WhatsApp on Thursday said that it has partnered with Common Services Centers (CSC) for a WhatsApp chatbot for citizens to receive digital literacy services to bridge the digital gap and spur rural entrepreneurship.
What are CSCs?
CSCs are physical facilities introduced by the government in 2006 for delivering Government of India's e-Services to rural and remote locations where availability of computers and internet was negligible or mostly absent. It is part of the government's National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) to introduce e-governance on a massive scale.
CSCs aim to provide cost-effective video, voice and data content and services related to e-governance, education, health, telemedicine, entertainment as well as other private services.
The Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan (PMGDISHA) is an initiative by the government to provide digital literacy to 6 crore rural citizens across CSCs in the country. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, training under the programme was suspended.
In order to extend the programme over mobile phones, CSCs have partnered with WhatsApp to deliver details and course models under PMGDISHA and other flagship programmes like Digital Beti initiative in English, Hindi and seven other regional languages.
How to use CSC Academy's WhatsApp Chatbot?
Send "Namaste" to CSC Academy's official WhatsApp account +91 9999 189 321.
WhatsApp expects this chatbot to be used by 10 million beneficiaries by August 2021. Through the Digital Beti initiative, 5,000 rural entrepreneurs are aimed to be trained on digital literacy in over 3,000 villages across 10 Indian states, while the PMGDISHA initiative will focus on making at least 40 percent rural households digitally literate.
WhatsApp said this partnership will serve the dual purpose of empowering rural communities by providing digital skills at their doorstep in addition to creating livelihood through the promotion of rural entrepreneurship.