The Government has launched the Digital India Program with an ambitious vision to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy. The Program envisages linking citizens to various e-governance initiatives, involving them in decision making for strengthening public participation and thus enhancing governance accountability. The full potential of Digital India Program can only be realized if every citizen, regardless of location and social background, is provided with opportunities as well as capabilities to access and leverage digital services/technologies.

The universal digital literacy across the country including rural India is an essential element for success of these initiatives. Government had approved two schemes for providing digital literacy to the citizens namely NATIONAL DIGITAL LITERACY MISSION (NDLM) AND DIGITAL SAKSHARTA ABHIYAN (DISHA). The cumulative target of providing digital literacy to 52.5 lakh duly certified beneficiaries under these two schemes was achieved in December 2016, much ahead of the proposed timeline of December 2018. Hon'ble Finance Minister, while presenting the Union Budget 2016-17, has inter-alia announced:

"We need to derive greater benefit from our demographic advantage. We need to spread digital literacy in rural India. Of the 16.8 crore rural households, as many as 12 crore households do not have computers and are unlikely to have digitally literate persons. We now plan to launch a new Digital Literacy Mission Scheme for rural India to cover around 6 crore additional households within the next three years. Details of this scheme will be spelt out separately."

The present Scheme has been designed as a follow-up to the above mentioned budgetary announcement of Hon'ble Finance Minister. Digital literacy is a key component of the Government's vision of building an empowered society as envisaged under "Digital India initiative". Spinoff effects of digital literacy especially in the context of rural India would address a number of socio-economic issues. 'Digital Literacy' would bring the benefits of ICT to daily lives of rural population especially in the areas of Healthcare, Livelihood generation and Education. Furthermore, as the thrust of the government is on promoting cashless transactions through mobile phones, the course content would also have emphasis on use of Digital Financial Tools for Electronic Payment System.

The scheme will be implemented by CSC e-Governance Services India Limited, a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) incorporated under the Companies Act 1956, (herein after referred to as 'CSC-SPV'), under the overall supervision of Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology, with active collaboration of all the State Governments and UT Administrations. The duration of the Scheme is upto 31st March, 2019. District e-Governance Society (DeGS) under the District Magistrate/ District Collector would play a key role towards the last mile implementation and monitoring of PMGDISHA Scheme. The implementation of the Scheme at the ground level would be done through the involvement of Training Centre's. The salient features of implementation framework are presented in the succeeding sections.

The Scheme will be implemented by using the affiliated Training Centre's as was done in NDLM/DISHA schemes. Efforts would be made to increase the number of Training Centre's to about 2.5 Lakhs spread across the country. Accordingly, the physical delivery of digital literacy training would be carried out by various Centre's duly affiliated with CSC-SPV as per approved norms. Training Centre's would be assigned with a specified area of operation and target preferably within the same state. The Training Partners/Training Centre's would need to have basic facilities to conduct the training as per the accreditation norms prescribed by CSC-SPV.

  • Eligible Household: A household is defined as a unit comprising of Head of family, spouse, children and parents. All such households where none of the family member is digitally literate will be considered as eligible household under the Scheme.
  • Entry criteria:
    • The beneficiary should be Digitally Illiterate.
    • Only one person per eligible household would be considered for training.
    • Age Group: 14 - 60 years
  • Priority would be given to
    • Non-smartphone users, Antyodaya households, college drop-outs, Participants of the adult literacy mission.
    • Digitally illiterate school students from class 9th to 12th, provided facility of Computer/ICT Training is not available in their schools.
  • Preference would be given to SC, ST, BPL, women, differently-abled persons and minorities.
  • The identification of the beneficiaries would be carried out by CSC-SPV in active collaboration with DeGS, Gram Panchayats, and Block Development Officers. The list of such beneficiaries would be made available on the scheme portal.

Learning Outcomes / Competency Standards:

  1. The content developed for the purpose of digital literacy training would be made available in 22 scheduled languages of India apart from English. A mobile 'app' would be made available in 22 scheduled languages so that training content can be downloaded and re-used as and when needed.
  2. For persons who cannot read and write, audio/visual/touch etc. based content would be developed. For those who can read and write, textual, structured, audio, video, and applications based content would be made available. Efforts would be made to design target beneficiaries specific contents with the use of local/localized resources.
  3. Top citizen centric schemes as indicated below are included as part of curriculum:
    • G2C Services- Caste certificate, Domicile certificate, Income Certificate
    • UIDAI Services
    • Banking Services
    • IRCTC- Railway reservation
    • Insurance
    • Telephone/data card Recharge
    • Election ID printing
    • Electricity- bill payment
    • Pan card
    • Passport
  4. As the thrust of the government is on promoting cashless transactions through mobile phones, the course content would also have emphasis on digital wallets, mobile banking, Unified Payments Interface (UPI), Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) and Aadhar Enabled Payment System (AEPS), PoS etc.
  5. Appropriate feedback from beneficiaries and trainers for content enhancement would be taken to modify the content as per the needs of beneficiaries.
  6. Other digital literacy courses developed by various agencies in this field can also be considered for imparting digital literacy training.
  7. A Technical Committee setup by the CSC-SPV comprising of members drawn from NIELIT, IGNOU, NIOS, UNESCO, DEF, IT for Change, IIMC, INTEL, NASSCOM, NIIT, PMGDISHA partners, etc would ratify the contents. A Multilingual centralized pool of content relevant especially to rural masses would be created by CSC-SPV.

Broad Content outline:

Module Name
  • Introduction to Digital Devices.
  • Operating Digital Devices.
  • Introduction to the Internet.
  • Communications using the Internet.
  • Applications of Internet (include citizen-centric services; Use of digital financial tools for undertaking cashless transactions).
  • Total Duration : 20 Hrs

DO'S AND DON'TS for Training Centres:

1. Ensure that only one person from digitally illiterate family gets registered.
2. Register only genuine candidates.
3. Properly fill the candidate details as per Government records produced by the eligible candidate.
4. Upload supporting documents.
5. Register the candidate only at PMGDISHA portal.
6. Ensure that the registered candidates are trained for a minimum of 20 hours.
7. Ensure that the candidates are given hands-on training and undergone continuous self-assessment available at PMGDISHA portal.
8. Only the registered and trained candidate should appear for the examination8. Only the registered and trained candidate should appear for the examination.
9. The other guidelines mentioned in the SOP or as communicated by PMU from time to time must be followed.

  • After the completion of training, the trained candidates shall have to undergo a term-end online examination at a centre of the certifying agency.
  • Questions for the assessment would be based on the modules covered. The number of questions and the time duration for the assessment would be:
  • 25 questions, 60 minutes
  • Objective and True or False questions will be asked during the examination.
  • Note: In case of repeated malpractices, forgery and cheating cases the centre/Superintendent/Partner shall be liable for any legal action to be taken by CSC SPV.