CM kicks off Grama Digi Vikasana to digitize gram panchayat libraries in Karnataka

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Tuesday kicked off the Grama Digi Vikasana, an initiative by the nonprofit Sikshana Foundation and the Rural Development & Panchayat Raj Department, with support from Dell Technologies. The programme aims to lift the Gram Panchayat (GP) libraries with digital devices to provide shared digital access to the rural population.

Under Grama Digi Vikasana each library will be equipped with four mobile devices, an android TV, and an internet connection. In addition to this, the program will also train the youth on the necessary Digital Life Skills, provide vocational training, educate them on various career choices and 75 selected youths from GPs across the state will be provided with special training for engineering and medical competitive examinations.

The chief minister said it was important that we give opportunities to everyone to develop to his or her fullest potential. “We need to make sure that we embrace all the available technologies to the fullest to achieve this goal. I am sure that each and everyone in the gram panchayats across Karnataka will fully utilize the facilities provided by Sikshana Foundation and Dell in these gram panchayat libraries”

Sikshana Foundation chairman Prashanth Prakash said Digi Vikasana aims to make engaging learning models and knowledge services accessible through digital means for rural youth, irrespective of their location and financial background. In addition, this digital infrastructure would help significantly reduce the digital divide between urban and rural Karnataka.” Prakash is also Karnataka’s Startup Vision Group chairman.

Dell Technologies India managing director Alok Ohrie said technology has become an integral part of our life and it is very important that every child has access to Digital information. Dell as a technology company is happy to be part of Grama Digi Vikasana which will create digital spaces in gram panchayat libraries”

Currently, 399 GPs in Karnataka have been set up with the necessary digital infrastructure and courses have been launched with help of CSR funds provided by Dell Technologies. The devices will be maintained by the RDPR librarians. The project also involves working with rural government schools to ensure that the student benefits from these devices and digital skills course which is based on the Skill Development Department recommended curriculum.

Sikshana Foundation, started in 2003 by a group of professionals of diverse backgrounds, works with the goal of improving the state of public services delivery systems in the country. In order to achieve this, the foundation started working in rural government primary schools and to address the various challenges came out with a model Prerana, with motivation at the core of the intervention. This model has now been scaled to all 48,000 govt. schools across the state by the Education Department. During the pandemic, the foundation started working with GPs and started providing the necessary digital devices and digital skills training for the youth. This project has now been expanded to cover 399 GPs across the state with CSR support from Dell Technologies and plans to cover 1200 GPs by the end of the year with support from various CSRs.

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