Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) constitute a varied set of goods, applications and services that are used to produce, store, process, distribute and exchange information. They have brought a revolution in the way information is produced, processed, stored and distributed. The ‘new’ ICTs comprise of computers, mobile phones, satellite and wireless technologies and the Internet.
India has a vast potential in exploiting ICTs for development as more than 940 million homes have access to television, 1.19 billion people use mobile phones and almost 445.96 million people have access to the internet (TRAI, 2017). However, this progress lags behind several other countries as depicted by the low rank of India in the ICT Development Index (IDI) placed at 134th position out of 176 countries. The factors for such low ranking are low ownership of computers and other digital devices, poor bandwidth, internet connectivity and poor performance in mean years of schooling and tertiary education. The other confounding factors are high illiteracy rates of people (25-30%) and rampant digital illiteracy of people (90%) (DEF, 2016). Due to a combination of all these factors, people at large especially the urban and rural poor have failed to benefit from the ICT revolution.
The major challenge is that there is no standardised skill sets available to deal with Digital Literacy in the country.
Stakeholders (Govt. Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Amazon etc. ) has launched massive drive for digital Literacy programmes. Due to lack of standards it is not reaping the benefits to the masses, there is need to align with the stake holders and draw a common minimum agenda for the DL and prepare a standardised Qualification Pack (Elementary and Advanced).
The Electronic Sector Skills Council of India and Digital Users Group will endeavor for joint initiative to have a dialogue with the stake holders and draw a comprehensive programme for DL