India to log 236 mn mobile internet users by 2016: Report
India is projected to have 236 million mobile internet users by 2016, with the figure reaching 314 million by 2017, a report said here on Monday.
 
The country will have over 500 million internet users by 2017 as compared with over 350 million as of June 2015, 'India On The Go - Mobile Internet Vision Report 2015' pointed out. 
 
The report by Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and KPMG said 2G user base in India is projected to decline in the coming years as more and more customers are expected to migrate from 2G to 3G.
 
The 3G user base in India is rapidly gaining market and is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 61.3 percent from 2013-17.
 
There were approximately 82 million 3G subscribers in India by the end of 2014 and the number is projected to reach 284 million by end of 2017.
 
"It is imperative to connect Indians through the internet, of which the mobile internet will play a key role since reliable accessibility will be the killer app that will bind the internet ecosystem together, increase adoption and enable innovation in business models around voice and data services," Ashvin Vellody, partner - management consulting, KPMG, India, said.
 
"While the urban market has not reached its saturation point, it will be non-metros and rural India that will be driving the internet growth in India. And this is where mobile internet will play a pivotal role," Subho Ray, president, IAMAI, said.
 
"The advent of low-cost smartphones, coupled with low mobile tariffs, has empowered consumers in the hinterland to use data connectivity and we will seeing more usage of internet from these areas in the months to come," he added.

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Delhi government looks to rent space to park buses
With ambitious plans to buy 10,000 more buses, the Delhi government is considering a proposal to rent space in the city to park the huge fleet.
 
Even now, the administration finds there is not enough space to park at night its 4,700 Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) buses and 1,300 'cluster buses', which operate on a public-private partnership basis.
 
"We are exploring the possibility of renting open space for parking buses at night," a government official told IANS.
 
The DTC claims to run the world's biggest fleet of buses operating on clean fuel. Along with Delhi Metro, it offers the cheapest mode of public transport in the capital.
 
There are 46 DTC depots in the capital now. Officials say they together cannot accommodate even the entire existing fleet.
 
This forces drivers to park hundreds of buses by the roadside at night, leading at times to harassment at the hands of Delhi Police, who don't report to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)-controlled Delhi government.
 
The Delhi government needs land to create more bus depots. But land is a central government subject in the National Capital Region. And land is costly too.
 
"We will see if large chunks of land like school playgrounds and other areas are available at night on rent," the Delhi government official told IANS.
 
"At times, police harass bus drivers because they park their vehicles at non-designated spots," the official said. "It is all because of the land crisis in the capital."
 
The official said the city government needed 200 acres to park its fleet of buses but had only 10 acres of dedicated space at its disposal.
 
"In any case, the depots are small in size and always crammed," he added.
 
In order to encourage people to switch to public transport, the Delhi government has announced that it will buy 10,000 more buses. It says the central government is not giving it land for more bus depots.
 
Recently, the city government sought 500 acres from the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), the capital's land owning agency which is controlled by the central government.
 
"One acre of commercial land costs about Rs.50 crore. You can imagine that we will have to shell out thousands of crores of rupees just to create bus depots," the official said, adding that the AAP government didn't have so much money to spend on this project.
 
About 4.5 million people commute by DTC buses daily. This comes to a poor ratio of one bus for 1,000 passengers.
 
"There is massive shortage of buses in the capital," the official explained, detailing the woes of the capital where despite Delhi Metro's services, public transport remains a major issue.
 
"The main reason is parking space. How will we augment the numbers of buses if there is no parking space? We don't have space for the existing buses, let alone the required space for an additional 10,000 buses."

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Renminbi may become fourth most-used currency: People's Daily
China's renminbi(RMB) may become the world's fourth most-used international currency, replacing the Japanese yen, a media report said here on Monday.
 
The People's Daily quoted Chen Yulu, president of Renmin University of China, as saying that the International Monetary Forum had raised the RMB Internationalization Index from 0.02 in 2009 to 2.47 in 2014. The top three currencies are the dollar, the euro and the British pound, although the listing varies, depending on which criteria is being used. 
 
The daily said that the level of acceptance of RMB worldwide had gone up significantly. Cross-border RMB flow reached 6.55 trillion in 2014, seeing a rise of 41.6 percent. RMB constitutes 2.96 percent of worldwide trades, seeing a direct investment amount of 1.05 trillion. RMB, also known as the yuan, had now become the world’s second trade-finance currency, fifth payment currency, and sixth foreign-exchange currency, Chen said.
 
RMB will see a greater surge in market share, the report added.
 
In January 2014, RMB had surpassed the Swiss franc to become the seventh most-used currency in the world, according to SWIFT, the global transaction services organisation.

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