Sumitra Gurjar is a daily wage worker under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) in the Arian village of Rajasthan. Belonging to a below poverty line family, she was always fascinated by ‘computers’ but unaware about its application in her life. Having learnt that the National Digital Literacy Mission (NDLM) was providing free digital literacy training at a centre set up within her village itself, she enrolled. She now uses her newfound digital skills to know the latest labour rates, new job opportunities on the MGNREGA website and shares the information with other job seekers too.* Like Sumitra, NDLM is poised to change the lives of many others living in rural and underserved communities across India.
Driven by this belief, NASSCOM Foundation and CSC-SPV, a company promoted by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY), Government of India have come together and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to accomplish the first phase goal for NDLM or ‘DISHA’ by making 10 lakh individuals in India digitally literate in 18 months.
From left to right: Dr. Ajay Kumar, Joint Secretary, DeitY, Dr. Ganesh Natarajan, Chairman, NASSCOM Foundation, Dr. Dinesh Kumar Tyagi, CEO, CSC-SPV and Rita Soni, CEO, NASSCOM Foundation
While the CSC-SPV has been appointed as the nodal implementing agency of NDLM by DeitY, NASSCOM Foundation has been at the forefront of NDLM since 2012, serving as the Industry’s Secretariat for the program. With the CSC-SPV’s reach and the Industry’s agility, this unique Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) will provide for a strong foundation towards the larger NDLM goal of making at least one person from every household across India digitally literate by 2020.
Out of the 10 lakh number targeted, the Industry will be responsible for training a minimum of one lakh people. Additionally, NASSCOM Foundation will:
- Promote and market NDLM to nearly two thousand member companies
- Align the training content of industry partners with that of NDLM curriculum framework as prescribed by CSC-SPV
- Mobilize financial resources and volunteers from industry partners
- Set-up training centres in various parts of the country
- Monitor and ensure quality delivery of training through centres setup by the industry
To accomplish this, NASSCOM Foundation is leveraging capabilities of corporate India to supplement the government’s efforts on digital literacy and has already tied up with companies like Amdocs, Cognizant, Cyient, Google, Intel, Microsoft and Zensar Technologies to create NDLM centres across India. At least a dozen more companies are expected to participate in the first phase of the program.
Dr. Dinesh Tyagi, CEO, CSC-SPV said, “National Digital Literacy Mission is a unique initiative for empowering communities especially those living in rural India through ‘digital literacy’. The objective is to enable citizens to learn about digital technologies so that they can use them for acquiring information, knowledge and skills; besides, understanding the mechanism to avail G2C and B2C services. We believe that our partnership with NASSCOM Foundation will facilitate in utilization of industry infrastructure and achieve the objective of NDLM within defined timeframe.”
Dr. Ganesh Natarajan, Chairman, NASSCOM Foundation said, “Digital literacy is a great tool for enabling every family in our country to be self-sufficient. In collaboration with the CSC-SPV, we hope to minimize the vast digital divide that currently exists in the country, thus playing our part in the realization of the Prime Minister’s dream of a Digital India.”
Dr. Ajay Kumar, Joint Secretary, DeitY said, “I welcome NASSCOM Foundation’s partnership with CSC-SPV in rolling out the National Digital Literacy Mission or DISHA. This is a critical project under the Government’s Digital India Program, and as we go forward NDLM will contribute significantly in achieving a digitally connected India and creating a knowledge economy.”
Mr. R. Chandrashekar, President, NASSCOM said, “NASSCOM intends to widen and deepen its partnership with Government on multiple fronts and this NDLM partnership is a great beginning.”
In the past, NASSCOM Foundation has worked together with public, private and not-for-profit sectors to help underserved communities inculcate digital literacy skills. This partnership reaffirms the commitment of NASSCOM Foundation and CSC-SPV to ensure that people are able to access digital technology freely and utilize it as an essential life skill.
* Sumitra’s story is a real life example of the change NDLM can bring about in the lives of the people from underserved communities and has been taken from Intel – DEF ‘Follow the Fibre’ Impact Report 2013.
About NASSCOM Foundation: NASSCOM Foundation is driving technology for good. The Foundation’s work is just as expansive and evolutionary as the potential that technology and corporate India entail. Drawing strength from its parent body NASSCOM, the Foundation works in partnership with four major stakeholders: NASSCOM member companies, NGOs, emerging social enterprises and Government, #ChangingIndia Bit by Bit, a journey to foster a strategic relationship between technology and development. NASSCOM Foundation is a charity registered under the Indian Trusts Act, 1882 and under Section 12A of the Income Tax Act. Please visit www.nasscomfoundation.org for more information. To know more about NDLM visit www.ndlm.in
About CSC-SPV: To facilitate the successful implementation of the CSC Scheme, a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) named “CSC e-Governance Services India Ltd” has been promoted by Government of India with an enabling mandate to catalyze and accelerate the delivery of various public and private services through the CSC framework by developing appropriate end-to-end technology, business and service delivery models. Accordingly, the CSC SPV stands as the national level entity having the framework to partner with the mainstream players who are interested in utilizing the CSC network to meet their social and business needs by driving a national level strategy. Please visit http://csc.gov.in for more information.