National

Cabinet approves 'Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan’ for digital literacy in rural areas

NetIndian News Network

New Delhi, February 9, 2017

The Union Cabinet yesterday approved the 'Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan' (PMGDISHA) aimed at making six crore rural households digitally literate.
An official press release said the outlay for the project is Rs. 2,351.38 and it would usher in digital literacy in rural India by March, 2019. This is in line with the announcement made by the Finance Minister in the Union Budget 2016-17, it said.
The release said that PMGDISHA was expected to be one of the largest digital literacy programmes in the world. Under the scheme, 25 lakh candidates will be trained in the FY 2016-17; 275 lakh in FY 2017-18; and 300 lakh in FY 2018-19.
To ensure equitable geographical reach, each of the 250,000 Gram Panchayats would be expected to register an average of 200-300 candidates. 
Digitally literate persons would be able to operate computers/digital access devices (like tablets, smart phones, etc.), send and receive emails, browse internet, access Government Services, search for information, undertaking cashless transactions, etc. and hence use IT to actively participate in the process of nation building, it said.
The implementation of the scheme would be carried out under the overall supervision of Ministry of Electronics and IT in active collaboration with States/UTs through their designated State Implementing Agencies, District e-Governance Society (DeGS), and so on.
As per the 71st NSSO Survey on Education 2014, only 6% of rural households have a computer. This highlights that more than 15 crore rural households (@ 94% of 16.85 crore households) do not have computers and a significant number of these households are likely to be digitally illiterate. 
As the thrust of the Government is on cashless transactions through mobile phones, the course content would also have emphasis on Digital Wallets, Mobile Banking, Unified Payments Interface (UPI), Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) and Aadhaar Enabled Payment System (AEPS), among other things, the release added.
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