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Empowering India, digitally

Jan 03, 2013

Sandeep Aurora, Director of Marketing, Intel South Asia, in a short talk with Ashok Kumar of OneWorld South Asia tells about the global IT firm’s initiatives for scaling up digital literacy drive in India.

Sandeep Aurora

OneWorld South Asia: We have heard of a digital literacy drive that Intel has undertaken in India. What are the initiatives you are taking to step up this drive in India?

Sandeep Aurora: Intel conceptualised and launched the National Digital Literacy Mission with the help of some stalwarts of the IT ecosystem like Dell, DEF, HP, Lenovo, Microsoft, NASSCOM, NASSCOM Foundation and NIIT in August 2012. The National Digital Literacy mission aims to raise the level of urgency for domestic technology adoption and increase the nationwide awareness about the benefits of technology.

Being the main driver of this mission, Intel in association with the industry is aligning its efforts and resources across the country to create a digitally literate India that understands the value of technology. This means implementation of the activities as well as identifying and defining frameworks for other partners in the national mission to drive scale.

We are aiming to scale up the ‘Intel Easy Steps Digital Literacy programme’ through our partners to reach out to the adults and youth all over India.  The firm has impacted over one million learners through its digital literacy initiatives in India in the year 2012.

During the Digital Literacy Week held from 10th -15th December about 500 volunteers from Intel and other members of the National Digital Literacy Mission went out and trained over 15,000 learners across 10 cities in India on digital literacy skills.

OWSA: The issue of the digital divide in India remains a concern. What are the steps Intel proposes to take to make digital progress inclusive?

Aurora: Through the ‘Follow the Fibre program’, Intel has already begun training one member per household in the three villages in India associated with the first three Panchayats where the country’s National Fiber Optic Network has arrived.

A training centre established in each of these villages along with the help of the Digital Empowerment Foundation would fulfill this commitment and the target is to train one citizen in every household on the benefits of technology within a month’s time.

We are also going to showcase what has been achieved in these three villages adopted through live testimonials from the village authorities and the citizens themselves.

Inclusive growth is possible only when there is involvement of the government, private sector and the citizens. Beyond the programmes that are run by corporates or NGOs and the infrastructure as well as policy support provided by the Government, it is the real change agents on the ground that can make a real impact to the community.

We along with NASSCOM Foundation will set up a portal to collate all the work being done by the mission partners to highlight the impact of these efforts on the ground level.

OWSA: Are there any plans to introduce gadgets helpful in taking the digital drive to the remote areas in rural India?

Aurora: We are witnessing a widespread connected multi-device landscape emerge in this country which proves that there is no single device that can be termed ‘the device’ for India.

It is important is that we go beyond the discussion of just which is the right device and instead focus more on the effective usage of technology for personal, community and national growth.

The need of the hour is to create widespread awareness of how technology can transform one’s life and focus on the effective use of technology by the citizens of India.

OWSA: How do you look at the year that has almost passed and the coming year?

Aurora: The year 2012 was an exciting year for Intel. Through the year, Intel has endeavored to provide a seamless and consistent computing experience to consumers and as we go forward into 2013 our commitment to innovation and market leading technologies is renewed.

We shall strive to scale up our efforts for digital literacy in India and urge our consumers to pursue their passions and creativity under our Go Do Something Wonderful campaign.

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