Percentage Of Students Owning Smartphone In Rural India Rises To 61%: Survey

New Delhi: The percentage of school students owning a smartphone in rural India has increased from over 36 per cent to 61 per cent in the last two years, according to the Economic Survey 2020-21. It stated that if utilised well, the resultant reduction in the digital divide is likely to reduce inequalities in educational outcomes, the Hindustan Times (HT) reported.

According to the survey tabled in Parliament on Friday, “Access to data network, electronic devices such as computer, laptop, smartphone, etc. gained importance due to distance learning and remote working…. Percentage of enrolled children from government and private schools owning a smartphone increased enormously from 36.5 pc in 2018 to 61.8 pc in 2020 in rural India.”

After schools and other education institutions were closed in March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, children are taught online using available assets at home.

On the literacy front, the survey pointed out how the country is still four per cent short of 100 per cent literacy at the elementary level and female literacy continues to be below the national average.

“While India has attained a literacy level of almost 96 pc at the elementary school level, it is still behind in achieving 100 pc. As per National Sample Survey (NSS), the literacy rate of persons of age seven years and above at the all India level stood at 77.7 pc but the differences in literacy rate attainment among social-religious groups, as well as gender still persists. Female literacy remained below national average among social groups of SC, ST, OBC, including religious groups of Hinduism and Islam,” it said.

The survey also stated that the new National Education Policy (NEP) aims to pave the way for transformational reforms in school and higher education systems in the country.


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