India has been ranked 40th out of 100 countries on the inclusive internet index 2020 released by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). In South Asia, Pakistan ranked the lowest (76th), India at 40th, Sri Lanka at 56 and Bangladesh on the 70th spot. According to the EIU, in 2020, Pakistan falls into the last quartile of the global internet index countries overall, and it ranks 24th out of 26 Asian countries.
- The 'Inclusive Internet Index' benchmarks countries on the internet's availability, affordability, relevance and the readiness of people to use it.
- In its fourth year, the index covered 100 countries, representing 91pc of the world's population and 96pc of global GDP.
- On a scale of one (best) to 100 (worst), Pakistan stood at the 76th place out of the total countries surveyed.
- Notable among its weaknesses is by far the largest gender gaps in the index, in both mobile and internet access. Low levels of digital literacy and relatively poor network quality are major impediments to internet inclusion, the EIU said.
- Among the four dimensions considered for the ranking -- availability, affordability, relevance and readiness -- Pakistan showed poor performance in all areas, the worst being in the availability category.
- In terms of availability -- a category that examines the quality and breadth of available infrastructure required for access and levels of internet usage.
- In terms of readiness -- measured on the basis of access to internet, including skills, cultural acceptance, and supporting policy.
- The first country ranked in this year's index is Sweden, followed by New Zealand and the US. Australia and Denmark both ranked fourth, followed by South Korea, Canada, the United Kingdom, France and Spain.
- Among the global worst are Burandi at 100th, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi and Burkina Faso.