The Common Service Centre, as we can see, is part of the government’s e-governance program in India (Department of Electronics & IT (DeitY), Ministry of Communications and IT). CSCs have played a significant role in offering numerous e-governance services to make it easy for people to benefit from e-governance. The CSC’s endeavor is to lead to digital and financial inclusion in the country.
CSCs are more popular in rural areas and small towns of India. In such regions, they function as change agents, promoting rural entrepreneurship and becoming the connecting point between the people and government. These centers enable people to participate actively in government welfare programs and reap their benefits.
The CSCs come under the purview of CSC e-Governance Services India Limited, a Special Purpose Vehicle (CSC SPV) incorporated by the Government of India under the Companies Act, 1956. A special purpose vehicle is a subsidiary to another company. Its asset/liability structure and legal status make it secure even if the main company becomes defunct.
CSCs enable implementation of the Digital India program by providing digital infrastructure as an essential utility to every citizen, thus ensuring governance and services on demand, thereby enabling the digital empowerment of citizens.
Services offered by CSCs
The CSCs aim to provide high quality and low cost audio visual content service in areas such as e-governance, health, telemedicine, education, entertainment and other services. Significantly, these entities offer web-enabled e-governance services in rural and remote locations. The services offered include submitting application forms, certificates, payment of utility bills (electricity, water, telephone, etc).
Additionally, the CSCs offer services for areas such as agriculture (horticulture, sericulture, fisheries, animal husbandry, veterinary), education and training services, including schools, colleges, employment, vocational, as well as health services including medicines, health check-ups and telemedicine. They also provide services in rural banking, such as insurance microloans, insurance, commercial services including printing, Internet browsing, and so on.
CSC 2.0 Scheme
CSC 2.0 is the service delivery oriented model conceived under the Digital India program. The government is planning to have more than one CSC at more than 2.5 lakh Gram Panchayats to enable them to effectively deliver the services they offer.
The CSC2.0 comes with more services to citizens by enabling optimal utilization of the existing infrastructure created under SWAV, e-district, SSDC, SDC and NOFN/BharatNet.
CSC 2.0 aims to bring the following changes.
- To enable equal access to e-services to each citizen by enabling CSCs to complete service delivery centers, utilize the existing infrastructure in terms of Mission Mode Projects.
Strengthen district e-governance society (DeGS) under district administration.
- Develop institutional framework for project management and for supporting the State and district administration.
- Offer online services under a single technology platform, making the CSCs accountable, efficient, transparent and traceable.
- Function as a central technological platform for delivering various services with transparency.
The CSC 2.0 Scheme is a step ahead in respect of e-governance to take the various government services to the doorsteps of people. It’s an effective tool, using which citizens can benefit from the various services offered by the government.