Arrival of India’s digital age will essentially be marked by information empowered; equitable communities that make use of advanced ICT tools in their day-to-day life. As step towards fulfilling this vision, it is necessary to encourage rural masses to make digital technology an inevitable part of their life. For this, it is fundamental to educate them in computers and the internet. Digital literacy supplemented with conventional educational systems enhances skills and employability among the rural youth. Moreover, accessible and affordable computer literacy helps rural masses create new livelihood opportunities for themselves along with generating entrepreneurship. The Digital Empowerment Foundation realizes the importance of digital education and hence collaborates with governmental and non-governmental digital literacy programmes and initiatives; and implements them through its Community Information Resource Centre (CIRC)
National Digital Literacy Mission
The National Digital Literacy Mission Programme (NDLM) is a dynamic and integrated platform for digital literacy, awareness, education and capacity building that helps rural communities to take lead in the global digital economy, maintain competitiveness and contribute towards shaping a technologically empowered society. NDLM along with its partners pledges to digitally literate at least one adult from each of 14.7 Crore rural households of India.
Currently, six Community Information Resource Centres located at Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka respectively run the NDLM programme. As a part of the curriculum, an examination is organised by NIELIT at the end of the programme to evaluate the learning progress of students. In order to appear in the examination, one needs to have an Adhaar Card. Hence, centres that implement the NDLM programme also conduct regular Adhaar camps to issue Adhaar Cards to as many people of the community as possible.
Intel® Easy Steps Program
The Intel® Easy Steps program is implemented by most of the CIRCs spread across India. The program essentially addresses the need of basic digital literacy among rural masses. In this way, the program enables skill enhancement, besides improving capacities to encourage socio-economic self-sufficiency in rural youth.
The simple, practical and relevant content provided by this program ensures ease of understanding. Students gain basic computer skills that are not only locally appropriate, but also support multiple hardware and software solutions. The program provides training in basic practical skills, including word processing, spreadsheets, internet and emails that could be applied in employment as well as entrepreneurship.