134 mn children in India likely to be online by 2017: study

Written by PTI | Hyderabad | Updated: Mar 4 2013, 22:02pm hrs
Children laptopFor India, the study expects 95 million new children to come online by 2017 (AP)
The number of children in the country expected to come online by 2017 is likely to more than triple to 134 million from about 40 million last year, according to a study by Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

"For India, the study expects 95 million new children to come online by 2017 (in other words, the majority of the new children coming online will be in India).

"In total, the study expects 134 million Indian children to be online by 2017, up from 39.5 million in 2012," the study, which was conducted by BCG for European telecom major Telenor, said.

A total of 176 million children will be online by 2017 in Telenor's 11 markets plus Russia, and the majority of these children will be using a mobile device as their first point of access, the study said.

Telenor Group president and CEO Jon Fredrik Baksaas said: "We see that the benefits of internet far outweigh the harm that can result from it, but we cannot afford to be


"We commissioned this study in an effort to increase transparency about risks to youth that result from increased access, while simultaneously analysing the best ways to deal with this from a telecom perspective. Our conclusion is that resilience building is the most effective means to prepare youth to face the online world."

More than 14 million children (in 12 markets) may potentially be exposed to harmful online content and as many as 35 million (in 12 markets) children may have experienced some form of cyber bullying, the study said.

Knut Haans, the Global Leader of BCG's Strategy Practice, said the study defined resilience as a child's ability to be exposed to risk without harm, and to cope and recover faster if harm occurs.

"Factors such as education levels, online experience over time and a country's institutional strength in protecting its citizens all contribute to the resilience of an


"While the legal framework in the country is an important starting point, the study concludes that more is required in order to reduce risk, and, in particular, increase

resilience among youth," Haans said in a release.