Common Services Centers (CSC)
Physical facilities for delivering Government e-Services to rural and remote locations where availability of computers and Internet is negligible or mostly absent. Services provided are essential public utility services, social welfare schemes, healthcare, financial, education and agriculture services. For example, they can book railway tickets online or pay their electricity bill online through these facilities. Some facilities also provide banking services, and training to make rural people digitally literate.
CSCs are set up in a public-private partnership model, with a designated state agency being a franchisor of sorts for village level entrepreneurs (VLEs) to set up centres. The VLEs must meet a set of minimum requirements. They must also make arrangements for infrastructure (a room with two personal computers and two printers). VLEs usually record 5,000 to 8,000 transactions per months.
Scale: 270,000 centres in India (December 2017), 8.27 million people have been trained to become digitally literate and 5.3 million people have been certified (October 2017).
- Having access to computer and digital services improves the life of rural population.
The concept of CSCs was approved in 2006 as part of the National e-Governance Plan. It’s part of the vision of the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, of “Digital India”, to make one person in every family digitally literate.
- CSCs have now their own ecosystem and have been growing very quickly. It reached 200,000 centers in december 2016 and 270,000 centres in 2017.
- The plan is to make 60 million rural households digitally literate by March 2019.