How Has Corona Played A Role In Increasing Internet Adoption Rates In Rural India

Corona's role in increasing internet usage in India Corona has played an important role In increasing internet usage in rural India

The covid pandemic has disrupted the lives of crores of Indians over the last few months. Regular lockdowns and curfews, transportation restrictions, and mounting losses have made it difficult for most Indians to operate as they once did. Therefore, it’s no wonder that internet connectivity has come to play a big role in people’s lives in the last few months. 

Those living in urban  India have always had the luxury of enjoying good internet connectivity. This has been particularly useful during the pandemic when online interactions replaced human interactions for most people. The surprising thing though is how rural India embraced digitization during this time.

How is rural India adapting to the internet?

A 2021 report released by IAMAI and consulting firm Kantar showed that rural India had an internet adoption rate of 45% in 2019 compared to urban India’s 11%. The numbers have gone up since then, with the rural internet user base in 2020 being 29.9 crores. 

How did this happen?

Some of the key factors driving this digital revolution are increased use of smartphones, cheaper and faster mobile data plans, availability of online content in regional languages, and video content. 

Mobile internet usage has been the catalyst in this movement. It is used widely to access entertainment, mostly in the form of video content. Popular sites like YouTube, Facebook, WhatsApp, and even Netflix have been embraced wholeheartedly by the rural population. 

Apps Most Popular In Rural India

Application Jan 2020 (GB) March 2020 (GB)
YouTube 7342 23418
Facebook 3699 17527
Netflix 3221 16821
Google & Videos 2744 8123
Amazon Prime 3544 8269
Instagram 1605 6704
Twitter 2043 5133

Source: inc42 

This has also helped most rural communities stay updated with the latest news regarding the pandemic, as well as the precautionary measures they need to take. Though there is a language barrier when it comes to English, companies that understand the importance of regional language content are gaining popularity. 

What’s in store?

The growing role of the internet has not gone unnoticed. Politicians have seen the importance of using online platforms for their campaigns, and are highly active on social sharing platforms like WhatsApp

The pending digitization of rural India has gained momentum due to the shift in people’s internet consumption. The Government’s ‘Digital India’ aims to bring India’s villages and gram panchayats online to transform it to a well-connected knowledge economy. 

The much-awaited digital revolution of the agricultural sector has gained traction during this time. Several apps like GoCoop, an online social marketplace for India’s cooperatives, Kisan Suvidha, a platform connecting farmers and agricultural stakeholders, Bijak which is India’s No.1 Agritrading App, etc., have entered the scene with the aim of helping agri traders take their trade online and pan India. 

Farm and agritrade related software too are gaining popularity. Agribusiness owners are slowly discovering how efficiency can be improved by introducing digital solutions to certain aspects of their business. Accounting software is one such product. Mandi software and online accounting platforms like ChargeERP are slowly taking over tedious tasks like offline bookkeeping. Apart from saving time spent on accounting, ChargeERP also helps users to work and collaborate with team members remotely. This makes it an ideal choice during this time. Please visit or dial +91 9311341199 and book your free demo today.

As you saw, the coronavirus has changed the digital media consumption of Indians in unexpected ways. To quote Prime Minister Narendra Modi, “The government policies have led to bridging the gulf between urban and rural lives. For the first time, internet users in rural areas have outnumbered urban counterparts by 10%.” In other words, rural India is going online in a big way, and there’s no turning back.