Urban Conversation Series: Internet and Cities: How its Changing the Way we Live
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The 15th Conversation on “Internet and Cities: How it’s Changing the Way We Live” on October 20, 2016, was led by Rajat Kathuria, Director & CE, ICRIER. He pointed out that the Internet was pervasive in cities because of the ubiquity of the smart phone. According to Dr. Kathuria, lower data tariff and increasing willingness of consumers to pay for the convenience of interconnectedness on the demand side and massive price reduction of devices on the supply side have led to a surge in daily activity on the Internet. Even when juxtaposed against the vast populations of India and China, daily records of 207 billion emails, 4.2 billion Google searches and 36 million Amazon purchases are quite staggering. He pointed out that an Indian ‘phono sapien’ spends an average of three hours on a mobile device, i.e., just two hours less than an average user in the United States. Urban Indian children spend about four hours a day on the Internet, mostly on mobile devices and communication apps such as Facebook and WhatsApp. 89 He also highlighted the technology-enabled shift from conventional ownership towards a shared model. The emergence and rapid expansion of players like Ola, Uber, OYO rooms and AirBnB indicates the exciting possibility of efficiently matching demand and supply like never before. The internet, while transforming urban interactions on shopping, learning, dating, banking, commuting, travelling and sharing, has the potential to contribute to the compactness of a city and therefore, sustainability. Finally, Dr. Kathuria shared his concerns around India’s regulatory preparedness to cope with the massive levels of activity on the Internet. According to him, the longstanding tussle between innovation and regulation, privacy and profits are in sharper focus, making policy formulation more challenging.

IHC – ICRIER Urban Conversations Series

Subject

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Internet and Cities: How its Changing the Way we Live

Speaker

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Dr. Rajat Kathuria, Director & Chief Executive, ICRIER

Moderator

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Dr. Isher Judge Ahluwalia, Chairperson, Board of Governors, ICRIER

Venue

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Gulmohar Hall, India Habitat Centre, Lodi Load, New Delhi 110003 

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Thursday, October 20, 2016, 7:00 pm

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20 Oct, 2023