Building on its long-standing partnership with the Common Services Centers (CSC) of India’s Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology, PayPal has committed to supporting the CSC Academy, the organization’s corporate social responsibility arm, with their Digital Villages and Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyaan (PMGDISHA) initiatives that work to connect rural communities with digital services.
Millions of people around the world are excluded from participating in the global economy due to high barriers of entry to the current financial system. As part of both initiatives, PayPal will be funding 200 digital villages and 20 mobile vans across rural India and deliver on its mission to democratize financial services to ensure that everyone, regardless of background or economic standing, has access to affordable, convenient, and secure products and services to take control of their financial lives.
Digital Villages provide e-Governance Services to rural citizens through a CSC Center that acts as a one stop channel that digitally connects all village citizens. In addition to providing critical services like telemedicine and financial services, Digital Villages also create employment opportunities for the youth by promoting the information technology (IT)/information technology enabled services (ITeS) industry, and encourages investment into the sector for growth. Through this initiative, 2 to 3.5 million people will be directly impacted, and a further 10 million people will indirectly benefit from the identified project villages.
With the World Bank estimating that 65 percent of the country’s population reside in rural areas, accessibility to services is a critical element for the success of the Indian Government’s vision of digitally connecting and building digital literacy for every citizen. The PMGDISHA initiative aims to bridge the digital divide, specifically targeting the rural population that includes marginalized sections of society like minorities, individuals living below the poverty line, women and differently-abled persons.
PayPal’s sponsorship of 20 mobile vans will create awareness for the PMGDISHA training program amongst citizens living in hard to access locations that may not be accustomed or exposed to traditional TV and social media platforms. It is estimated that the 20 vehicles will train approximately 1.5 million rural citizens annually.
PayPal has partnered CSC Academy since 2019 to support the Digital Villages and PMGDISHA training initiatives. In 2021, PayPal worked with CSC to provide COVID pandemic aid to rural citizens in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Bihar and Himachal Pradesh.