Now, is the time for rural to be given priority and development opportunities, says Bikram Jena, an entrepreneur in agri services. It is the known fact that agriculture to be the backbone for India, yet a lot of under-developed stages underlined for rural India to fulfill the growing needs and demands.
Likewise, the ministry of communications and information technology is working on an extensive plan to promote Common Service Centres (CSCs), an ongoing project, in rural areas. Sources in the ministry say as many as 14 states would have a CSC in each gram panchayat (GP) by the end of this financial year.
Implemented under the National e-Governance Plan, formulated by the department of electronics and information technology, these centres are to be internet-enabled front-end service delivery points at the village, for all types of services, government and private.
There are around 100,000 CSCs and officials say by end-March, another 90,000 would be set up.
Also, under the Digital India initiative, the government has formulated a plan to set up 150,000 CSCs in GPs. There are around 242,000 GPs. The government had earlier said rural post offices would be converted into CSCs.
“We are working on many projects around CSCs. (Many) states, including Gujarat, Jharkhand, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh, would have CSCs in each GP by the end of this financial year. Also, we are working on plans to rope in e-commerce companies to work with these CSCs, which will help villages get a direct link with online marketplaces, so that they are able to directly sell their products,” said a senior ministry official.
Under the ministry’s CSC Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) scheme, the government is trying to rope in e-commerce companies such as Paytm, Infibeam and Snapdeal to work with CSCs.
“The main objective of a CSC SPV is to enable a last-mile delivery network for rural markets. (Also, the SPV would play a major role as a buyer and seller aggregator, and as a hub of training activity for local sellers to use online facilities. These and providing last-mile reach to the end-customer would help in revenue generation from these CSCs,” added the official.