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Internet users in India to cross 500 mn in 2016: Prasad

By Mansi Taneja
May 05, 2016 07:09 IST
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India has now around one billion mobile subscribers, he added

The number of Internet users in India is likely to cross 500 million this year, according to Ravi Shankar Prasad, minister for communications and information technology.

“India has grown to around 400 million Internet users. If we take Trai (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) numbers, it is somewhere close to 332 million. Service providers are telling me the up-to-date figure would be 402 million. We were to have 500 million users by 2017; I feel it will happen this year itself,” said Prasad, while launching a narrative story book titled Digital Desh Drive.

India has now around one billion mobile subscribers, he added. People in India, especially at grass-root levels, are using technology to transform their lives.

“After being IT and communications minister, I’m indeed experiencing a different India. India is sitting on cusp of a big digital revolution. Indians first observe technology, then adopt technology and then they start enjoying it and become empowered in the process,” Prasad said.

Digital Desh has incorporated insights of small Indian businesses that are using Internet to transform their businesses. In a separate development, the government is setting up a centralised monitoring system (CMS) to automate process of lawful interception and monitoring of phones and Internet.

“The government has decided to set up the CMS in a phased manner to automate the process of lawful interception and monitoring of mobile phones, land lines and the internet in the country,” Prasad said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

“The CMC at Delhi and RMC (regional monitoring centre) at New Delhi and Mumbai have been operationalised,” Prasad said.

CMS’ objectives include electronic provisioning of a target number by government agencies without any manual intervention from telecom service providers on a secured network, thus enhancing the secrecy level and quick provisioning of the target.

Photograph: Carlos Barria/Reuters

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Mansi Taneja in New Delhi
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