The Union Cabinet (India) has approved a Rs. 5,742-crore scheme to set up one-lakh common service centres (CSCs) in rural areas across the country that would offer a basket of Government to citizens and business to customer services.
The Centres would be Internet-enabled with broadband connectivity with a speed of 256 kbps. Announcing the decision, spokesperson of the Government said the scheme would be implemented as a public-private partnership (PPP). The CSCs are expected to be rolled out over the next 18 months, by March 2008, were conceived as a strategic cornerstone of the national e-Governance plan of the Government, which is envisaged to ensure anytime, anywhere web-enabled delivery of Government services. The CSCs would provide high quality and cost-effective video, voice and data content and services in the area of e-Governance, education, health, telemedicine, and entertainment. Among other things, they will make available application forms and certificates and have facilities for payment of electricity, water, telephone bills. They will also offer services such as remote consultations for health care, e-Enabled vocational training, rural BPO, agriculture price and weather information and market and supply chain linkages. They are expected to create one-lakh direct jobs and two lakhs to three lakhs additional indirect jobs.