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Internet reaches 24.2% of government schools in India

Internet connectivity in government schools in India improved from 5.5 per cent in 2017-18 to 24.2 per cent in 2021-22, with Bihar, Mizoram, Odisha and Telangana being the only states with fewer than 10 per cent government schools having Internet connectivity.

The information was shared was shared by Union Minister of State for Education Annapurna Devi in a written reply to a question asked by the BJP’s Dhananjay Bhimrao Mahadik in the Rajya Sabha.

According to the Union Ministry of Education, apart from the Union Territories — Puducherry and Chandigarh, which recorded 100 per cent Internet connectivity in government schools — Delhi is the only state in the list.

Other states with high Internet penetration in government schools are Kerala (94.6 per cent) and Gujarat (94.2 per cent).

Rajasthan is the only other state where more than 50 per cent of government schools have Internet connectivity.

The lowest in the rung are Bihar (5.9 per cent), Mizoram (6 per cent), Odisha (8.1 per cent) and Telangana (9.2 per cent) — the only states with fewer than 10 per cent of government schools having Internet connectivity.

“An advisory has been issued by the Department of School Education and Literacy, Government of India, to all states and UTs to enter into an MoU or agreement with BSNL and provide FTTH Internet connection to all the government schools which have computing devices,” the minister said.

The Centre has released Rs 2,443.02 crore for the ICT component in the last five years, she said.

According to Ministry of Education data, while there was significant improvement in Internet accessibility in government schools between 2017 and 2022, some states have made marked progress such as Nagaland, which improved from 1.8 per cent to 43.4 per cent during this period.

Similarly, Chhattisgarh registered a growth from 1 per cent to 33.8 per cent and Andhra Pradesh from 4.7 per cent to 45 per cent. Jammu and Kashmir improved from 1.3 per cent in 2017-18 to 22.3 per cent in 2021-22 and Jharkhand from 2.7 per cent to 33.6 per cent.

In all, there are 15 states and Union Territories where the number of government schools with Internet connectivity is lower than the national average of 24.2 per cent.

Some of the states where the least improvement was witnessed during this period are Assam (1.5 per cent to 10.3 per cent), Bihar (1.4 per cent to 5.9 per cent), Karnataka (2.1 per cent to 10.7 per cent), Mizoram (3.7 per cent to 6 per cent) and Uttar Pradesh (0.8 per cent to 8.8 per cent). PTI

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