Common Services Centers (CSC) on Thursday launched a WhatsApp chatbot for people to access its digital literacy services and resources. Aimed to bridge the digital divide and spur rural entrepreneurship, the service provides access to information related to course modules of government flagship programmes like the Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan (PMGDISHA) and the Digital Beti initiative in English, Hindi and seven other regional languages. To access the service, people need to send a “Namaste” at CSC Academy’s official WhatsApp account +91-9999189321. The Chatbot provides access to details and course modules of flagship programmes.
Through the ‘Digital Beti’ initiative, the government aims to train 5,000 rural entrepreneurs on digital literacy in over 3,000 villages across 10 Indian states. The PMGDisha initiative focuses on making at least 40 per cent rural households digitally literate.
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“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,” Dinesh Tyagi, CEO, CSC SPV said in a statement.
According to the statement, over 500 unique users have accessed CSC’s WhatsApp chatbot till date, and the service is expected to be used by 10 million beneficiaries by August 2021.
The CSCs are physical facilities that deliver Government of India e-Services at rural and remote locations where access to computers and internet is negligible or absent.