Mobile usage will increase India's per capita GDP by US$51 per year between 2010 and 2020, due to rising phone subscriptions, according to a recent Vodafone Institute Survey.
The study indicates that mobile devices support democratic participation, increase gender equality, and improve educational opportunities, reports The Times of India.
After living and across India for over four years, I can say that from my observation, I agree 100 percent with all of the above, especially educational opportunities. To begin with, 2014 is an important year for India as they are holding federal elections. No doubt about it, mobile devices, along with social media, will play an important role and function is persuading voters. Furthermore, politicians are already making use of social media at a level never seen before in India, and this is being embraced especially by the youth.
Let's be frank: opposition candidate and contender from the BJP party Narendra Modi already has engaged the youth because of social media presence, in contrast to current Congress leader and PM, Manmohan Singh. Unfortunately for Singh, he now appears to be out of touch with the country as a whole, and with a large number of votes being youth, it could already be too late to engage the youth.
As for gender equality, what automatically comes to mind is the safety of women across India, in lieu of the horrible Delhi gang rape in December 2012. As unfortunate as it was, it brought attention to a serious issue in India, that has always been there but never formally addressed. Now, for example, there are numerous safety apps available for download to keep both family and friends informed of your plans and travels, as they are updated in real-time. What I would like to see is more involvement and participation from local police authorities across India, but this will take time.
Finally, education is simply a huge, emerging sector in India. Parents and students are both realizing that studying abroad isn’t always the best solutions, when in fact, there are plenty of home grown solutions available across India. While in its infancy in my opinion, e-Learning across India is a niche market that will grow in the coming years, catering to the different regions and languages across India.
With devices already available as teaching aids, along with the Indian government's own attempt with the Aakash tablet, clearly those in decision making roles realize that mobile devices are essential for both current and future delivery of educational programs across India. What makes this appealing is that once fine tuned, India can begin exporting e-learning solutions across the world, catering to different markets as required.