Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Digital India’s two realities: A yawning gap between tech use & tech skills.

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Digital India, the government’s ambitious plan to transform the country into a digitally empowered society, has achieved significant success in terms of technology adoption and infrastructure development. However, there remains a yawning gap between the use of technology and the development of digital skills, according to experts.

While India has seen a rapid increase in internet penetration and smartphone usage in recent years, there is a significant digital divide in terms of skills and knowledge. Many people in rural and remote areas do not have access to quality education or training in digital skills, leaving them at a disadvantage in the job market and the digital economy.

This gap between technology use and skills development has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has accelerated the adoption of digital technologies in various sectors but has also highlighted the lack of digital literacy and skills among many Indians.

According to a recent report by the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), the demand for digital skills in India is expected to grow significantly in the coming years, with a particular emphasis on data analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. However, the report also notes that there is a shortage of skilled workers in these areas, highlighting the urgent need for greater investment in digital education and training.

The government has launched several initiatives to address the digital skills gap, including the Skill India programme and the Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan (PMGDISHA), which aims to provide digital literacy to millions of people in rural areas.

However, experts argue that more needs to be done to bridge the gap between technology use and skills development. This includes greater investment in digital education and training, as well as efforts to promote digital literacy and awareness among the wider population.

As India continues to embrace the digital economy, it is essential that the country’s workforce has the necessary skills and knowledge to compete and succeed in this rapidly changing landscape. Addressing the digital skills gap must be a top priority for the government and other stakeholders in the coming years.

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