Civil Servants and Digital Literacy | 03 Sep 2022

For Mains: Importance of Digital Literacy for Civil Servants

Why in News?

Recently, Microsoft has partnered with the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE), and Capacity Building Commission (CBC) to empower India’s civil servants with future-ready skills.

  • The partnership under the project ‘Capacity Building by MSDE in Microsoft Digital Productivity Skills’ aims to enhance the functional computer literacy of nearly 2.5 million civil servants of Government of India (GoI).
  • This project is in line with the Mission Karmayogi.

What is Digital Literacy?

  • Digital literacy refers to the wide range of skills, which are necessary to emerge successful and adapt to the digital world.
  • Since the print mediums are facing stagnation, the ability to grasp information found online becomes important.
  • People and students who lack digital literacy skills may soon find themselves tough to gain access to information which is available online.

Why is Digital Literacy important for Civil Servants?

  • To Provide Efficient and Effective Citizen Centric Services:
    • Digital Literacy will empower India’s civil servants to provide efficient and effective citizen centric services to the vulnerable and underprivileged sections of the society.
    • It will enable them to deliver last mile social welfare services.
  • Bridging the Competency Gap:
    • One of the major competency gaps identified in various job roles among the civil servants is the lack of digital productivity application skills while working on Microsoft Office tools like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint presentation, at a professional level. So digital empowerment will help in bridging competency Gaps.

What Competencies will the Civil servants of the Future Need?

  • Unifying Framework across Various Sector:
    • There is currently no unifying framework across the public sector, private sector and civil society.
    • While the technical competencies that civil servants need are similar to those required in the private sector, the digital governance competencies are something else entirely.
    • There is a need for a shared language and understanding of what Artificial Intelligence (AI) for the public good is.
  • Scaling up Digital Solutions:
    • Public services face difficulties in scaling up digital solutions, due to infrastructure gaps.
    • Sometimes, the solutions from the private sector are not ready for the public sector. So, the need is to design technology for the public sector.
  • Bridging Cooperation Gap:
    • The government should never be viewed as a singular entity, but rather be encouraged to communicate with one another.
    • Additionally, the need is to engage existing institutions and foster collaborations instead of reinventing the wheel.

Source: India today