When online classes have become the new normal during the pandemic time, a survey done by the Odisha government reveals that over 15 lakh school going students in the State have no access to digital devices (phones/computers).
However, the numbers don't look dull as many of the peer states like Tamil Nadu has over 17.5 lakh school going students having no access to digital devices. The table is led by Bihar, where a massive over 1.4 crore students neither have mobiles nor computers. The eye-opening numbers have been brought to the fore recently by Union HRD Ministry.
A detailed look at the data released reveals that when the total enrolment in pre-primary to higher secondary schools in Odisha has been over 70.1 lakh, only around 21 per cent or 15.08 lakh students have no access to digital devices in the State.
A comparison with the neighbouring states reveals that the proportion of school-going students having no access to digital devices are higher than Odisha. While the proportion in Chhattisgarh stood at over 28 per cent, the ratio in Jharkhand has been around 52.6 per cent.
The above data shows good penetration of digital devices in Odisha. Earlier, a survey by CyberMedia Research had revealed that Odisha is well placed in smartphone penetration vis-a-vis the states like Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. The eye-popping revelation by the survey conducted in 2018-19 disclosed that Odisha is even ahead of advanced states like Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Haryana.
The school data regarding students having no access to the digital devices that have been released recently put a stamp of approval as the number of school-going students in Karnataka without digital devices stood higher at over 31.3 lakh.
Internet Penetration In Odisha
The results of well-known research outfit CyberMedia Research revealed that the smartphone penetration in Odisha has been at around 45 per cent, and the State figured in top-10 users in the country.
Similarly, as per the latest TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) report, the data usage per subscriber per month in India stood at around 13.5 GB. The consumption of data in Odisha is almost at par with the national average (around 11 GB).
With regard to internet subscribers in the State, by the end of the year 2020, Odisha had over 20 mn subscribers. While the count in rural areas stood at 13.27 mn, the tally in urban Odisha was 7.38mn. If proportionally seen with the total population of the State, then around 43 per cent of the population in the State have access to internet services.
Note: As there have been multiple subscribers among the internet subscriber base, it's not appropriate to derive the population - proportion..