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

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NEW DELHI : Secretary of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Apurva Chandra, said on Wednesday that India had more than 1.2 billion mobile phone users and 600 million smart phone users.

“With very low data rates, this smartphone penetration has led users to consume a large amount of information and entertainment through mobile devices,” the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting said in a statement. quoting Apurva Chandra.

Social media has caused faster and deeper percolation of information in India so that it has even reduced the loss of life 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 organizing the first ever congress of its kind. He further added that India has a lot in common with the host country.

The Secretary briefed the audience on the media landscape in India and said that India is a country with traditional media consisting of 897 TV channels including over 350 news channels and over 80,000 newspapers published in different languages. However, he added, there has recently been a move towards new media, with young people consuming information from these new media.

The secretary said it presented a credibility challenge and it presented a challenge to the government.

He added that it is pertinent for the government to find ways to control this phenomenon and this is where India has come up with a self-regulatory mechanism, which ensures that the first level of complaint can be resolved at the level of the social media organization.

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