SAP India, ITC, L&T launch digital literacy initiative in villages

The initiative, ‘code unnati’ would enable employability among rural youth through digital literacy in various states

SAP India, ITC, L&T launch digital literacy initiative in villages

In order to enable employability among rural youth through digital literacy, SAP SE today launched ‘code unnati’, a multi-year, collaborative digital literacy and software skills development initiative in New Delhi in association with ITC and Larsen & Toubro Public Charitable Trust.
‘code unnati’ partners with 6 diverse non-profit organisations to impart digital literacy to children, adolescents, the differently-abled and other citizens and drive employment-led software skills development for the underprivileged. This initiative envisions to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals of – poverty alleviation, quality education, decent work & economic growth and partnership for the goals.
SAP will provide technology infrastructure, expertise on course curriculum and pedagogy, delivery mechanisms and teachers. ITC and Larsen & Toubro Public Charitable Trust will enable outreach in far flung, tribal and inaccessible rural areas with adequate monitoring and evaluation and governance support, to implement the programme via NGO partners. ‘code unnati’ will emphasise 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.
“Only 10 percent of India’s population is digitally literate,” said Deb Deep Sengupta, President & Managing Director, SAP Indian Subcontinent. “With technology at the core of everything we do, it is our responsibility to join forces and collaborate with India Inc. to help create a 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,” he said.
“ITC’s Social Investments Programme spread over 84 districts in 20 States in India has enabled a multiplier impact on beneficiary communities enriching livelihoods in the present and future. ITC’s partnership with SAP will enable the ‘code unnati’ initiative to make a deeper contribution in spreading digital education amongst children in rural Andhra Pradesh, with special focus on the girl child,” said Dr. Ashesh Ambasta,  EVP and Head – Social Investments, ITC Limited.
During the launch, Ashok D Shahane, VP, Larsen and Toubro Limited & Trustee, Larsen Toubro Public Charitable Trust said, “Our association with SAP CSR India goes back to 2014 for digital literacy mission in Talasari, Palghar district in Maharashtra, where we have been digitally empowering tribal youth and citizens. code unnati will further bring in United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as knowledge partner for skilling and career counselling initiatives for the beneficiaries.”

“With code unnati, we plan to expand to other 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 and people at the bottom of the pyramid,” Shahane added. 
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). 100 code unnati Community Services Centers will be launched to provide training to the Sarpanches (Village Council administrators) and educate local citizens on effective utilisation 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.
The project would focus on employable software (IT) skills for youth; digital literacy for children and adolescents, citizens and differently-abled people; creating employment opportunities to at least 50 percent of the youth trained under the initiative  and digital enablement of gram panchayats.

The Changing Face of Rural India