By December this year, India will be home to the second largest Internet population in the world, surpassing the US.

The number of Internet users in the country is projected to grow to 402 million by the end of 2015, up 50% compared to last year, according to the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IMRB.

A surge in growth of Internet users should be good news for mushrooming e-commerce firms in the country which have been ramping up their operations rapidly, enthused by the rise in online buying. 

In June, a study by digital-research firm eMarketer cited poor Internet access as one of the reasons for low market penetration of online retailers in India.

The country's Internet user base took more than 10 years to rise from 10 million to 100 million but just took a year to increase from 300 to 400 million.

"Clearly, Internet is mainstream in India today," The Economic Times quoted IAMAI, as saying.

"The large internet users base is definitely a good news for the overall growth of the digital industry, e-commerce and internet startups," it said.

Currently, India has the third largest Internet population globally, next to China and the US. The country had 375 million Internet users in October. China has the largest Internet user base, with over 600 million users.

Among Internet users in India, 71% are men and 29 women, with Internet usage for men and women growing at the rate of 50% and 46%, respectively. But the ratio between the male-to-female Internet users stands at 62:38 in urban India. 

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