Common Services Centres (CSC) on Thursday launched a WhatsApp chatbot for citizens to receive a range of digital literacy services and resources with the aim of bridging the digital divide and spur rural entrepreneurship.

People can send a ‘Namaste’ at CSC Academy’s official WhatsApp account +91 9999189321, to access details and course modules of flagship programmes like the Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan (PMGDISHA) and the Digital Beti initiative in English, Hindi and seven other regional languages, CSC said in a statement.

PMGDISHA, an initiative of the Government to provide digital literacy to six crore rural citizens, is being implemented by CSCs across the country.

“Due to the coronavirus pandemic, training has been suspended across the country. The ability to deliver digital literacy modules through WhatsApp will help extend the programme to those still unreached in rural as well as urban areas. The partnership will redefine the delivery model of education and skill-related content, especially for rural India,” Dinesh Tyagi, Chief Executive Officer, CSC, said.

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With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, education and skill development initiatives across the country have been disrupted, and this partnership will serve the dual purpose of empowering rural communities by providing digital skills at their doorstep in addition to creating livelihood through promotion of rural entrepreneurship, he said.

Till date, over 500 unique users have accessed CSC’s WhatsApp chatbot. By August 2021, it is expected to be used by one crore beneficiaries.

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The Digital Beti initiative aims to train 5,000 rural entrepreneurs in digital literacy in over 3,000 villages across 10 States, while the PMGDISHA initiative focuses on making at least 40 per cent rural households digitally literate.

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