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  • 05 August, 2021

  • 5 Min Read

Digital Literacy among Women

Digital Literacy among Women -Under PMGDISHA Program

The onset of the pandemic brought to the surface – uncertainties, gaps in technology, and most importantly, further disruptions to the existing lacunae in our systems. These critical times exposed the digital divide that exists for the unprivileged, specifically for women and children.

  • Only 17% of women across India are connected.
  • Internet users in rural India are “almost exclusively” men who make up 98% of the total connected users. Even in urban India, Internet use tends to be male-dominated, with 79% of users being male (Boston Consulting Group survey, 2016).
  • High levels of gendered digital illiteracy, the NFHS survey (19-20) states that only 42 per cent of Indian women have ever used the internet, and the 2017-18 NSSO confirms the trend that only 8.5 per cent of women could use the internet.


  • The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India implements a scheme titled “Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan (PMGDISHA)” under Digital India programme to usher in digital literacy in rural India by covering 6 crore rural households (one person per household) by 31.03.2022.
  • To ensure equitable geographical reach, each of the 2,50,000 Gram Panchayats across the country are envisaged to register an average of 200-300 candidates.
  • The Scheme aims to bridge the digital divide, specifically targeting the rural population including the marginalised sections of society like Scheduled Castes (SC) / Scheduled Tribes (ST), Below Poverty Line (BPL), Women, differently-abled persons, and minorities.

Digitally literate persons are able to operate computers/ digital access devices (like tablets, smartphones, etc.), send and receive emails, browse the internet, access Government Services, search for information, undertake cashless transactions, etc. and hence use IT to actively participate in the process of nation-building.

  • As on August 2021, approximately 5.01 crore beneficiaries have been enrolled and 4.21 crore have been trained under the PMGDISHA Scheme.
  • 2.59 crore women beneficiaries registered, which is 52 % of the cumulative registration count. Out of the above, over 1.78 Crore women beneficiaries are certified under the scheme which is 54 % of the total certified beneficiaries under the PMGDISHA Scheme.

In addition, the Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Education is administering a few schemes to ensure quality education through e-learning to students across the country.

  • National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology (NMEICT) Scheme,
    • To make available to the learner's community learning resources through a single window, National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology (NMEICT) has sponsored the National Digital Library of India (NDLI) project and arranged funding through the Ministry of Education.
  • SWAYAM (Study Webs of Active Learning for Young Aspiring Minds), by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, provides one integrated platform and portal for online courses.
    • This covers all higher education subjects and skill sector courses.
    • Academicians from hundreds of institutions throughout the country are involved in developing & delivering Massive open online courses (MOOCs) through SWAYAM in almost all disciplines from senior schooling to Post Graduation
    • The SWAYAM PRABHA is a group of 22 DTH channels devoted to telecasting of high-quality educational programmes on 24X7 basis using the GSAT-15 satellite. Every day, there will be new content for at least (4) hours which would be repeated 5 more times in a day, allowing the students to choose the time of their convenience.
  • Virtual Lab and e-Yantra,
    • e-Yantra is a robotics outreach project, an initiative of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT Bombay).
    • It is funded by the Ministry of Education, Government of India, under the National Mission on Education through ICT (NMEICT).
    • The goal of e-Yantra is to complement existing Higher Education systems worldwide and solve local problems across a variety of domains such as: Agriculture, Disaster, Manufacturing Defense, Home, Smart Cities and Service Industries through technology.
  • NEAT (National Education Alliance for Technology) a Public-Private Partnership model between the Government and the Education Technology companies of India.

Source: PIB

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