The National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and WhatsApp have announced an alliance to launch the Digital Skill Champions Program that aims to train India’s youth in digital skills, in order to make them employment ready. Through this program, school and university students would be coached to imbibe digital and online skills that would culminate with WhatsApp and NSDC awarding ‘Digital Skill Champions’ certification. The course is based on a module-format, is comprehensive and intensive in imparting knowledge about important aspects of the online ecosystem, equipping students with technology-based learning on campuses across tier 3 and 4 towns and cities throughout the country.
The partnership identifies two broad areas of collaboration viz., WhatsApp Digital Skills Academy and Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendra (PMKK) and WhatsApp Business App Training sessions.
WhatsApp Digital Skills Academy: As part of the Digital Skill Academies, young adults from tier 3 and 4 cities will be trained on critical aspects of digital safety and online privacy. These digital academies will deliver safe technology-based learning among the youth and train them on taking charge of their safety online as they embark on their professional journeys. The initiative will kick off with a pilot across 50 campuses in five states, namely Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. The program will be imparted through WhatsApp’s project implementation partner- InfiSpark.
PMKK and WhatsApp Business App Training: WhatsApp will conduct training sessions to familiarise Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendra trainers with the WhatsApp Business app. The training will cover modules on leveraging benefits of the WhatsApp Business app and to make small business entrepreneurship aspirational for young skill seekers. The trained PMKK community cadres will further manage and administer the WhatsApp Business app training to youth aspiring to become small business entrepreneurs.
Talking about the program, Dr Manish Kumar, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, NSDC, said, “In a rapidly evolving digital world, NSDC aims to extend scope of virtual learning for youth across India. It aims to empower youth with new-age skills to make them employable and more productive in their work environment.”
Shivanth Thukral, Director – Public Policy, WhatsApp India, said, “We are honoured to be a part of NSDC’s mission to skill India and to take shop floor readiness training to the last mile. As India embraces digital innovation and entrepreneurship, it is imperative that the youth today are made aware of and educated about how they can upskill themselves and take charge of their presence online. At WhatsApp, we believe that online safety and privacy are vital drivers to a progressive digital society. Through this partnership, we are committed to enhance the digital skills of the aspiring entrepreneurs and empower the youth of our country to create a safe digital environment for all.”