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Union Cabinet approves Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan for rural digital literacy

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved ‘Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan’ (PMGDISHA) to make 6 crore rural households digitally literate by March 2019.

PMGDISHA is expected to be one of the largest digital literacy programmes in the world. This approval comes in line with the announcement made by Union Finance Minister in the Union Budget 2016-17.

Key Facts
  • Under the scheme, 25 lakh candidates will be trained in the FY 2016-17; 275 lakh in 2017-18; and 300 lakh in 2018-19. The outlay for this project is Rs. 2,351.38 crore to usher in digital literacy in rural India.
  • To ensure equitable geographical reach, each of the 250,000 Gram Panchayats across the country will be expected to register an average of 200-300 candidates.
  • Digitally literate persons will be able to operate computers/digital access devices, send and receive emails, access government services, browse internet, search for information, undertaking cashless transactions, etc..
  • The scheme will be implemented under the supervision of Ministry of Electronics and IT in collaboration with States/UTs through their designated State Implementing Agencies, District e-Governance Society (DeGS), etc.
Background

As per the 71st National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) Survey on Education 2014, only 6% of the total 16.85 crore rural households have a computer. It highlights that more than 15 crore rural households i.e. 94% do not have computers. Besides, significant numbers of these households are likely to be digitally illiterate.

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Election Commission partners with Facebook to encourage voter registration

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has collaborated with social networking giant Facebook to register young voters in 5 states, which are going to polls in 2017.

These five states are Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa, Manipur and Uttarakh.The purpose first-of-its-kind voter registration drive is to encourage youth to participate in the democratic exercise.

Key Facts

  • The services of Facebook will be used to link all the eligible voters who are 18 years and above to the National Voters Services Portal (NVSP).
  • Facebook users from these five states will receive a reminder in their Facebook account’s News Feed sector to register to vote.
  • By clicking on the ‘Register Now’ button, people will be directed to the NVSP which will guide them through the registration process. Facebook has 148 million monthly active users in India.

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Google, Tata Trusts launch ‘Internet Sathi’ in West Bengal to empower rural women

The Indian unit of search giant Google Inc and Tata Trusts have jointly launched ‘Internet Saathi’ program in Purulia district of West Bengal.

The initiative has been launched as part of Google’s ‘Helping Women Get Online’ campaign, in order to create awareness about the benefits of Internet among women in rural India.

Key facts

  • The initiative will initially be rolled out with an objective to reach 1 lakh women in over 400 villages in Purulia district.
  • It will focus on training women and larger communities to learn and explore various uses and benefits of the Internet.
  • Tata Trusts will play a crucial role in training women master trainers called “saathis” identified from Self Help Groups (SHGs) and Women’s federations.
  • Google will provide the tablet and mobile devices along with training material. It will also train the master trainers.
  • The initiative includes an awareness module, coupled with hands-on training modules on how to use the Internet, using mobile devices in their local languages.

‘Internet Saathi’ program was launched in July 2015. So far it has trained and benefitted over 2 lakh women across villages in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. Google under its Helping Women Get Online has already trained over 2 million women across the country.

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