HYDERABAD: It has been around two years since the Central government introduced the Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan (PMGDISHA), one of the largest digital literacy programmes in the world, aiming to make rural households in India ‘digitally literate’. However, in the implementation of the scheme, the Telangana government has been facing a major challenge - a large number of registered students are not completing the course, thus not getting certified.
As per data obtained by Express, as many as 3,98,595 students across Telangana had registered under the scheme from 2017. Out of this, however, only 2,28,423 came out certified. This, despite 3,15,121 students having completed their 20-hour training.
Sources said that there are myriad reasons at play behind this low certification. First of all, the Centre conducts the examinations that follow the training sporadically. This, in turn, causes difficulty to villagers who have other works to attend to.
Secondly, sources said, many older candidates get scared with the concept of examinations and choose not to come back instead. “If 100 register, only 40 to 50 stay till the end. Many end up migrating in between, while some just do not want to write examinations,” he said. The State government is aiming to get 20 lakh citizens certified under this scheme and are looking at a slew of measures to improve the numbers from the current 2.28 lakh.
“District collectorates have to be pushed further to create more awareness on the ground level,” a source said. The State government will also be concentrating on enrolling students from the age of 14 to 16 and studying in government schools, because they “are quick learners” and would not be discouraged by the idea of examinations.
“The concept and process of digital transactions have also been included this year,” the source said. The idea behind PMGDISHA is to give rural citizens practical knowledge on how to use digital platforms.