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Computer literacy UPSC NOTE

 Importance

  • Computer literacy is essential in today’s world as critical services such as banking, health care and various government services have become digital

  • It ensures that individuals can access and use these services effectively, enhancing their quality of life

  • The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of computer and Internet access, from ordering groceries and online education to managing banking and health-care services. 

  • Recognising this, the Indian government launched the Digital India campaign in 2015 to transform the country into a digitally empowered society. 

  • Moreover, computer education is increasingly being integrated into the formal education system — in schools from an early age. 

  • Additionally, numerous skill development and vocational training programmes are focusing on enhancing computer literacy among youth and adults, mainly targeting underprivileged and marginalised communities to bridge the digital divide.

Challenges

  • As per the recently released NSS 78th round of the Multiple Indicator Survey, the computer literacy (defined as the ability to use a computer), stands at 24.7% among individuals aged 15 years and above

  • In rural areas, it is an increase from 11.1% to 18.1%, while in urban areas, it was from 34.7% to 39.6%. 

  • These figures are cause for concern and cast a shadow over the nation’s digital aspirations. 

  • Unless there are serious measures to universalise digital literacy, rural India’s population, which is nearly 70%, will face significant disadvantages. 

  • More importantly, given the government’s aim to provide various public services through digital technology, a significant portion of the population will remain excluded.

  • It peaks among individuals aged 20-24 years, reaching 45.9%, and declines to its lowest point among the oldest age group of 65-69 years, at 4.4%. 

  • Even among the youngest age cohorts, computer literacy has not reached 50%

  • Given that individuals aged 20-39 years are typically in the midst of their careers or job searching, representing a middle-aged population, it is noteworthy that their computer literacy rate stands at just 34.8%

  • Further, there is significant variation in computer literacy for this particular age group across the various States of India.

  • Among individuals aged 20-39 years across States shows a striking 55.1 percentage point gap between Kerala (72.7%), and Assam, where only 17.6% possess computer skills in this age group

  • Given that computer literacy is pivotal to the social and economic development of States, the lower rates in economically backward States exacerbate their disadvantage in benefiting from modern development

  • One reason for computer illiteracy could be that many schools and colleges across India lack the necessary infrastructure and qualified teachers to impart adequate computer training

  • Computer literacy exacerbates socio-economic inequalities by creating a digital divide and a skill gap, leading to unequal job market opportunities

Way forward

  • Schools should equip students with computer skills that will allow them to fully participate in our rapidly changing economies. 

  • The government should allocate resources towards the training of computer personnel and ensure sufficient staffing levels. 

  • Additionally, for the older population outside the formal education system, targeted programmes are essential.


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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Computer literacy UPSC NOTE
Computer literacy UPSC NOTE
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