Common Services Centres (CSCs) Scheme is the nationwide initiative of Government of India to provide support for establishing 1 lakh Common Service Centers in 6 lakh villages of India. CSCs scheme has been started in 2006 with the vision to develop these centres as a front-end delivery points for Government, private and social sector services to rural citizens of India in an integrated manner.
The objective is to develop a platform that can enable Government, private and social sector organizations to align their social and commercial goals for the benefit of the rural population in the remotest corners of the country through a combination of IT-based as well as non-IT-based services.
An estimated amount of Rs. 5742 crores, will be spent over a span of 4 years for the project. A major portion of the total amount will be pooled from contributions made by the state and central governments, while the balance will be mobilized from the private sector. The central government would contribute Rs. 856 crores while the state government contributes an amount of Rs. 793 crores out of the total amount. The Scheme is to be implemented through a Public-Private Partnership. CSCs are the primary physical front-end for delivery of Government and private services to citizens.
The government has taken a three pronged approach for effective implementation of National egovernance plan to enable anytime anywhere delivery of government services.
CSC’s are one among the three pillars, they support the infrastructure requirements
State Wide Area Network provides the necessary support for Connectivity. This has already been approved by the Government for Rs 3334 crore
State Data Centre Scheme is useful for secure hosting of data and applications
The Common Services Centres would be designed as ICT-enabled Kiosks having a PC along with basic support equipment like Printer, Scanner, UPS, with Wireless Connectivity as the backbone and additional equipment for edutainment, telemedicine, projection systems, etc., as the case may be.
The CSC Scheme has a 3-tier implementation framework:
First (CSC) level would be the local Village Level Entrepreneur (VLE) to provide service the rural consumer in a cluster of 5-6 villages (but Tamil Nadu government has planned to set up an CSCs centre for every 3 villages)
Second/middle level would be an entity termed the Service Centre Agency (SCA) to operate, manage and build the VLE network and business. An SCA would be identified for one or more districts (one district would cover 100-200 CSCs).
Third level would be the agency designated by the State- the State Designated Agency (SDA) – to facilitate implementation of the Scheme within the State and to provide requisite policy, content and other support to the SCAs