Feb 08, 2017

India sanctions Rs 2351 cr for a massive rural digital literacy program

BYPankaj Mishra

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minster Narendra Modi on Wednesday approved the Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan (PMGDISHA) to make six crore rural households digitally literate, according to an official statement.
“The outlay for this project is Rs 2,351.38 crore to 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. The PMGDISHA is expected to be one of the largest digital literacy programmes in the world,” read the statement.
Under the scheme, 25 lakh candidates will be trained in 2016-17, 275 lakh in 2017-18 and 300 lakh in 2018-19.
Each of the 250,000 gram panchayats would be expected to register 200-300 candidates to ensure equitable geographical reach, the cabinet statement said.
“Digitally literate persons would be able to operate computers/ digital access devices (like tablets, smart phones), send and receive emails, browse internet, access government services, search for information, undertake cashless transactions, and hence use IT to actively participate in the process of nation building,” it underlined.
The scheme would be implemented under the overall supervision of the Ministry of Electronics and IT in active collaboration with states and Union Territories through their designated state implementing agencies and, District e-Governance Society.
Also read: Meet Asha, a 70-year-old tea-shop owner from a UP village who’s gone cashless

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Pankaj Mishra is a writer of FactorDaily.