The Cabinet on Wednesday approved ‘Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan’ with an outlay of Rs 2,351.38 crore to make 6 crore rural households digitally literate by March 2019.
“The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved ‘Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan’ (PMGDISHA) to make 6 crore rural households digitally literate. The outlay for this project is Rs 2,351.38 crore to usher in digital literacy in rural India by March 2019,” an official statement said.
This is in line with the announcement made by the finance minister in the Union Budget 2017, it added.
“PMGDISHA is expected to be one of the largest digital literacy programmes in the world,” the statement said.
Under the scheme, 25 lakh candidates will be trained in the fiscal year 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,” the statement said.
Digitally literate persons would be able to operate computers and digital access devices like tablets, smartphones 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.
The implementation of the scheme would be carried out under the overall supervision of ministry of electronics and IT in active collaboration with states and union territories through their designated State Implementing Agencies, District e-Governance Society (DeGS), etc.
As per the 71st NSSO Survey on Education 2014, only 6 per cent of 16.85 rural households have a computer implying that more than 15 crore rural households do not have computers and a significant number of these households are likely to be digitally illiterate.
The PMGDISHA being initiated under Digital India Programme would cover 6 crore households in rural areas to make them digitally literate.
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), etc, the statement said.