From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : BRI
Mains level : Utility of the BRI
Broadband Readiness Index (BRI)
- The Department of Telecom and the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) signed a MoU to develop a Broadband Readiness Index (BRI) for Indian States and UTs.
- The first estimate will be made in 2019 and subsequently every year until 2022.
Why such index?
- The National Digital Communication Policy (NDCP) 2018 acknowledged the need for building a robust digital communications infrastructure leveraging existing assets of the broadcasting and power sectors.
- Accordingly the policy recommended that a BRI for States and UTs be developed to attract investments and address Right of Way challenges across India.
Utility of the index
- This index will appraise the condition of the underlying digital infrastructure and related factors at the State/UT level.
- Such an exercise will provide useful insights into strategic choices made by States for investment allocations in ICT programmes.
- In the spirit of competitive federalism, the index will encourage states to cross learn and jointly participate in achieving the overall objective of digital inclusion and development in India.
- The framework will not only evaluate a state’s relative development but will also allow for better understanding of a state’s strengths and weaknesses that can feed into evidence-based policy making.
BRI of components
- Part I will focus on infrastructure development based on the measurement of nine parameters.
- Part II consists of demand side parameters which will be captured through primary surveys.
- It will include indicators such as percentage of households using computers/ laptops with internet connection, percentage of households with fixed broadband connection, internet users as a percentage of the population, smart phones density, percentage of households with at least one digitally literate member, etc.
- This will be a first of its kind exercise that will comprehensively measure the development of telecom infrastructure at the sub national level.