Pradhan Mantri Digital Saksharta Abhiyan (PMGDISHA)

The Pradhan Mantri Digital Saksharta Abhiyan (PMGDISHA) has been initiated by the Prime Minister of India Mr Narendra Modi with the objective of spreading digital literacy among all sections of the society. The target at present is 6 crore rural households who are not digitally literate or are totally unaware of digital media. 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 Finance Minister in the Union Budget 2016-17. It has been described as one of the largest digital literacy programmes of the world. Under the scheme, 25 lakh candidates will be trained in the FY 2016-17; 275 lakh in the FY 2017-18; and 300 lakh in the 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 initiative is not being taken merely by the Prime Minister but also other ministries like the  Ministry of Electronics and IT in active collaboration with States/UTs through their designated State Implementing Agencies, District e-Governance Society (DeGS), etc. has joined hands to achieve the much strived for objective.

The aim of digital literacy is to develop an ability of individuals and communities to understand and use digital technologies for meaningful actions within life situations. Digitally literate persons would be able to operate computers/digital access devices (like tablets, smart phones, 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 eligibility criteria for the scheme are as follows:
  • The Scheme is applicable only for rural areas of the country.
  • Eligible Household: A household is defined as a unit comprising of Head of family, spouse, children and parents. All such households where none of the family member is digitally literate will be considered as eligible household under the Scheme.
  • Entry criteria: The beneficiary should be Digitally Illiterate. Only one person per eligible household would be considered for training
    • Age Group: 14 – 60 years
    • Priority would be given to:
      • Non-smartphone users, Antyodaya households, college drop-outs, Participants of the adult literacy mission
      • Digitally illiterate school students from class 9th to 12th, provided facility of Computer/ICT Training is not available in their schools
    • Preference would be given to SC, ST, BPL, women, differently-abled persons and minorities
    • The identification of the beneficiaries would be carried out by CSC-SPV in active collaboration with DeGS, Gram Panchayats, and Block Development Officers. The list of such beneficiaries would be made available on the scheme portal.

A detailed training process has been set out and it consists of the following:

  • The duration of the training program is for 20 hours which has to be completed in a minimum of 10 days and maximum of 30 days.
  • The competency standards are:
  1. Understand the basics (terminology, navigation and functionality) of digital devices.
  2. Use digital devices for accessing, creating, managing and sharing information
  3. Use the Internet to browse in an effective and responsible manner
  4. Use technology to communicate effectively
  5. Appreciate the role of digital technology in everyday life, in social life and at work
  6. Carry out cashless transactions using digital financial tools (USSD/ UPI/ eWallet/ AEPS/ Card/ PoS)
  7. Use Digital Locker Use online citizen centric services.

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