‘Mission is on hold’

With the digital literacy mission now in its third stage with an ambitious target of educating six crore citizens, implementing agencies said there were still many hurdles to clear.

Ajay Mohan of Muskan, a non-governmental organisation that is a project partner for the Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan, said no work has happened since the scheme was rolled out. “The ministry has put the mission on hold,” he said. “Manpower is the main reason. We have spoken to them so many times but they cite manpower issues. The portal is open and you can register as partner. Everything indicates that work is happening but nothing has been happening on the ground.”

Rejecting this claim, Patankar said, “It is not true that work is not happening. The portal has (an) information  “The project on digital literacy has been given a short shrift.” system which is there for all to see. We are training students with 500 partners on a daily basis and the centres are only located in rural districts so it may appear that the project is not working but in reality, people are being trained regularly.”

The website claims that over 6.1 million people have completed training and 2.9 million of them have been certified after online tests.

Anita Gurumurthy, executive director, IT, at Change, a Bengaluru-based non-profit that works with the government on digital education, said there were delays because the curriculum was yet to be finalised. “There was a meeting in May to review the content,” she said. “Nothing was actually shared with us in the form of curriculum basis which we could make suggestions.”

She added, “The infrastructure leaves a lot to be desired. The project on digital literacy has been given a short shrift. The emphasis on digital literacy seems to be a little far removed from the objective of achieving digitisation of the country.”

This post first appeared on Scroll.in. We welcome your comments at ideas.india@qz.com.