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Delhi tops list of most Internet-ready states: IAMAI-Nielsen study

Karnataka, Maharashtra ranked second and third respectively. Barring Nagaland, the north-eastern states ranked low in terms of overall Internet readiness

Delhi is the most Internet-ready state in India, says the ‘Index of Internet Readiness of Indian States’ report published by The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and Nielsen. Delhi topped the list because of its well-built e-infrastructure and e-participation, says the report.

Delhi has overtaken last year’s winner Maharashtra. It topped not only among small states and union territories but also among all states taken together. The capital city-state is followed by Karnataka, Maharashtra, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

Releasing the report, Aruna Sundararajan, Secretary, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeiTy), Government of India, said, “We are hopeful that India will leapfrog from the present 155th position to world’s top fifth in connectivity, within the next five to six years. Today, India is one of the most rapidly digitising economies in the world with the telecom industry leading the change. Things have improved multi-fold with state governments of Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana among others taking proactive steps to improve connectivity and internet reach.”

“The combination of various indigenous digital platforms along with innovative and disruptive start-ups holds the greatest scope for digital transformation in India. Post demonetisation, the country today has three million POS, compared to 1.5 lakh POS earlier, which is clearly a transformation and going forward to the infrastructure for digital payments will grow three times within the span of one year,” she further added.

Among the smaller states, Chandigarh is ranked second in both e-infrastructure and e-participation. Puducherry ranks after Chandigarh when measured on the e-infrastructure index.

Significantly, even within smaller states, the north-eastern states ranked low in terms of overall Internet readiness. Therefore, much more needs to be done in the form of investment and infrastructure development in the region. Among the north-eastern states, Nagaland tops the list, closely followed by Manipur and Tripura. Nagaland leads in IT environment and performs moderately well in other categories to get to the top.

Internet readiness index is a composite benchmark of four components, i.e., e-Infrastructure index, e-Participation index, IT-Environment and government e-services index. All four components have equal weightage in this model. Separately, a fifth Index (named the Core Internet Index) has been created this year, consisting of select variables already used in constructing the above indices. The purpose of the index is to give a sharper perspective for digital industries looking to expand their business in Indian States.

The overall top rankers among states as per their scores in the various indices are as follows:


Best Large State

Best Small State/UT

Best NE State

E- infrastructure








IT Environment




Government E-services

Himachal Pradesh



Internet readiness




Core Internet Index




One of the key highlights of this year’s report is measuring the digital start-up ecosystem of states. The report finds that Karnataka, Delhi and Maharashtra are the top three states with the highest number of digital start-ups. The study says that of the total 242 start-up incubators in the country, 61 start-up incubators are in Tamil Nadu. About 83 per cent of these incubators are in 10 states -- Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Kerala, Telangana, Gujarat, West Bengal, Delhi and Rajasthan. In the north east, except for Manipur where a single start-up incubator is present, none of the other states have one. 

The report highlights the performance of the states regarding different measures of Internet readiness index. Given the rapid advancement in e-services and e-commerce, it is essential to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the states. While this would help the business and governments to leverage the strength, policy measures can also be taken where improvements are required.

Click here to view IAMAI Report


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