New Delhi: The National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and WhatsApp joined hands on Thursday to launch the Digital Skill Champions Programme that aims to train India's youth on digital skills, in order to make them employment ready. Through this programme, school and university students would be coached to imbibe digital and online skills that would culminate with WhatsApp and NSDC awarding 'Digital Skill Champions' certification. The course is based on a module-format, is comprehensive and intensive in imparting knowledge about important aspects of the online ecosystem, equipping students with technology-based learning on campuses across Tier III and IV towns and cities throughout the country. "We are honoured to be a part of NSDC's mission to skill India and to take shop floor readiness training to the last mile. As India embraces digital innovation and entrepreneurship, it is imperative that the youth today are made aware of and educated about how they can upskill themselves and take charge of their presence online,a said Shivanth Thukral, Director - Public Policy, WhatsApp - India, in a statement. Also Read‘JioPhone Next’ smartphone to be available from Sept 10 "At WhatsApp, we believe that online safety and privacy are vital drivers to a progressive digital society. Through this partnership, we are committed to enhance the digital skills of the aspiring entrepreneurs and empower the youth of our country to create a safe digital environment for all," he added. As part of the Digital Skill Academies, young adults from Tier III and IV cities will be trained on critical aspects of digital safety and online privacy. These digital academies will deliver safe technology-based learning among the youth and train them on taking charge of their safety online as they embark on their professional journeys. The initiative will kick off with a pilot across 50 campuses in five states, namely Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. The program will be imparted through WhatsApp's project implementation partner - InfiSpark. Further, WhatsApp will conduct training sessions to familiarise Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendra (PMKK) trainers with the WhatsApp Business app. The training will cover modules on leveraging benefits of the WhatsApp Business app and to make small business entrepreneurship aspirational for young skill seekers. The trained PMKK community cadres will further manage and administer the WhatsApp Business app training to youth aspiring to become small business entrepreneurs. India has about 15 million monthly users of the business app, and more than 50 million globally. "In a rapidly evolving digital world, NSDC aims to extend the scope of virtual learning for youth across India. It aims to empower youth with new-age skills to make them employable and more productive in their work environment," added Manish Kumar, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, NSDC.