Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Wednesday said knowledge is power in today’s world and Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan is an ambitious programme launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to digitally enable 6 crore people in the country.
Chief Minister Sonowal said this while inaugurating the awareness campaign for Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan (PMGDISHA) at a programme organised by Information and Technology Department, Assam held at Srimanta Sankradev Kalakshetra in Guwahati.
He also said, “In a digital society barriers are broken down and divides are removed for the people to access information through which they can build the foundation for a successful life.”
Notably, PMGDISHA aims at imparting digital literacy to citizens in rural areas free of cost. It aims to provide access to information, knowledge, education, and healthcare. It will create avenues for livelihood generation and financial inclusion through digital payments and help bridge the digital divide. It is expected to reach around 40 percent rural households in country by March 2019.
Under it, people in rural area will be trained to operate computer tablets, smartphones, etc. and how to access the internet, government services, undertake digital payment, compose e-mails, etc. The marginalised section of society like SCs/STs, Minorities, BPL families, divyangs all will be a part of this scheme.
Saying that Assam was able to set an example in front of the whole country by opening around 8 lakh bank accounts for tea garden workers in the aftermath of demonization drive which enabled digital payment to tea community, Sonowal said that the society is ready to accept all transformative initiatives if steps are taken in the right direction.
Around 19 lakh people are sought to be digitally empowered by March 2019 in the state under this Mission who would be able to take advantage of different digital services and the state government is committed to put in place required infrastructure for ushering in this digital revolution to the grassroots, Sonowal added.
Commenting that the ease of doing business is actually ease of living life, the chief minister said that earlier people needed to travel long distances and waste time and energy for gathering information which can now be obtained sitting at home through digital media and for that purpose digital literacy is a must, stated a government press communiqué.
The farmers of the State would be able to get access to newer markets to sell their produce when they are empowered to use digital platforms and in this regard PMGDISHA would bring a big transformation to the rural economy of the 26,000 villages of the State, he opined.
Congratulating the Village Level Entrepreneurs (VLEs) who have been selected to provide digital services to rural populace under every Gaon Panchayat, Sonowal termed them as digital soldiers who would fulfil the dream of a digital Assam through their dedicated service at the grassroots level, the press communiqué added.
Assam Minister for Information and Technology Department Keshab Mahanta also spoke in the programme which was attended by additional chief secretary of IT Dept Ravi Capoor, Secretary Nitin Khade and MD of AMTRON MK Yadav among others.