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Skilling The New-age To Bridge Digital Divide

With organizations now taking the plunge into rural technology and building businesses around it, these millennials are all set to pose as a meaningful precedent for future generations

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If you ask someone what is the most distinctive trait of the millennial generation, you will probably hear the phrase "their use of technology". The millennials in India are one of the world's profoundest sources of untouched potential. The sheer number of 18 to 35 year olds undoubtedly hold a significant sway over the country's direct economic future. These millennials are believed to be urban, found in colleges and universities, coffee shops or co-working spaces, browsing through their multiple personal technologies at leisure or for work. But what about a majority of the potential 'digital natives' present in the 'Middle India' - a huge populace of youth in Tier 2, 3 cities and beyond? Are they just tech-dependent and not tech-savvy? Do they have the right opportunities for utilizing technology for its fullest potential?

In this digital era, our interdependence on technology cannot be undermined. As renowned scientist, Late. Stephen Hawking, once said, "We are all now connected by the internet, like neurons in a giant brain". Nevertheless, there still exists a significant rift between the millennials in urban and middle India.

There can be no equality of opportunity without access to quality digital education.
Most of the urban areas have availed the most prolific benefits from computer adoption, where technology has wriggled its way to into the average classroom in every possible way - from the earlier days with televisions and projectors to e-learning and smart classroom.

The students in 'Middle India' deserve the same benefits of computer-based education. The inevitability of computers in today's world presents all educators in Tier 2 and 3 cities with a massive opportunity and challenge. The challenge is to educate for a future in the information-age, and the opportunity is to apply technology to revolutionize the process of education. Bringing students closer to their growth ecosystem i.e. their teachers and parents to play a huge role, as they will collectively need to view it as a foundational prerequisite to provide a child with access to technology.

The emerging jobs of today, tomorrow, and the future will require skills that computer education/digital literacy can enable and empower. The capability to use technology effectively today, is not restricted to using it as a tool, but to approach it as a skill that lends to an individual's overall competencies. A key point raised by UNESCO, is that digital literacy will empower early-age skilling, improving a student's future employability as it is considered a 'gate' skill required by employers. The challenge to education leaders is to use these modernize methods and create an educational experience that facilitates these students to apply education and knowledge to reality. This can be a contributing factor in securing jobs, in the future.

The Indian (urban and middle) millennials treaded into their adulthood just when the recession hit and the technology boom disbursed the world as we see it. Computer literacy can be India's foundation to make a place for itself in the ever-changing times of globalization. With organizations now taking the plunge into rural technology and building businesses around it, these millennials are all set to pose as a meaningful precedent for future generations.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


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skill set digital divide

P Krishnakumar

The author is Senior Vice President, Consumer & Small Business, Dell India

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