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New Digital Literacy Mission soon for 60mn in rural India

New Delhi, June 26: India will soon launch a Rs 1,800 crore ($265 million) Digital Literacy Mission for 60 million people in rural areas as another initiative to bridge the gulf between those who have access to and can use computers and the Internet and those who don’t, a top official has said. “The government will spend Rs 300 each on training 60 million people, which would total around Rs 1,800 crore,” said Dinesh Kumar Tyagi, chief executive officer, of CSC e-Governce Service India, a holding company to fund and monitor India’s common services centres scheme. “These 60 million people form almost 40 per cent of our rural population. The government target is to make each of these 60 million rural people digitally literate in three years. An approval from the cabinet is expected by end-July,” Tyagi said in an interview. CSC e-Governce Service India has been promoted by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology to also implement the tiol Digital Literacy Mission that is tasked with IT training for 52.5 million people — or one person in every family. The tiol Sample Survey Organisation found in 2014 that 94 per cent people in rural India do not own a computer. Accordingly, Fince Minister Arun Jaitley had proposed steps to address the issue once again during his budget speech in February. “We need to derive greater benefit from our demographic advantage. We need to spread digital literacy in rural India. Out of 168 million rural households, as many as 120 million households do not have computers and are unlikely to have digitally literate persons,” Jaitley had said. “We now plan to launch a new Digital Literacy Mission Scheme for rural India to cover around 60 million additiol households within the next three years,” the fince minister had said. Tyagi said that the new scheme will be separate from the tiol Digital Literacy Mission towards which the CSC e-Governce Service India has already trained three million people across the country till date. “This year, with the help of village level entrepreneurs, another 2.25 million people will get training. These common services centres are delivering government-to-citizen and business-to-citizen services to the semi-urban and rural people,” he said.  (IANS)