Common Services Centres (CSC), under the Ministry of Electronics & IT, and Kyndryl, the world’s largest IT infrastructure services provider, have partnered to launch Cyber Rakshak, a cybersecurity training initiative to equip women in rural and remote areas with new technology skills and help them emerge as Cyber Security Ambassadors.
The initiative is part of Kyndryl’s and CSC’s commitment to invest in bold ideas that fuel prosperity and support equitable access to technology-enabled education. Over the course of three years, the program will train more than 100,000 women in rural and remote areas, driving cybersecurity education efforts and growing skillsets across Indian communities. The initiative aims to empower future leaders while extending economic opportunity to women in the world’s fastest growing economy.
Training will be conducted across 500 districts in India through the last mile network of CSC, a flagship program under the Digital India Initiative which provides assisted access to government and public utility services in rural and semi urban areas.
The coursework, co-developed by Kyndryl and CSC, will enable participants to better address cybersecurity threats in their personal and professional work while spotlighting career opportunities in cybersecurity fields. Participants will gain fundamental cyber knowledge, enhance competencies in existing job roles and learn about security threats that may impact their livelihoods.
A central feature of the program will be to train candidates to become Cybersecurity Ambassadors, individuals who upon program completion will achieve a joint certification from Kyndryl and the National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology (NIELIT) and can serve as guides to local Internet users as they navigate an increasingly complex threat landscape.
“Internet users in rural areas of India are increasing, which has the opportunity to bring positive outcomes and new opportunities. However, citizens with small businesses are at risk of suffering irrecoverable damage from data breaches if they don’t have adequate cybersecurity knowledge,” said Sanjay Kumar Rakesh, MD, CSC SPV. “This program with Kyndryl, which will establish local cybersecurity ambassadors who are continuously trained and supported, can be one of the most effective ways to address such challenges. It will create awareness and empower rural people to address emerging cybersecurity challenges.”
“The Cyber Rakshak initiative is part of Kyndryl‘s commitment to India’s broader socioeconomic development, particularly for financial inclusion and building diversity in India’s tech talent pool,” said Lingraju Sawkar, President, Kyndryl India. “The cybersecurity landscape is more complicated by the day, and everyone needs the necessary tools and knowledge to better protect their data and improve their security posture. These are also important technical skills women professionals can bring to high-value career opportunities.”
The Cyber Rakshak initiative promotes and supports the Indian government’s efforts to expand financial inclusion for women of underbanked regions and recognize women as a major driver of India’s economic growth.