To empower first-time internet users with digital literacy and to boost their understanding of the Internet, Jio, an Indian telecom service provider under Reliance Industries, a Global Fortune 500 company, has decided to handhold with Facebook to launch “Digital Udaan”, a digital literacy programme.

The company announced it will create the largest ever digital literacy programme (its name translates in English as “digital flight”)and will include audio-visual training in 10 regional languages of India.

Jio is the second largest mobile service provider in India and the sixth operator in the world, with over 300 million subscribers just four years after its formation.

“This programme is being launched in nearly 200 different locations across 13 states. The initiative is expected to reach over 7,000 locations soon empowering millions of JioPhone users and other first-time internet users,” said Akash Ambani, Director of Reliance Jio. “They will have a world of knowledge, government benefits and programs, access to essential services and entertainment on their phones through Facebook and the gamut of Jio apps,” he added.

Jio hopes to disseminate knowledge to its users, and besides government benefits and programs, will give access to essential services and entertainment on phones through Facebook and the gamut of Jio apps.

New Delhi had announced, its policy to push Digital India 2, a plan to take broadband to every rural household in the country, which is expected to give a further push to mobile and internet services in India.

“For Digital literacy to improve and expand, it will take the efforts of both network players and content players. Both are central to the expansion and improvement of digital literacy. So this is a good thing,” Mahesh Uppal, Telecommunication Expert told Sputnik, commenting on the development.

“I would imagine other players, both content and network, would also do something similar. The same players would be working with multiple network players as well as multiple content generators. Given that there is a net neutrality regulation in place, this seems to be another way for the two players to come together,” said Uppal.

“I presume these are not exclusive deals and violative of net neutrality,” he added.

A joint study by Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASSOCHAM) an umbrella organisation of business and industry in India and Pricewaterhouse Coopers, or PwC revealed the number of smartphone users in India is expected to double to 859 million by 2022. India already has 480 million internet users, second to China, but 75 % more than the US.

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