India climbs to 39th position in global competitive index, but remains among least digitally connected

On the Global Competitiveness Index of World Economic Forum (WEF), India has climbed up 16 sports and now stands on the 39th position.


On the Global Competitiveness Index of World Economic Forum (WEF), India has climbed up 16 sports and now stands on the 39th position. This is a huge leap and boasts of improved monetary and fiscal policies along with lower oil prices. India climbs for the second year in a row, while Switzerland and Singapore take the top two positions.

The report reads, "India’s competitiveness has improved across the board, in particular in goods market efficiency, business sophistication, and innovation. Thanks to improved monetary and fiscal policies, as well as lower oil prices, the Indian economy has stabilized and now boasts the highest growth among G20 countries."

On the flip side, the report doesn't hesitate to mention that 'still, a lot needs to be done'. For instance, the labor market, according to the report, is segmented between workers protected by rigid regulations and centralized wage determination, and also mentions millions of unprotected and informal workers.

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"The efficiency of the domestic market (81st) is hindered by fiscal regulations that allow federal states to levy different levels of value-added taxes; large, publicly owned enterprises further reduce the overall efficiency of the economy, especially in the utilities sector and the financial market, where there is growing concern about the incidence of non-performing loans," the report adds.
The lack of infrastructure ICT use are still considered to be the bottlenecks. The improvement is believed to be slow in recent years and there is a need for further investment, especially connecting rural areas and ensure they can also benefit from and contribute to the country’s development.

The study is based on 12 key pillars, and one among them is technological readiness. And, India continues to stay among the least digitally connected nations in the world. Fewer than one in five Indians access the Internet on a regular basis, while fewer than two in five are said to even own a basic mobile phone, as per WEF.

It ranks 110th with a poor score of 3 out of 10 due to varying factors such as low Internet speeds, lesser density of Internet users, and its rather slow at the latest technologies, when it comes to the overall population.  Crawling Internet speeds and digital connectivity have been some of the hurdles for a while now. However, with the push given to 4G services and cheaper data rates, this could change. Not abruptly, but gradually. While global smartphone sales are declining, India is still defying the global trend, as an increasing number of people have begun moving from feature phones to smartphones, especially in villages and smaller towns. However, in contrast, a recent report also pointed out how feature phone shipments will be more than fifty percent of phone shipments this year.


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