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Communications of the ACM

India Region Special Section: Big trends

India Stack - Digital Infrastructure as Public Good

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India is home to almost one-fifth of the world's population. Its scale and diversity rival those of continents, not countries. India has "official" 22 languages but unofficially 19,500 languages have been recognized as having 10,000 speakers or more.a There is incredible diversity, but also incredible disparity. About 45 million people still live in extreme poverty,b and less than 4% of its 1.3 billion people paid any income tax at all.c

At the same time, digital inclusion in India has taken off in a significant way in the last few years. It has 1.2 billion mobile connections and over 500 million Internet users.d India is now the world's second-largest market for smartphones, with an estimated 400 million smartphones in India having access to one of the cheapest mobile data plans in the world. India is incredibly young—about 50% of its population is below the age of 25, with approximately 65% of the population below the age of 35.e India expects to have 100 million people entering the workforce over the next 10 years. In short, the country is young, ambitious, and connected.


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