09 February 2017 Current Affairs: 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.
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.
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.