Since 1967, International Literacy Day’s primary purpose is to emphasise the essential nature of literacy as both a fundamental human right and a matter of dignity. This day embarks an opportunity for promoting the cause of literacy, with the ultimate goal of creating a society that is not only more literate but also sustainable.
According to a report by Ideas for India (I4I), significant disparities exist between urban and rural areas in terms of digital literacy rates. Urban areas exhibit a notably higher digital literacy rate, standing at 61 per cent, in contrast to a mere 25 per cent in rural areas. This glaring disparity underscores the urgent need to bridge the digital divide ensuring equal access to digital opportunities across all regions of our diverse country.
Girija Kolagada, VP- Engineering, Progress said, “India’s digital transformation presents a massive economic opportunity, poised to reach an impressive $1 trillion digital economy by 2025. To seize this potential, businesses should strategically leverage existing technology infrastructure and tap into India’s diverse talent pool by adopting cutting-edge technologies, making substantial investments in digital infrastructure, emphasis on diversity and inclusion and embracing remote and gig workers to bridge the digital divide.”
Rency Matthew, Global People Leader APAC, Sabre commented , “A recent study by PwC revealed that 55% of businesses believe they lack digital skills among their employees, hampering their competitiveness. To fill India’s digital literacy gap, we need a multifaceted approach, including revamped curriculum, accessible digital resources, and community outreach. In this era of digital revolution, investing in upskilling, embracing automation, nurturing talent and fostering digital literacy is the compass to a prosperous future.”
“The gap between the required skills can be reduced when we tap into young talent. The learning and development programmes should be designed and curated based on the business demand and upskilling needs within the teams. It gives employees within the organisation ample scope to learn and grow,” shared Yadhu Kishore Nandikolla, HR Head, MassMutual India.
India stands at the crossroads of a digital transformation that promises remarkable economic growth, but it also presents significant challenges. The celebration of International Literacy Day serves as a poignant reminder of the urgent need to bridge the digital divide, ensuring that the benefits of the digital age are accessible to all. Disparities in digital literacy rates between urban and rural areas underscore the importance of inclusive strategies.