After announcing the budget of 2017-18, the union cabinet has given the green signal for ” Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan” (PMGDISHA) to extend digital literacy to over 6 crore rural households in rural areas across the country. This decision was taken in Union Cabinet meeting which was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
With the approval of the scheme, the government has allocated a budget of Rs.2,351.38 crore for one of the largest digital literacy programmes in the world. The government is expected that this project will be completed by March 2019. However, this mission was announced by the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the Union Budget 2016-17.
According to the scheme, about 25 lakh candidates will be trained in the Financial Year 2016-17, progressively increasing over the years to 300 lakh candidates in the 2018-19. while to ensure proportionate geographical reach, an average of 200-300 candidates would be registered from each 250,000 Gram Panchayats.
After getting digital training, each personnel would be able to operate computers and other digital devices like smart phones and tablets, send and receive emails, browse internet, access Government Services, search for information, and undertake cashless transactions.
For the proper implementation of the scheme, this responsibility has been given to the Ministry of Electronics and IT in collaboration with States and Union Territories through the designated State Implementing Agencies and District e-Governance Society (DeGS).
The main objective of the scheme is to promote cashless transactions through mobile phones, the project curriculum would place emphasis on Digital Wallets, Mobile Banking, Unified Payments Interface (UPI), Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) and Aadhaar Enabled Payment System (AEPS).
According to the survey report of NSSO on education in 2014, only 6% of rural households have a computer. Under Digital Indian Programme, PMGDISHA targeted to provide digital literacy to the rural citizens and providing them access to information, knowledge and skills for operating computers and other digital devices.