Common Service Centers (CSC) scheme is one of the mission mode projects under the Digital India Programme. Common Service Centres (CSC) are physical facilities for delivering Government of India e-Services to rural and remote locations where availability of computers and Internet was negligible or mostly absent. They are a multiple-services-single-point model for providing facilities for multiple transactions at a single geographical location.
CSCs are the access points for delivery of essential public utility services, social welfare schemes, healthcare, financial, education and agriculture services, apart from a host of B2C services to citizens in rural and remote areas of the country. It is a pan-India network catering to a regional, geographic, linguistic and cultural diversity of the country, thus enabling the Government’s mandate of a socially, financially and digitally inclusive society.
What Is CSC?
- Common Services Centre (CSC) programme is an initiative of the Ministry of Electronics & IT (MeitY), Government of India. CSCs are the access points for delivery of various electronic services to villages in India, thereby contributing to a digitally and financially inclusive society.
- CSCs are more than service delivery points in rural India. They are positioned as change agents, promoting rural entrepreneurship and building rural capacities and livelihoods. They are enablers of community participation and collective action for engendering social change through a bottom-up approach with a key focus on the rural citizen.
- CSC e-Governance Services India Limited is a Special Purpose Vehicle (CSC SPV) incorporated under the Companies Act, 1956 by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), Government of India, to monitor the implementation of the Common Services Centers Scheme. It provides a centralized collaborative framework for delivery of services to citizens through CSCs, besides ensuring systemic viability and sustainability of the scheme.
Common Service Centres and Digital India
Digital India is a flagship programme of the Government of India with a vision to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy.
CSCs enable the three vision areas of the Digital India programme:
1. Digital infrastructure as Utility to Every Citizen
2. Governance and services on demand
3. Digital empowerment of citizens
The CSC would provide high quality and cost-effective video, voice and data content and services, in the areas of e-governance, education, health, telemedicine, entertainment as well as other private services. A highlight of the CSC is that it will offer web-enabled e-governance services in rural areas, including application forms, certificates, and utility payments such as electricity, telephone and water bills. In addition to the universe of G2C services, a wide variety of content and services that are offered are:
1. Agriculture Services (Agriculture, Horticulture, Sericulture, Animal Husbandry, Fisheries, Veterinary)
2. Education & Training Services (School, College, Vocational Education, Employment, etc.)
3. Health Services (Telemedicine, Health Check-ups, Medicines)
4. Rural Banking & Insurance Services (Micro-credit, Loans, Insurance)
5. Entertainment Services (Movies, Television)
6. Utility Services (Bill Payments, Online bookings)
7. Commercial Services (DTP, Printing, Internet Browsing, Village level BPO).
Objectives Of Scheme
Under the Digital India programme, at least one CSC (preferably more than one) is envisaged in 2.5 lakh Gram Panchayats for delivery of various electronic services to citizens across rural India. This would include strengthening and integrating the existing 100,000 CSCs under the CSC scheme and making operational an additional 1.5 lakh CSCs in Gram Panchayats.
• Non-discriminatory access to e-Services for rural citizens by making CSCs complete service delivery centres, utilizing the infrastructure already created in terms of other Mission Mode Projects.
• Expansion of self-sustaining CSC network till the Gram Panchayat level – 2.5 lakh CSCs, i.e. at least one CSC per Gram Panchayat, more than one preferred.
• Empowering District e-Governance Society (DeGS) under the district administration for implementation.
• Creating and strengthening the institutional framework for rollout and project management, thereby, supporting the State and District administrative machinery and handholding of VLEs through local language Help Desk support.
• Enablement and consolidation of online services under single technology platform, thereby making the service delivery at CSCs accountable, transparent, efficient and traceable, with a technology-driven relationship between all stakeholders.
• Providing Centralized Technological Platform for delivery of various services in a transparent manner to the citizens.
• Increasing sustainability of VLEs by sharing maximum commission earned through the delivery of e-services and encouraging women to join as VLEs.
Through collaborative framework, the objective of CSC is to integrate the twin goals of profit-making and social services, into a sustainable business model for achieving rapid socio-economic change in rural India.