How Many Villages in India Lack Internet Access?

India, with its vast geography and diverse topography, faces a significant challenge in ensuring equitable internet access across all its regions. While the country has made tremendous strides in enhancing digital connectivity, a substantial number of villages still remain disconnected from the internet’s vast resources. This digital divide is more pronounced in certain states, particularly in remote and rural areas.

The Current State of Internet Connectivity in Indian Villages

Out of approximately 5.97 lakh villages in India, it’s estimated that around 25,067 villages lack mobile and internet connectivity. This situation highlights a significant gap in digital inclusion, impacting various aspects of life, from education to healthcare and economic opportunities.

Detailed State-Wise Data:

While comprehensive data for each Indian state is not readily available, here’s what we know about some states:

1. Odisha: Leads with the highest number of villages without internet access, totaling 6,099.
2. Arunachal Pradesh: A critical border state with 2,223 out of 3,035 villages lacking internet connectivity, which is over 73% of its villages.
3. Madhya Pradesh: 2,612 villages are yet to be connected to the internet.
4. Maharashtra: Has 2,328 villages without internet access.
5. Andhra Pradesh: Reports 1,787 villages without internet connectivity.
6. Jharkhand: Has 1,144 such villages.
7. Nagaland: Approximately 378 out of 1,400 villages lack high-speed mobile internet.
8. Mizoram: About 296 out of 704 villages are without high-speed mobile internet.
9. Ladakh: Of its 236 villages, 155 are still without high-speed internet.
10. Meghalaya: 2,418 out of 6,459 villages lack high-speed mobile internet.

States like Kerala, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, and Haryana have reported higher penetration of mobile services in their villages.

The Challenge Ahead

The figures indicate a significant digital divide, especially in rural areas. The Indian government, through various initiatives under the Universal Service Obligation Fund, is working to address this challenge. Projects like BharatNet aim to provide broadband connectivity to all gram panchayats, which could significantly improve the situation.

Moving Forward

Ensuring internet access in these unconnected villages is vital for achieving inclusive digital growth. It’s a large-scale endeavor that will require a multi-pronged approach, involving collaboration with government bodies, local communities, and organizations working towards digital inclusion.

As efforts continue to bridge this digital gap, it’s hoped that soon every village in India will be able to harness the power of the internet, opening up new avenues for growth and development across the nation.

This summary provides a glimpse into the current state of internet connectivity in rural India. For a more detailed understanding and latest updates, direct engagement with governmental sources and ongoing digital inclusion projects is recommended.