CSCs to play role in shaping rural India

CSCs are the access points for delivery of various digital services to villages and rural areas across the country and contribute towards fulfilling the government’s mandate of a digitally and financially inclusive society

CSCs to play role in shaping rural India

Common Service Centers (CSCs) are well placed to play umbilical cord role in the process of shaping new India where all services and incentives are available to the last man in the line at his doorstep” Union Minister of Electronics & IT and Law & Justice, Ravi Shankar Prasad said in New Delhi today while honouring village level entrepreneurs (VLEs) who have topped in transacting through CSCs. The minister added there can be no other model which can ensure empowering of the rural people while protecting economic viability. CSC movement has reached a point of no return and it is bound to be a subject of research in the near future.

The CSCs are an integral part of Digital India Programme. They are the access points for delivery of various digital services to villages and rural areas across the country and contribute towards fulfilling the government’s mandate of a digitally and financially inclusive society.

CSCs offer assisted access of e-services to citizens with a focus on enhancing governance. Apart from delivering essential government and public utility services, CSCs also deliver a range of social welfare schemes, financial services, education and skill development courses, healthcare, agriculture services and digital literacy.

The CSC project, which forms a strategic component of the National eGovernance Plan (NeGP) was started in September 2006.

Prasad assured the participating VLEs that every effort has been made to find a way for further strengthening their engagement in the process of reaching masses through the use of Aadhaar. CSC Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) started its journey as Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) Registrar in 2013 and became the topmost UIDAI Registrar in the country in a span of three years, generating around 12 percent of the total Aadhaar across the country. Under Aadhaar service, CSCs provide Aadhaar enrolment and child enrolment. They also provide Aadhaar authentication and e-KYC services to various government departments, banks and private companies. So far, CSC SPV has tied-up with 53 government departments, public sector undertakings (PSUs), banks, insurance companies for Aadhaar and eKYC authentication across the country.

He said CSC SPV as a Corporate Banking Correspondent has signed an agreement with 26 public sector banks, regional rural banks and private sector banks for enabling CSCs to become Banking Correspondent Agents and Customer Service Points.

CSC SPV has partnered with the country’s retail payment platform National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to launch Aadhaar-enabled payment system in January 2016. This service facilitates disbursement of government entitlements like payment under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Gurantee Act (MGNREGA), social security pension, handicapped and old age pensions of any central or state government bodies, using Aadhaar authentication. At present, withdrawal as well as deposit facilities are available through CSCs under this system.

CSC SPV has been granted license by Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) to market specific insurance products and services through Rural Authorised Persons knowns as VLEs. The services include life insurance, motor insurance, crop insurance, health insurance, cattle insurance, and personal accident insurance from 37 insurance companies. 

With the aim to provide grassroot level access points for health consultation among the communities and effect a behaviour change among communities to seek preventive healthcare, CSCs offer a range of healthcare services: tele-consultations, diagnostic services and affordable generic medicines through Jan Aushadhi Stores. CSCs are offering video based tele-consultation services in allopathy, ayurvedic and homeopathy systems throughout India at affordable rates, through the platform of Digital Seva Portal. They also partnered with Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India (BPPI) to set up generic medicine stores under the Jan Aushadhi Scheme at CSCs, with an aim to improve access to affordable and quality medicines for citizens in rural and remote areas. In the diagnostic, CSC SPV has partnered with Hello Health, 3Nethra and Medi 360 to provide diagnostic services through the network of CSCs.

The Changing Face of Rural India