IT and Electronics Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad Thursday said in the Rajya Sabha that the government will take "tough action" if village entrepreneurs are found faking number of rural people trained under the Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Shaksharta Abhiyan (PMGDISHA).
Observing that there is "digital hunger" in rural India, the Minister said the government target is to make one lakh digital villages in the country and it is working with Railways to lay the Optical fibre network at the gram level.
"It is a very important scheme (PMGDISHA). There is a third party audit. If a member has any specific information about faking numbers, I want to assure him that I will take firm measure. If anyone has faked numbers, I will take tough action," Prasad said during the Question Hour.
The Minister said the government has already trained 2.53 crore people under the scheme, while the target is 6 crore.
"Digital India envisages all inclusive India. It works at various levels. We thought that unless people don't have digital literacy, they cannot use digital equipments.
During the pilot, we trained 10 lakh people and later 53 lakh and now expanding further," he added.
To a query on number of scheduled castes and scheduled tribes trained under the PMGDISHA, the Minister said he does not have details in hand.
However, he said digital empowerment cannot be successful unless weaker sections are covered.
The minister mentioned that the number of Common Service Centres have been increased from 80,000 to 3.5 lakh. About Rs 70,000 crore has been transacted at gram panchayat level.
On scaling up of digital India, Prasad said, "I know for sure it has become a kind of movement. Therefore, we are proposing to scale it up further along with digital villages because we really want to empower ordinary Indians."
The Railways and the IT and Electronic ministries are working together to lay Optical fibre network at gram level.
"We are going to make 1 lakh digital villages in the country. We will give WiFi. We want to speed this up. In the
country, there is a digital hunger in rural areas," he added.