Meta and Government of Karnataka Collaborate on Digital Safety and AR/VR Skills Training
US tech giant Meta, which owns Facebook, and the Government of Karnataka plan to train 1 lakh teachers and 10 lakh students in digital safety and
AR (augmented reality) and
VR (virtual reality) skills by 2025. For this, the Government of Karnataka on Tuesday signed a Letter of Intent with Meta to launch two major initiatives that will raise awareness among students and educators on online safety and digital citizenship.
Meta’s Commitment to Digital Safety
“We are happy to collaborate with the Government of Karnataka on digital safety that will enhance the engagement of young users to understand digital best practices and stay safe online,” said Joel Kaplan, vice-president, global public policy, Facebook. Kaplan, a former Bush administration official, was hired by Facebook in 2011. Kaplan, who served as deputy chief of staff under former President George W. Bush, was given the charge of Facebook’s relations with federal and state policymakers.
Digital Awareness Training for Young People
Under the online safety initiative, young people
(18-24 years) from 100 colleges and universities across the State will receive digital awareness training. The aim of the programme is to make them more mindful of the new trends in digital safety. Meta will also train and deploy master trainers across these colleges.
Government’s Focus on Online Safety
“Industry players like Meta can take the lead in training students and teachers for the future and also train people on safe online actions,” said Siddaramaiah, Chief Minister of Karnataka, adding that online safety, especially for women and children, is an area of focus and requires different stakeholders to come together.
Development of Digital Citizenship Initiative
The digital citizenship initiative, a joint programme between the Ministry of ITBT and Meta, will develop a WhatsApp chatbot for the delivery of information services across various Government departments. The purpose of the programme is to streamline citizen communications and also create a Digital Safety Chatbot for citizen awareness.
Plans for Future Technologies
The government also plans to tie up with Meta for gaming and artificial intelligence (AI), as well as to curb misinformation through deepfakes.
Boosting Employability Through Digital Skills
“Future technologies like AR/VR and their applications can open avenues for job opportunities, new businesses, and entrepreneurship,” said Priyank Kharge, Minister for Information Technology and Biotechnology; Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Government of Karnataka. He also pointed out that the government has a comprehensive plan to equip students with digital skills and boost their employability in the job market.
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