India is witnessing a great transformation. Social, economic and also cultural ecosystems of our society are getting transformed with a common element of digital technology. This factor is well understood by the policy makers and as a result there are many initiatives taken up by government in this direction. Digital literacy has become a profound focus in India and both government and corporate have committed themselves towards this.
One of such drivers of digital literacy is SAP India, the organization is actively involved in various activities and recently the ‘Code Unnati‘ initiative has been announced which is a collective structured effort towards ensuring better penetration of digital literacy in India.
“Digital Literacy is contributing towards a great social change into the country. It requires a collective and collaborative approach. We look at this whole initiative as an opportunity to make a significant, positive impact towards refining the society,” says Deb Deep Sengupta, President & Managing Director, SAP Indian Subcontinent.
As mentioned ‘Code Unnati’ is an example of collaborative approach, the project has 6 diverse non-profit organizations as partners to impart digital literacy among diversified section of the Indian society which includes children, adolescents, the differently-abled & other citizens. The project is also mandated to drive employment-led software skills development for the underprivileged. This initiative of ‘Code Unnati’ will work on the lines of achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals of – No Poverty, Quality Education, Decent Work & Economic Growth, and Partnership For the Goals.
“The non-urban population in India holds great relevance in the ongoing social transformation. The transformation of Indian financial landscape and the impact of exponential telecommunications have created a huge urge for digital literacy. Only 10% of India’s population is digitally literate. We can clearly understand that the scope of making some contribution in the area of digital literacy is huge. For an organization like SAP this is a important area as it directly effects the life of a common man.” said Deb Deep Sengupta, President & Managing Director, SAP Indian Subcontinent.
“Technology is the core of everything that SAP do, hence, we have taken the responsibility to join joint forces of India Inc. who are embarked into this journey. SAP is committed towards this collaboration and mandate of creating a success in the form of Digital India. ‘Code unnati’ is envisioned to equip citizens with the most pertinent IT skills that will make them more relevant in the job market, and empower them to become future-ready.”
Explaining SAP’s contribution in the ‘Code Unnati’ project, Mr Sengupta added, “SAP will provide technology infrastructure, expertise on course curriculum & pedagogy, delivery mechanisms and teachers. ITC and Larsen & Toubro Public Charitable Trust will enable outreach in far flung, tribal and inaccessible regions with adequate monitoring and evaluation and governance support, to implement the program via NGO partners. ‘code unnati’ will significantly emphasize on advanced software skills relevant for Industry 4.0 and employment creation, with an intent to fill the gap of 3.5 million technologically skilled and educated citizens required for India to be known as a digitally literate nation.
“SAP CSR team have experienced the joy of contributing in the digital literacy mission in Talasari, Palghar district in Maharashtra in 2014, where we worked in empowering the local tribal youth with digital skill developments and learning. Local common citizens have shared phenominal response while exploring the digital learning streams. Code Unnati will further bring in United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as knowledge partner for skilling & career counselling initiatives for the beneficiaries. Through Code Unnati, the digital learning stream will expand to almost entire India, we will reach out to states like Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh as well as other parts of Maharashtra, with the aim that technology can create social impact for the last mile,” commented Mr Sengupta and he also concluded that, “We as the leaders of professional world with our own respective leadership skills must join hands to come together to offer an supportive hand for those who deserve a better life. As we know, technology is an enabler and digital skills must be acquired. This is the mission amd commitment for all of us in the project ‘code unnati’.
For technology to reach the bottom of the pyramid, special focus has been put on creating an ICT environment at every Gram Panchayat, as also stated under the Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan (PMGDSA). Commenting on hos this project will be taking of, he said, “100 code unnati Community Services Centers will be launched to provide training to the Sarpanches (Village Council administrators) and educate local citizens on effective utilization of various available e-services. Under PMGDSA, L&T Public Charitable Trust and SAP have already started 3 Community Services Centers in Maharashtra and 33 in Rajasthan.”
In the pilot phase till next year, the initiative will focus on rural areas of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat, Rajasthan as well as urban disadvantaged demographies in Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi-NCR, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Pune, Vizag and Hyderabad.