who encountered any type of online fraud lost money through such scams, which is the highest globally. Warnings were issued by the RBI to keep passwords and sensitive data undisclosed.
Still, the fraudsters kept on innovating scam techniques and looted many. Even though you keep your devices or ID & passwords safe, hackers & fraudsters find ways to attack and steal your sensitive information.
Strict regulation on digital platforms could help citizens of India keep growing in the digital world and support the economy to grow faster.
– By Parag Ahire