Press release

8 Jun 2021

80% citizens feel Indian government and public services have been effective in using digital technology to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, EY survey

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EY India

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Related topics Technology Digital
  • 73% of the respondents believe technology will change public services for the better
  • 71% of the respondents think the COVID-19 pandemic will lead to greater use of technology in their daily lives in the future
  • 63% citizens feel comfortable in sharing their personal data online with the government in order to access a service

India, 8 June 2021:  80% of Indian citizens feel that the government and public services in India have been effective in using digital technology to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new EY Connected Citizen Survey. Respondents in India hold a favorable attitude towards technology and see an important role for technological innovation in public service delivery. The EY Connected Citizen Survey was conducted by Ipsos MORI, with 1000 respondents from India between the age 18 to 50, and globally 12,100 respondents across 12 countries. 

Technology and data sharing trends

Respondents in India are more likely than average to use mobile applications to provide feedback on public services. They are comfortable with technology replacing face-to-face human interaction and are inclined to use an artificial intelligence powered chat bot to communicate with the government. They want the government to prioritize making certain services available online including pension planning, resources to help people set up businesses and providing more ways for citizens to have an online say in government decision making.

 

Technology and data sharing trends in India

Over the past year, the pandemic has increased the need for governments across the world to offer more services remotely, and in some cases, they have been delivered entirely online. This has resulted in the generation of much larger volumes of citizens’ data which is then collected by governments. Compared to other countries, there are fewer concerns about data privacy in India. 63% Indians feel comfortable in sharing their personal data with the government online in order to access a service, while 34% don’t feel comfortable in sharing the same. Similarly, 57% feel comfortable in sharing their personal data with a company in order to perform a transaction and 48% feel comfortable in sharing their personal data through social networking services. Globally, 53% of those surveyed think that privacy and security risks around how their data is shared outweigh the benefits.

Gaurav Taneja, Partner and Leader, Government and Public Sector, EY India, says:

“Digitization is the new normal and the Indian Government was quick to adopt technologies, especially during the pandemic, to deliver safe, secure and improved digital services to all citizens. Going forward, a more inclusive digitalization approach including unique digital ids, smart portals and mobile apps, integrated digital platforms, etc. on the back of design thinking, customer experience labs and data analytics will help the government design their services to make each touchpoint better, faster and more efficient, and to move towards more proactive and even predictive service delivery to Indian citizens.”

Shifting online behavior

55% of India respondents stated that they use the internet at least once a day, while 38% of respondents stated that they use the internet all the time for personal use (e.g. website access, email, social networking, etc.). In terms of activities, 78% respondents used social networking sites, 75% used internet for shopping, while 74% used it for streaming TV, music or videos.

Looking ahead to the future, 81% of the respondents think that technology will change the way they bank and shop, 80% of the respondents think that it will change the way they work/study, and 79% of the respondents think that it will change the way they entertain themselves.

Shifting online behavior in India

The quality of life

Respondents in India are among the most optimistic compared to citizens in other countries. They are optimistic about their family, their local area, their country, and the world in general. However, the COVID-19 pandemic appears to have had an impact on life satisfaction. Eight in ten participants said they were happy with their quality of life prior to the pandemic (81%), while less than half were satisfied at the time of the survey (45%).

The India respondents are more likely than average to view - access to good mental health services, access to a good education, opportunities to learn new skills, and good community spirit - as very important to their quality of life. They view financial security (38%), safety (40%), and healthcare (43%) as less important than people in other countries, though these remain top priorities for around four in ten respondents. 

Average priorities for  quality of life in India

Globally, while the survey reflects optimism that technology improves quality of life (according to 72% of respondents), there are significant concerns about its broader impact. Many believe that increased use of technology will potentially widen social inequalities, with 32% stating that technology will lead to greater social inequality and 34% stating that technology gives more power to those who are already rich and powerful. There are further concerns around the impact of increased reliance on technology as a means for communication on social cohesion. Globally, 32% of citizens believe technology will make people feel less connected to their communities. However, demand still exists to further develop people’s digital skills. 61% say they would be likely to use government training schemes that improve their digital skills if they were available.  

Looking ahead to the future, according to the India respondents, healthcare services (49%), availability of good jobs (42%), clean air and green spaces (39%) are amongst the most important to improve in their local area.  

Impact of COVID-19

71% of the respondents think the COVID-19 pandemic will lead to greater use of technology in their daily lives in the future, 69% feel technology innovation will be more than ever before, while 63% believe that the reliance on domestically produced goods will be more compared to the pre-COVID era.

Use of public services

40% of the respondents feel that making more use of online and digital technologies in the provision of public services would make the biggest difference to the quality of public services they receive. 39% of the respondents stated that providing online resources for people to learn new skills or look for a new job and making many more government and public services available online, respectively, should be the key priorities for the government of India.

Seven personas that governments must reach

The survey segments respondents into seven personas: Aspirational Technophiles (well-educated digital natives excited by the power of technology), Capable Achievers (pragmatic technophiles who embrace innovation), Diligent Strivers (young self-improvers keen to get on in life), Tech Skeptics (older, lower income earners who struggle to see technology's benefits), Privacy Defenders (cautious sharing their data with government or private companies), Passive Outsiders (detached from the connected world and reluctant to embrace change) and Struggling Providers (low-paid workers who lack digital skills and access). These categories offer insights into how governments should consider working with different societal groups. For example, the survey indicates that Aspirational Technophiles, Capable Achievers and Diligent Strivers are more comfortable with sharing their data to access a service or perform a transaction online, and with their data being shared. But there is a lack of support among Tech Skeptics, Privacy Defenders and Passive Outsiders about governments and businesses gaining access to their data. These personas also give key insights into the perspectives of certain demographics around fundamental issues, such as immigration, climate change and globalization. 

The distribution of citizen personas differs by country. India consists of a high proportion of Aspirational Technophiles and Diligent Strivers (25% each, reflecting the sample profile) but a smaller number of Passive Outsiders (3%) and Capable Achievers (8%).

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Notes to Editors

About EY

EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, strategy, transaction and consulting services. The insights and quality services we deliver help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies the world over. We develop outstanding leaders who team to deliver on our promises to all of our stakeholders. In so doing, we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people, for our clients and for our communities.

EY refers to the global organization, and may refer to one or more, of the member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Information about how EY collects and uses personal data and a description of the rights individuals have under data protection legislation are available via ey.com/privacy. For more information about our organization, please visit ey.com.

About the survey

Ipsos MORI conducted online interviews with 12,100 participants of working age across 12 countries (approximately 1,000 per country) globally between July and September 2020. Data have been weighted by age, gender, region and work status to nationally representative profiles.  Countries surveyed included Australia (aged 18-65), Brazil (18-59), France (16-75), Germany (16-75), India (18-50), Japan (18-75), Malaysia (18-65), Mexico (18-59), South Africa (18-65), UAE (18-55), the USA (18-75) and the UK (16-75). In countries with a relatively low internet penetration, the sample is more urban, more educated, and/or more affluent than the general population and the results should be viewed as reflecting the views of a more “connected” population.

Participants in India are aged 18-50. As the survey was carried out online, the sample in India will be more connected, urban, and educated than in the overall population. Two fifths (39%) of the India sample reside within large cities. Three quarters (76%) are university graduates. Three in five (61%) are in paid work, while 39% are not in paid work.