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The internet wave is spreading in India like a wild fire. It's no secret that the country is currently the third largest internet user base but considering its population and size, a lot more can be and needs to be done.

According to the current statistics available with us, India currently has the third largest internet user base in the world. Further, the total number of internet users keeps increasing with each passing year. According to figures, the number of Internet users in India rose from 300 million in December 2014 to a whopping 402 million by December last year. According to various industry experts, this number can be expected to reach 462 million by the month of June this year.

Another trend which has seen an upward trajectory is the swelling number of Mobile internet users. According to figures available, the mobile internet user base in urban India has crossed over the 306 million figures in the year 2015, making it a leap of 65%. The rural India user base registered a growth of 99% at 87 million by the end of December last year.

Don't let these aforementioned figures fool you. India for sure is doing great when it comes to the user base number, but when the discussion moves to internet penetration, the figures aren't that glossy at all. In terms of internet penetration, India stands at a very low 21%. This figure is far behind USA's 86.8%, Brazil's 53.5% and China's 46%.

In order to provide India with some suggestions and recommendations to catch up with its counterparts in the Internet penetration race, Industry body Internet and Mobile Association of India also famously known as the IAMAI has come up a report on the same.

According to the report, one basic reason for slow internet penetration in the country is the wide variety of local languages being practiced in the country. India is a land of varied cultures which come with their own varied and unique languages. This is where the Internet lacks. Most of the content being produced nowadays on the Internet is in English, which proves to be of no use to people who understand, speak and write their local language only.

"Accessing the internet in local language broadly has two challenges. The first challenge is generating content in local languages and popularising such content for broader adoption. The second challenge is on the technical front, pertaining to availability of Indian scripts for generating digital content," the report reads.

Although the Indian government and various private organisations like Wikipedia, Google and Facebook have understood this problem and have come up with local language content, still the availability of this content remains extremely low when compared to other languages. For example, statistically comparing, the Sanskrit Wikipedia has only 11,000 articles, while the Hindi one stands at around 22,000 Wiki pages. On the other hand, the German Wikipedia has 1.79 million pages and 55,000 for a small European country like Estonia. Shockingly, Indian languages occupies less than 0.1% of the content currently on the world wide web.

According to the IAMAI, the number of web users in India can increase significantly if the content available on the internet is accessible to people in their own local languages.

The report further goes a step ahead and identifies the various stakeholders who can be financially benefitted while bringing the local languages content on the Internet to the consumers. According to it, if the Indian language book publishing industry decides to moves its services and products online, they can create a digital opportunity worth nearly a whopping $7 billion for not only the content providers but also the technology players. Further, the online medium will prove to be a much more cost efficient option for them to reach out to their regional language consumers in tier-2 and tier-3 cities than the traditional media that they make use of currently.

The various technological barriers relating to local language fonts and keyboards; the type of device and the subsequent software platform it operates on, is the main reason for the slow adoption of local languages content on the Internet.

The IAMAI report fully narrows down the key players and stakeholders in the ecosystem; takes a serious note of the various developments that have taken place in this regard and also mentions the various future projects in the pipeline, and identifies the various challenges that are currently restricting the Internet proliferation in the country.

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