September 17, 2020 1:59:29 pm
The widely popular messaging platform WhatsApp announced on Thursday that it has partnered with Common Services Centers (CSC). With this partnership, the Facebook-owned platform launched a chatbot that will enable citizens to receive digital literacy services and resources. It also aims to “bridge the digital divide and spur rural entrepreneurship”.
Speaking on the launch of CSC’s WhatsApp Chatbot, CEO, CSC SPV, Dr. Dinesh Tyagi said, “The Digital India Programme of the Government focuses on digital inclusion and empowerment. PMGDISHA, an initiative of the Government to provide digital literacy to 6 crore rural citizens, is being implemented by CSCs across the country. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, training has been suspended across the country. The ability to deliver digital literacy modules through WhatsApp will help us in extension of the programme to those still unreached in rural as well as urban areas. The partnership will redefine the delivery model of education and skill related content, especially for rural India.”
Citizens can easily access details and course modules of flagship programs like the Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan (PMGDISHA) and the Digital Beti initiative by just sending ‘Namaste’ to CSC Academy’s official WhatsApp account, +91 99991 89321. The service is available in English, Hindi and seven other regional languages.
CSC revealed that so far 500 unique users have had access to this new service. They expect the number to grow multifold and expect it to rise up to 10 million beneficiaries by August 2021. On the other hand, they expect to train 5,000 rural entrepreneurs on digital literacy in over 3,000 villages across 10 Indian states with the Digital Beti initiative.
Also, with PMGDisha the focus is on increasing the digital literacy in rural households to at least 40 per cent. So far, 3.6 crore citizens have already been registered for digital literacy training under the programme including 2.15 crore certified citizens.
In addition, WhatsApp also announced that it is working with NITI Aayog’s WEP program. Under this partnership, it aims to play an important role in driving and expanding the digital and financial inclusion across the country.
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