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Digital Divide

Digital Divide

Digital Divide is any uneven distribution in the access to, use of, or impact of information and communications technologies between any number of distinct groups, which can be defined based on social, geographical, or geopolitical criteria, or otherwise.

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Impacts of Digital Divide

  • In the Lokniti-CSDS National Election Study 2019, it was discovered that only about one out of every three people used smartphones. Among these smartphone users, around 90% had Internet access on their phones. Additionally, only 16% of households had a computer or laptop, and a mere 10% had an Internet connection at home.
  • According to the Indian Telecom Services Performance Indicator Report, approximately 34.60% of the rural population in India subscribes to the Internet. This finding contradicts early observations from CoWin’s own dashboard.
  • The new decentralized vaccine distribution strategy includes mandatory Co-Win registration, posing a challenge for many people, especially in rural areas. Accessing the platform and navigating its English-only interface create significant barriers, particularly for those with limited internet access and digital literacy.
  • The mandatory online registration requirement disproportionately affects rural populations, where broadband connectivity and digital literacy are lacking. With only slightly over half of India’s population having broadband internet access and rural tele-density below 60%, states like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, and Madhya Pradesh face significant challenges.
  • For individuals with limited access to technology, including smartphones or computers, online registration for vaccinations becomes significantly more difficult. This exclusion primarily impacts poorer and rural communities, which make up a large portion of India’s population.


  • Building up our own information and communication technology (ICT) capabilities within the framework of the Self-Reliant India Campaign (Atmanirbhar Abhiyan) can greatly boost our infrastructure.
  • It’s crucial to pay special attention to teaching digital skills at the school and college levels. The National Digital Literacy Mission should ensure that every government school introduces basic digital literacy, while higher classes and colleges should offer more advanced digital education.
  • Regulators need to simplify the process for companies to enter the market by updating licensing, tax, and spectrum allocation rules.
  • TRAI ought to set up a solid system to monitor call quality, signal strength, and service outages, making sure telecom services are reliable.
  • The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) should develop a comprehensive cybersecurity framework. This framework should prioritize data protection, secure digital transactions, and establish mechanisms for addressing complaints related to cyber issues.
  • To better handle consumer complaints, the government should set up a telecom ombudsman to oversee and resolve issues in the telecom sector.


Making sure that vaccines, regardless of their origin, are thoroughly evaluated and distributed safely and quickly is vital. India’s COVID-19 vaccination drive is a massive task, aiming not only to vaccinate its own population but also to reach many globally, as it’s a major vaccine producer. Addressing challenges in vaccine development and distribution will help deliver vaccines swiftly to millions.

Read Also: Vaccination Trials-Path

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