People in India are increasingly opting for mobile devices as they seek greater access to online learning.
More than 50 per cent of the population now has a smartphone, up from 39 per cent in 2017, according to a report by the Pew Research Centre.
In 2017, the proportion of India’s population aged 15 to 24 using mobile phones fell from 70 per cent to 61 per cent.
In 2018, the share of India population aged 20 to 24 who have a smartphone rose to 69 per cent, up 7 percentage points from 57 per cent a year earlier.
The percentage of adults in India who use a mobile phone has risen from 14 per cent for adults aged 15-24 to 23 per cent and 26 per cent respectively.
More young people are using mobile technology to access education.
In 2018, 43 per cent (5.1 million) of those aged 15 years and over had a mobile device.
Among the youth, 51 per cent had a smartphone in 2018, up 10 percentage points on the previous year.
In India, more than 60 per cent use tablets or smartphones to access online learning, the report said.
Mobile education is increasingly being used in rural and remote areas.
Mobile phones are now a mainstay of many rural households in India, where access to education is limited.
In rural areas, a mobile is the most common mode of accessing education and a common method of connecting with teachers.
This is largely due to the fact that rural education is often conducted using traditional teaching methods, such as the use of traditional writing and teaching.
Mobile phone usage is a crucial part of education for the majority of rural Indians, but there are challenges to bridging the gap.
Mobile penetration is low in rural India.
According to the 2017 National Sample Survey of Elementary Education and Literacy (NSSEL), a total of only 2.9 per cent rural households have a mobile, while 20 per cent have a tablet and 15 per cent only a smartphone.
The study said that more than half (54 per cent) of the rural households use mobile devices for access to their school, but only 22 per cent can access the internet.
A key challenge to bridting the mobile literacy gap is the lack of access to quality content online.
In 2017, NSSEL surveyed 1,700 teachers across 26 rural districts of India.
In the rural areas of the country, a third (33 per cent), of respondents said that quality content is not available on the internet for their students.
Mobile is also an important part of digital literacy for students and teachers.
In rural India, over half of students are now on mobile phones and mobile broadband is a major factor for students in learning.
In 2020, more teachers were using mobile devices in rural schools than they were a decade ago.
Mobile literacy is growing rapidly in rural countries.
A survey by the World Bank, the International Labour Organization (ILO), and the World Economic Forum (WEF) found that mobile literacy in India is on track to surpass 90 per cent by 2025.
According to the World Health Organization, mobile literacy is now a major driver of morbidity and mortality among rural people.
In 2021, more rural children and women died of malnutrition than in any year before.
According a report released by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), rural education was ranked as the second-highest cause of death for children under 5 in the world.
The report highlighted that rural children are especially vulnerable to maternal, neonatal, and infant mortality.
The report also noted that children and young people aged 15 and under are most at risk of adverse health outcomes such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes.