Inviting students of city colleges to participate in India’s digital literacy programme, Union Minister for Human Resource Development Prakash Javadekar said, “In India, digital revolution will be brought by college and university students. I believe that youth are the agents of change. I am inviting all of you to go to our website and register as a volunteer for change,” he said.
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Stating that change can occur only if the mindset of people changes, Javadekar said that ‘DDP’ i.e. digital determination of people is the need of the hour. Incentivising students to become a volunteer for Digital India, Javadekar said the students will get recognition for their work. “Within 24 hours of registering as a volunteer, I will send you a personal welcome note. I have also requested universities and colleges to recognise the students’ work towards Digital India initiative under NSS and NCC projects. This is a nation building work. Students should get marks and certificates for doing it. We will even give cash prizes. So far, 1,27,000 students have signed up as volunteers from across the country by registering at the Vittiya Saksharta Abhiyan link on MHRD website,” he said.
The minister was addressing thousands of students who had gathered at SP College grounds in Pune on Tuesday for an event on ‘Digital India: Cashless, Less Cash’, jointly organised by Deccan Education Society, SP Prasarak Mandali, Modern Education Society and Maharshi Karve Stree Shikshan Sanstha.
Giving students a four-pronged approach towards achieving the digital goal, Javadekar said change should begin from self as students should first become digitally literate. “Once you get digitally literate, practice some digital transactions to gain confidence. Then convince your family members to go digital. And as a last step, convince your neighbours. Each one of you take up 10 households and by January 12, which is the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekanand, let us show what the youth of this country can achieve,” he said.
Stating that in any developed country, only four per cent of the total GDP is cash, he said that in India, currently, the same figure corresponds to 12 per cent. “We are not aiming that in one year we will come to four per cent. We have realisable targets. We are targeting to come to eight per cent. And if the 2.5 crore students studying in 500 cities alone work towards this, change is achievable. After December 2, when cash was no longer accepted at petrol pumps, digital transactions went up to 70 per cent from 20 per cent. It is only a matter of changing one’s mindset,” he said.
Javadekar also invited the employees of Bank of Maharashtra to the college grounds for a live demonstration of various modes of digital transactions.