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The better-connected Citizens

The development of new technologies and the widespread use of Internet is a key factor for stimulating economic growth. That is even more important in a country with a large population and with a lack of infrastructure. According to a report from the IAMAI (Internet and Mobile Association of India) more than 210 million Indians are already connected. And it should rise to 243 million by June 2014. This figure should be compared with the 207 million users in the US. What is even more interesting for emerging countries such as India is this increase of almost 60% of Internet users in the rural world. And in such a complex country with hundreds of isolated villages, national and local authorities rely on the Mobile Internet, in particular for a better access to education and health, but also to facilitate the financial transactions. Many economic players foresee a massive development of e-commerce in this country. The Internet and previously the mobile phone have become everyday products for many Indians. These technologies will also improve living conditions of disadvantaged people who also live often far from major urban centres. But Internet is of course not limited to e-commerce. It is all about communication. It is also a critical tool for civil society. It represents a major shift in the exercise of power throughout the world. The Internet which allows the ceaseless and instantaneous dissemination of informations- not always verified- is of course essential to the freedom of expression, but is also a risk of destabilisation for democraties. India is a demographically young country but is first of all a great democracy. India and the Internet make a perfect match.It also explains, in this age of globalization, why that country has become the world center for the software development.

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