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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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.