Shrikant Sinha, CEO – NASSCOM Foundation in a chat with SPO India shares how the organization has been working towards impacting the lives of its beneficiaries by skilling them and making them digitally literate to bring them closer to today’s digital society –
How do you empower the corporate in the country?
NASSCOM Foundation has been running various programs supporting the beneficiaries on the ground in terms of digital literacy, skilling the 1st generation of graduates, working with persons with disabilities, ensuring that new technologies can be implemented for large scale fuel innovation based projects across India as well as working in the public lively space. NASSCOM foundation is a platform where on one side we have the government, the corporate we work with, the advocacy part of it and on the other side we have the NGOs. NASSCOM foundation is able to offer to the corporate the programmes, implementation partners ensuring that the money they are wanting to spend on CSR is able to reach the right beneficiaries by providing them right kind of inputs with maximum social return on investment. ROI is calculated by looking at the impact itself. For instance, we have various examples for a project like digital literacy. Today we are close to 150 digital literacy centres across India where we are training people who are digitally illiterate so that they become digitally literate and take advantage of the internet. The impact here is measured in terms of such beneficiary actually talking about how life has changed.
Of course we as part of this digital literacy talk about paying bills online and applying for your ration card and so on. But that’s not where the impact is; rather we look at how the lives of people are being changed. In the skills area again, we look at 1st generation graduates, train them at no cost and then conduct job fairs for them so that they get employed by the industry.
The entire activity is funded through the corporate CSR of various corporate. We work with CSE and co-created the curriculum along with them and are also working together on various “PMG DISHA PROGRAM” going ahead.
When is you thought on the awareness of cyber security?
Cyber security is a very vast field and is an important part and it’s been covered in a portion where the do’s and don’ts are been discussed. Of course we cannot go in the depth of the entire thing because then the duration of the program goes beyond 20 hours, but at least the initial do’s and don’ts are been covered as per the fact itself.
Have there been any efforts on the part of the government to tackle cyber threats?
We were privileged because in NASSCOM event itself the prime minister spoke about the Rakht Vihin Yudh or the blood less terrorism which is cyber terrorism and he encouraged India to show the way and say that yes we will create cyber security experts. In fact NASSCOM foundation along with Symantec has been working on a program similar to it, where we have ensured that anyone who does a program on cyber security women would be given a scholarship and thousand such women would be given scholarships, once they become cyber security specialist. So such initiatives are already been run by the some of the corporate to ensure that the number of cyber security specialists in India increases.
Is there any exclusive tie-up with NASSCOM foundation for training the cyber security professional?
We are ready to work with anyone because the need is such huge. For instance if I talk about child protection online, with more and more phones being available, more and more internet being available, the vulnerability of our children online is on the rise. And that’s where you know lot of efforts need to be done to ensure that our future generation is protected and that our children don’t get exposed to material which they should not be doing.
And that’s where we are working along with NCPRC and UNICEF etc. NASSCOM foundation is looking at corporate partners who can actually scale up and launch programs across India, educating people on the ground.