Common Services Centers (CSC) and WhatsApp have launched a Chatbot for citizens to receive digital literacy services and resources with an aim to bridge the digital divide and spur rural entrepreneurship.
People can send a “Namaste” at CSC Academy’s official WhatsApp account +91-9999189321, to access details and course modules of flagship programs like the Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan (PMGDISHA) and the Digital Beti initiative in English, Hindi and seven other regional languages.
Speaking on the launch of CSC’s WhatsApp Chatbot, CEO, CSC SPV, Dr. Dinesh Tyagi said, “Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, training has been suspended across the country. The ability to deliver digital literacy modules through WhatsApp will help us in extension of the programme to those still unreached in rural as well as urban areas. The partnership will redefine the delivery model of education and skill related content, especially for rural India.”
Till date, over 500 unique users have accessed CSC’s WhatsApp Chatbot and it is expected to be used by 10 million beneficiaries by August 2021.
The Digital Beti initiative aims to train 5,000 rural entrepreneurs on digital literacy in over 3,000 villages across 10 Indian states, while the PMGDisha initiative focuses on making at least 40% rural households digitally literate.
Elaborating on the partnership, Head of Public Policy, WhatsApp India, Shivnath Thukral said, “We’re delighted to partner with CSC to support rural women entrepreneurs and help deliver on CSC’s goal of digital literacy. WhatsApp will continue to invest in partnerships to help entrepreneurs learn new digital skills for India to grow. As more of our conversations move online during this period of physical distancing, WhatsApp is becoming a preferred platform for conversations between businesses and customers, governments and citizens, and so on.”
WhatsApp is also working with NITI Aayog’s WEP program and this partnership expands on WhatsApp’s efforts to play an important role in driving digital and financial inclusion across India.