Cyber Cafe Association of India Brings Internet to the People Editor’s Choice “Best Practice” for Digital Literacy
How does an enterprising association empower the people of an enterprising country with the power of the Internet? The Cyber Cafe Association of India (CCAOI) brings the world class infrastructure that entrepreneurs and citizens require to the masses – and is helping to facilitate the significant economic growth that India is enjoying. Part of the CCAOI’s success is because they work closely with the Government, Regulators, Policy Makers, and mjaor Industry Chambers.
Digital Literacy is enabler and a catalyst for change in India. The impact of this association is significant – providing Internet access through it’s 180,000 cyber cafes and 75,000 Public Internet Access Providers.
This initiative is helping to bridge the digital divide for millions of Indians in a cost-effective manner, enabling users to access the Internet for information, communications, and entertainment. Digital Literacy’s editors agree that CCAOI affiliated cafes have redefined the positioning for cyber cafes, essentially as service provision stores, and has awarded CCAOI as a Digital Literacy’s Editor’s Choice.
CCAOI hails the TRAI Recommendation -A landmark for Broadband Penetration in India
The recent Recommendation Paper of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on the National Broadband Plan is a significant step which signifies the intent of the government towards improving the Broadband penetration in the country, which is the need of the hour, especially when the government wants to empower each citizen and improve the economic growth of the nation.
This recommendation paper released under the chairmanship of Mr. J.S. Sarma is not only comprehensive and in-depth, but also understands all the nuances of the Internet ecosystem of the country. TRAI has emphasized upon this fact and suggested that “the Government should involve associations and NGOs at the grass root level in the awareness building campaigns and all these initiatives should be funded by the Government. “Programs similar to the CCAOI Project Gyan, a 10 day Internet learning Program which is offered for Free from Cybercafés/ CSC’s and taught in the preferred language of the citizen, could be promoted by the Government”. To further reach out to the non English and assistance seeking community, TRAI has also recommended” Government should ensure availability of the Government services in the local languages and Cybercafés/CSC’s and public access systems should be encouraged to promote local language Internet”
CCAOI, as an association, representing the entire ecosystem of Internet in the country has always been advocating that the growth and adoption of Internet has not been significant not just due to high access cost, limited availability of internet, lack of relevant content and language, but primarily on account of lack of digital literacy and general mindset of the people of India, who are more prone to “assisted services” for centuries. Even today, only a limited section of the people belong to the “Do it Yourself” (DIY) types and majority of people rely on “assisted mode” to avail the services. As a result the government should support “Digital Literacy Programs” & promote public Internet Access points – Cybercafés/ CSC’s. This two prong strategy would help to achieve the desired Broadband Goals.