India has over 1.2 bn mobile phone users: I&B ministry

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NEW DELHI : Ministry of Information and Broadcasting secretary Apurva Chandra on Wednesday said that India has over 1.2 billion mobile phone users and 600 million smart phone users. 

“Along with very low data rates, this penetration of smart phones has resulted in users consuming high amount of information and entertainment via mobile devices,” Ministry of Information & Broadcasting said in a statement quoting Apurva Chandra as saying.

Social media has caused faster and deeper percolation of information in India, to the effect that this has even reduced the loss of lives in natural calamities. The Secretary was speaking at the first World Media Congress in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Apurva Chandra congratulated the United Arab Emirates for holding the first ever such Congress. He further added that the India has a lot in common with the host country. 

The Secretary informed the audience about the media landscape in India and said that India is a country with a tradition media comprised of 897 television channels, of which over 350 were news channels, and over 80 thousand newspapers coming out in various languages. However he added, recently there has been a shift towards new media with youngsters consuming information from this new media. 

The Secretary said that this has presented a challenge of credibility and that presented a challenge to the government. 

He added that it was pertinent that the Government come up with means to keep a check on this phenomenon and that is where India has come out with a self regulatory mechanism, which ensures that the first level of complaint can be resolved at the level of the social media organisation.

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