Digital India’s two realities: A yawning gap between tech use & tech skills

ForumIAS announcing GS Foundation Program for UPSC CSE 2025-26 from 18th June. Click Here for more information.

Source- The post is based on the article “Digital India’s two realities: A yawning gap between tech use & tech skills” published in the “Business Standard” on 15th May 2023.

Syllabus: GS3- Economy.

News– The article explains the issues of digital divide and skilling in digital technology in India

What are major insights from Multiple Indicator Surveys for 2020-21, published by the NSSO about the digital divide in India?

More than 70% of Indian youth aged between 15 and 29 cannot send emails with files

attached. Nearly 60 per cent cannot copy and move a file or folder. Over 80% cannot transfer files between a computer and other devices.

Only 8.6% can create electronic presentations with presentation software. The data shows that the Indian youth fares poorly in most of the basic ICT skills.

How has digital technology impacted the job market in India?

As per a recently published report by the WEF, in the next five years, the churn in Indian labour markets will be led by technology-driven sectors.

Jobs in fields such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, data analysts and scientists, and data entry clerks will lead to this labour churn.

“Labour-market churn” refers to the expected job movement being created, and existing roles destroyed as a proportion of current employment.

Generative artificial intelligence is emerging as the next frontier in tech and IT skills. Firms have already begun hiring for new roles such as prompt engineers, AI trainer, ethics coach.

Job roles involving generative AIs will not require candidates to be trained in hardcore computer engineering skills. Instead, candidates from the humanities stream, with English or history as their majors, will be better able to use these natural language tools.

Technology has influenced our daily lives and we have become used to technology. The use of personal tech has become second nature to those born between the late 2000s and early 2010s.

What are the challenges related to skilling in digital technology?

There remains a massive demand-and-supply gap for computer skills. There exists a wide gap in tech-skilling in tier 2 and tier 3 cities.

Only about 40 to 45% of Indian graduates are readily employable. Many technology companies have created large training infrastructures and have also worked with engineering schools to develop the curriculum and pedagogy.

On the government front, challenges persist. One of the biggest challenges of the Skill India Mission is that the government is organized in verticals. The issues around employment and skills are horizontal and involve different ministries.

What are some positive things about India’s future in IT skill development?

Mobile and internet penetration in the hinterland has been a harbinger of change by democratising access to information.

It is easier to make available educational content for consumers from every background. Country is moving forward to close the demand-supply gap.

Print Friendly and PDF