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Internet expansion will generate more employment in service sectors within the country and abroad says McKinsey report

Dr.T.P.Sethumadhavan

Recent study on ‘the impact of internet on the Indian economy’ by McKinsey reveals that by 2015 internet will contribute 100 Billion US dollars (5 lakh Crore rupees) to India’s GDP from 30 billion US dollars. Moreover by 2015 number of internet users in India will increase from 120 million to 350 million users and the country will move from third to second largest internet user base in the world. By 2015 number of internet users will become 2.6-2.9 Billion; of which 50 percent population will be from developing countries. Globally nearly 20 percent of the user’s access internet on wireless technologies whereas in India it is around 55 percent. Indian internet economy is 1.6-2 times bigger than education, health, hospitality or utility sectors. This will directly create demand for up and down stream industries in the country. Internet economy in India is driven by large companies where individual consumption is only 29 percent; whereas world average is 45 percent.

Absence of low cost and high speed connectivity in small cities and villages, poor rural penetration, increasing cost of ownership& connectivity, poor digital literacy, hurdles in widening and extending application services are the key barriers which affect internet penetration in the country.

Internet will facilitate biggest expansion in agriculture, education, healthcare, public information, entertainment, hospitality & Tourism, retail, telecom, IT, ITeS, Banking, insurance, financial services and industries and will create more employment in the coming years. Since internet facilities can be developed only if entrepreneurship development programmes are strengthened in the country, Entrepreneurship plays a key role in expanding the internet network in the country. E-learning, online education and overseas education prospects will show robust growth in the coming years.

As a sequele to projected development in internet, sectors like education, IT, industries, agriculture, banking and financial services, tourism and export sector will show robust growth in the coming years. So courses catering these areas will have better career potential. Agribusiness, IT, computer science, management programmes, retail, hospitality and tourism management, Banking and financial services, actuary, electronics and communication, cyber security, ITeS, BPO and KPO will be the courses of major attraction in the coming years. Agriculture information, communication, distance and e-learning will witness spectacular growth in the coming years. Education sector will be one of the major beneficiaries through expansion of internet facilities. Online courses from world class universities will reach the doorstep of the users. Universities like Harvard, Stanford and Pennsylvania already started offering free online programmes under Coursera and edex. Digital literacy will help to create awareness on scientific management practices and will help to augment production. Digital literacy training and entrepreneurship models will create the post of skill developers who can act as intermediaries between the web and users. Moreover there is better potential for public private partnership in this sector.

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