Digital literacy drive needs more funds : MeitY

S Ronendra Singh New Delhi | Updated on June 26, 2019 Published on June 26, 2019

Current allocation not enough to train even half of the targeted 6-crore individuals

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) says it would require more funds for digital literacy programme to train around six-crore people in rural areas under the Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan (PMGDISHA) that envisages making one individual digitally literate in every rural household.

The PMGDISHA was started in February 2017 with an outlay of ₹2,351.38 crore. However, the ‘allotted funds would be sufficient to train only 2.39 crore beneficiaries’, said a MeitY internal note seen by BusinessLine.

The required funds are also expected to be allotted in the upcoming Budget, according to sources.

The funds so far allotted for the digital literacy programme include ₹100 crore for 2017-18, ₹436 crore for 2018-19 and ₹400 crore for 2019-20, the note said.

The note is part of the ‘Digital India 2.0’ prepared by the MeitY that sets goals for the Narendra Modi 2.0 government. The PMGDISHA is an extension of National Digital Literacy Mission and Digital Saksharta Abhiyan between 2014 and 2016 in which 53.67 lakh persons were certified.

The implementing agency for the PMGDISHA is Common Service Centre e-Governance Services India (CSC-SPV) and the target is digital literacy training on IT and applications including digital payments.

As part of the programme, the government has also enrolled 636 training partners.

According to sources, the government needs to quickly train as many people as possible so that the scope of mobile based services and apps can be utilised to the maximum. “The government in the last five years has launched various schemes and projects as part of ‘Digital India’ programme. Now, in ‘Digital India 2.0’ it has to maximise the reach of these schemes so that citizens from corners of the country can access them at their doorstep,” a senior government said.

The government has also prepared a draft 100-days action plan which include National Policy on Electronics 2019 — new schemes to the Cabinet; National Policy on Software Products 2019 — launch of Registry; Digital India Infoway (National Government Network and National Knowledge Network 2.0); National Mission for Natural Language Translation – proposal to Cabinet (to overcome barriers across major Indian languages); and Personal Data Protection Bill – to Cabinet.

Published on June 26, 2019

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