A new Barclays report finds India racing ahead in the digital coding race. India has emerged on top of a new global digital ranking by Barclays bank in the field of digital creation and coding. While the country lagged behind considerably on broadband access and policy, it made a solid mark in fields such as “protecting data and devices” and “communication and collaborating”, according to the Barclays Digital Development Index commissioned by Ashok Vaswani, the CEO of Barclays UK. The index benchmarks 10 countries worldwide on their readiness to compete in the digital economy and was aimed at tackling areas in which the UK is lagging behind other countries. India is placed 7th overall; bottom of the league on broadband access and policy but top on digital creation and coding. “This [coding] is a key indicator of the ability to be a 'digital creator' rather than just a 'digital consumer'. India leads, producing the most school pupils with coding skills - almost 10 times as many as the US,” according to the index. “When it comes to individuals′ assessment of their own digital skills and confidence, the UK trails major economic rivals India, China and the US,” the report found. The UK-headquartered bank had surveyed 10,000 workers in 10 countries to create its ranking - Estonia (1), South Korea (2), Sweden (3), UK (4), China (5), US (6), India (7), Germany (8), Brazil (9) and South Africa (10). The country-based survey measured the level of “Individual Digital Empowerment” among workers by assessing their digital skills in six categories ranging from basic to more advanced: researching and evaluating information; communicating and collaborating; protecting data and devices; content creation and coding; solving problems; and knowledge and attitude. The scores for Individual Digital Empowerment were then combined with analysis of policy frameworks and support for the development of digital skills in each country to create the overall ranking.
“We want the UK to be the most digitally savvy nation on earth,” said Vaswani. “This research shows Britons need to equip themselves with digital skills whether to futureproof their career, or keep personal data and devices safe,” he noted. Only 16 per cent of workers in the UK would be comfortable building a website, compared with 39 per cent in Brazil and 37 per cent in India, according to the report. Password-generating software that creates secure logins is used by just 13 per cent of Britons, compared with 32 per cent of people in India and China. Among other emerging countries, Estonia and South Korea lead the way in providing people with vocational skills in the digital space. Overall emerging market workforces were found to be at considerable ease with technology. If their policy and infrastructure environments improve, workforces in India, China and other emerging markets will compete increasingly strongly with their developed-world rivals in the digital economy.