Kerala students to take digital literacy to the masses
- The Kerala-wide Digital Empowerment Campaign, which seeks to bridge the digital divide and maximise the potential of ICT (Information and Communication Technology) in day-to-day life, is all set to be rolled
- Student police cadets from as many as 280 schools in all 14 districts will be enlisted for the campaign, which is expected to help 3 million people in the State.
- Equipped with tablets preloaded with special software, the students will train at least one member in each family in the catchment area of a school extending up to a radius of 3 km.
- President Pranab Mukherjee is scheduled to launch the campaign on February 27 during his visit to the State.
- The Kerala State IT Mission (KSITM), the nodal agency for the project, is readying as many as 5600 tablets to be distributed to the cadets.
- Interestingly, one can monitor the training process on real time basis using the software. A programme monitoring unit will also be set up at KSITM.
- More than 10 lakh people will be digitally empowered in the first phase of the campaign over a period of four months.
- The initiative is aimed at making them capable of using e-mail, accessing online government services, making online utility payments and bank transfers and doing online shopping.
- The training will also cover mobile services and information security. The second phase will utilise the services of both NSS volunteers and NCC cadets to reach out to more citizens.
- Taken up under the Digital India initiative, the campaign seeks to build on the achievements registered through Akshaya and IT@School projects.
- High mobile penetration, internet subscription base, optic fibre network coverage, e-governance initiatives and the rise in e-commerce activities justified a higher level of digital empowerment in Kerala.
- Assuming that 50 per cent of the State’s population in the age group of 30 to 60 years has already been digitally empowered through Akshaya and IT@School programmes, the campaign seeks to reach out to the remaining 60 lakh people.
- The pilot phase of the campaign last year had utilised student police cadets from 10 schools in Thiruvananthapuram to train 10,000 citizens.
- The President is also expected to declare Kerala a ‘Digital State’ on the strength of its digital infrastructure and e-governance initiatives
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