New Delhi: Nearly three-fourths of Indians now have cooking gas stoves, one-third can read English and about 93 per cent own mobile phones. The recently-released Indian Readership Survey (IRS) data for the first quarter of 2019 also reported that seven states are now fully electrified.
The data on electrification and cooking gas cylinders appear to corroborate the claims made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi government for two of his flagship schemes — Saubhagya and Ujjwala, respectively — which also rank high in his Lok Sabha election campaign.
The latest IRS, which is a survey to analyse India’s media landscape, claims a 3 per cent increase since 2017 in the share of population that can read and understand English. The highest increase — 6 per cent, as compared to 2017 — was registered in Himachal Pradesh, Manipur and Kerala.
According to the survey, while 66 per cent of the population had gas stoves in 2017, the figure stood at 72 per cent for the first quarter of 2019. Punjab, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Telangana, Goa, Kerala, and Uttarakhand were found to be 100 per cent electrified, while the coverage stood at less than 90 per cent for Meghalaya, Assam, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand.
From 35 per cent in 2017, 38 per cent of Indians now have two-wheelers.
The report was released last week by the Media Research Users Council (MRUC), a registered not-for-profit industry body that started in 1994. The survey takes into account a rolling average of the data from the last three quarters of IRS 2017 and one fresh quarter from IRS 2019. The sample size for the 2019 IRS was 3.24 lakh households.
Internet access increases
According to IRS data for the first quarter of 2019, while newspaper readership has gone up 4.4 per cent, online news readership was found to have risen by 3 per cent. The rise in online news readership, the survey suggests, could be attributed to a 5 per cent increase in the population accessing internet since 2017.
As much as 39 per cent of the the urban population, according to the survey, had access to the internet in the first quarter of 2019, up from 33 per cent in 2017. In rural India, online access was found to have gone up from 12 to 16 per cent since 2017.
According to the survey, India now has 38.4 crore active internet users, of which rural India accounts for 50 per cent.