The I-Cube 2008 report, jointly undertaken by the Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IMRB International, has pegged rural India’s active Internet users at 3.3 million as on March 2008. This is for the first time that the I-Cube report has covered rural India. The results seem to be encouraging, especially since 5.5 million people actually claimed that they used Internet at some point in time. I-Cube traditionally maps Internet users in urban India.
In a prepared statement, Subho Ray, President, IAMAI, said, “Given the various Government and private sector efforts to connect rural Indians, this was the right time to take the survey to rural India and find out the state of affairs there. In fact, penetration of Internet in rural India is directly related to the activities of the Government and NGOs.”
The survey findings show that of the 568 million rural population, 368 million are rural literate, while 63 million are rural English-speaking population. As many as 15.1 million of the rural population are computer literates, while 5.5 million claimed to be Internet users.
Since this was the first survey of rural Internet users, IMRB used an elaborate and comprehensive methodology. First, clusters of states were created based on population density, per capita income and levels of literacy. Households were then classified (SEC) on the basis of educational qualifications, occupation of the chief wage earner and type of the household into four categories – R1, R2, R3 and R4.
Of all the districts in the state, a sample of six districts were covered, which were representative of the population of a particular state. Six villages were selected and rural respondents from those villages across each selected district were interviewed.
IAMAI is a not-for-profit industry body registered under the Societies Act, 1896. Its mandate is to expand and enhance the online and mobile value added services sectors. The association addresses the issues, concerns and challenges of the Internet and mobile economy and takes a leading role in its development.
Established in 1971, IMRB International is a pioneer in market research. A member of the Kantar Group, WPP’s information, insight and consulting division, IMRB’s footprint extends across 11 countries – India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Singapore, Malaysia, Korea and London.