NASSCOM Foundation Launches Aspirational Districts Programme to Impact Over 3.5 Million Lives through Digital Inclusion at the last mile

● Programme to focus on digital literacy, e-governance and digital skill building for the marginalized communities

● Digital resource centres will be established in 55 aspirational districts to prioritize digital literacy and tech-based skilling

● The Foundation will also aid youth by giving them access to employment opportunities in addition to training through the Digital Resource Centres

New Delhi, December 14, 2022: NASSCOM Foundation today announced the launch of its “Aspirational Districts Programme” with the objective of digitally enabling and skilling more than 3.5 million lives by March 2024, thus empowering the marginalized in remote and backward sectors of India. The event was graced by the presence of Shri. Rakesh Ranjan, Mission Director – Aspirational Districts Programme, NITI Aayog who emphasized on how the programme is a promising step towards accelerating the country’s progress in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals. Implementation Partners of the programme Arvind Chaturvedi, Vice President, AISECT and Madhura Karnik, Haqdarshak were also present at the event.

Under the programme, NASSCOM Foundation is tapping into more than 100 aspirational districts out of which 55 districts have been identified as of now across 23 states (Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Assam, Tripura, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Manipur) and a few have already been established across the country. The programme directly aligns with NASSCOM Foundation’s core philosophy of TechForGood wherein technology initiatives are utilized to create positive social impact. Apart from strengthening the efforts to meet the SDG agenda, this will also prioritize economic development across communities in alignment with the PM’s vision of Digital India mission.

The aspirational districts will be equipped with Digital Resource Centres that will act as change agents and engines of development, ensuring they provide need-based information, resources and an array of government-based services, that will positively impact citizens’ lives and their livelihoods. Community members will also be further trained to be digital ambassadors, and e-Governance tools will be made available to communities at large. By leveraging technology and digital knowledge, this programme will empower the youth to appropriately nurture their talents and also focus on aspiring women entrepreneurs to improve the quality of life at both community and society level. Another key focus area of the NASSCOM Foundation programme is to generate awareness of appropriate government schemes and e-governance services in addition to imparting quality training in digital skills.

Announcing the launch of NASSCOM Foundation’s Aspirational Districts Programme, Nidhi Bhasin, CEO, NASSCOM Foundation said, “The Government’s Aspirational Districts Programme spearheaded by NITI Aayog has triggered equitable growth and development in every corner of the country. As an extension to the government’s initiative, NASSCOM Foundations’ Aspirational Districts Programme focusses on the two aspects of inclusive growth and meeting SDG commitments. We are confident that through our collective efforts to roll out people-centric digital initiatives we will be able transform 55 districts and empower over 3.5 million lives and thus, make technology affordable, equitable and most importantly accessible to the last mile.”

Shri Rakesh Ranjan, Mission Director, NITI Aayog commented, “There is no doubt that India is on a high economic growth trajectory and the key is to take the entire country along in this development journey. With initiatives like NASSOM Foundation’s Aspirational Districts Programme, I am confident that significant progress will be made towards equitable development. This is one of the first steps in ensuring a national inclusive development strategy that fosters technology and ensures that no district is left behind.”

Even though remarkable socio-economic measures have been undertaken for the country’s progress, they do not adequately reflect on the quality of life of the people. NASSCOM Foundation through the Aspirational Districts Programme makes an attempt to address this shortcoming and is a step forward in making India a digitally empowered nation and an extension to the Government’s vision of inclusive growth.

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