The network of Common Service Centres (CSCs), which act as access points for delivery of various electronic services to villages in India, are set to be expanded to 2.50 lakh gram panchayats by the year end. According to minister for electronics and information technology Ravi Shankar Prasad, the CSC movement has transformed into a movement of change bringing services such as banking, pension distribution, digital literacy and telemedicine to rural and remote villages through electronic infrastructure. The CSC project is providing sustainable digital access to rural communities and giving necessary impetus for upliftment of the rural community, he said.
Positioned as strategic cornerstone of Digital India programme, the CSC model has adopted six villages in the country in the pilot phase. DigiGaon or Digital Village is conceptualised as a connected village where citizens can avail various e-services of the Central government, state governments and private players. These DigiGaons are projected to be change agents, promoting rural entrepreneurship and building rural capacities and livelihoods through community participation and collective action.
The digital villages have been equipped with solar lighting facility in their community centre, LED assembly unit, sanitary napkin production unit (with active participation of Asha and Anganwadi workers) and Wi-Fi choupal (rural Wi-Fi infrastructure and a slew of suitable applications). The idea behind the project, first announced in the Union Budget 2017-18, is to turn these villages into self-sustaining units.
These villages will have regular CSC services like banking, healthcare, education, financial services, and a host of other
services. In the initial phase, villages Piyala and Dayalpur (in Haryana), Chandankiyari East and Shivbabudih (in Jharkhand)
and Dhanauri Kalan and Sultanpur (in Uttar Pradesh) have been chosen for the pilot project.