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India has trumped both the USA and China.

Guess what?

Well, Indians, on an average, spend more time on social media — 17 hours a week, and this number is higher than that of Chinese and American average.

According to a McKinsey Global Institute Study Report, India is one of the fastest growing markets for digital consumers. But the bad news is that this growth in India is uneven among businesses.

The study says India (in 2018) had 560 million internet subscribers, second only to China. Indian mobile data users consume 8.3 GB of data each month on average, compared with 5.5 GB for mobile users in China and somewhere in the range of 8.0 to 8.5 GB in South Korea, an advanced digital economy.

The report adds that India is digitising faster than any other country in the study, save Indonesia. The thing to note is that India has a lot of scope to grow, as just over 40 per cent of the populace has an internet subscription.

The share of Indian adults with at least one digital financial account has more than doubled since 2011, to 80 percent, thanks mainly to the government’s mass financial inclusion programme, Jan Dhan Yojana.

“India is establishing itself as a major presence in the digital economy. By any number of key metrics, from internet connections to app downloads, both the volume and the growth of its digital economy now exceed those of most other countries,” said the report.

The report also pointed out that “competitive offerings by telecommunications firms have turbocharged internet subscriptions and data consumption, which quadrupled in both 2017 and 2018 and helped bridge the digital divide: India’s lower-income states are growing faster than higher-income ones in internet infrastructure and subscriptions.

The productivity unlocked by the digital economy could create 60 million to 65 million jobs by 2025, many of them requiring functional digital skills. Retraining and redeployment will be essential to help some 40 million to 45 million workers whose jobs could be displaced or transformed.

The survey cautioned that all stakeholders will need to respond effectively if India is to achieve its digital potential. Individuals too would need to inform themselves about how the digital economy could affect them as workers and consumers and prepare to capture its opportunities, the report said.

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