Tamil Nadu

Digital literacy index in T.N. already high: Union Minister

A total of 5.36 crore candidates have been enrolled under the Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyaan (PMGDISHA) Scheme to improve literacy, out of this, 4.54 crore candidates have been trained and 3.37 crore candidates have been duly certified.

In Tamil Nadu, over 10.7 lakh people registered, and of this, over 8.7 lakh were trained and over 5.78 lakh people were certified, said Ashwini Vaishnaw, Union Minister for Electronics and Information Technology, responding to a query raised by DMK’s Member of Parliament (MP) Thamizhachi Thangapandian in the Lok Sabha. The MP from Chennai South constituency immediately threw another question at the Minister, asking why the enrolment numbers were low in Tamil Nadu for this specific scheme.

Mr. Vaishnaw said, “Tamil Nadu has a history where the State government has already rolled out similar schemes over a decade ago to enhance digital literacy. They even give out free laptops. And the digital literacy index of the State is already very high and that is why there is lesser enrolment under this scheme,” he noted.

The MP also raised questions on whether marginalised sections of the society including Scheduled Castes (SCs)/Scheduled Tribes (STs), women, differently abled persons, etc. have been enrolled and certified, to which the Minister responded that in the SC category around 1,03,97,563 people enrolled, and of this, 89,22,690 were trained and 67,88,527 certified.

Details furnished by the Minister showed that in the ST category, the enrolment numbers stood at 48,69,800. As many as 40,70,145 people were trained and of this, 29,26,211 were certified. Under the differently abled category, 9,65,209 had registered and out of this 8,20,350 were trained and 5,86,291 were certified.

Impact assessment

So far, three impact assessment studies of the scheme have been carried out.

The first Impact Assessment Study was carried out by the Council for Social Development (CSD) in 2017-2018.

The second was done by Indian Institute of Technology Delhi in 2019. The last impact assessment study of the scheme was carried out by the Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA) in financial year 2020-21.

The aim of the study was to analyse the ground level situation of the scheme, with a larger aspect of continuation of the scheme beyond the 12th plan period.

The IIPA, after the comprehensive and methodological evaluation of scheme, concluded in the report that PMGDISHA as a digital literacy programme plays an indispensable part in not only bridging the digital gap in the country but also transforming it into a knowledge economy and society.

The IIPA recommended the continuation this scheme.


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Printable version | Jan 25, 2022 4:45:29 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/digital-literacy-index-in-tn-already-high-union-minister/article37814568.ece

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