Govt Targets Rs. 3 Lakh Crore Turnover At CSCs
Enthused by the performance of Common Service Centres (CSC), the government has asked village level entrepreneurs (VLEs) to aim for a turnover of Rs. 3-lakh crore in the next five years, from around Rs. 70,000 crore now.
CSCs, which have increased from around 83,000 in 2014 to 3.6 lakh now across India, act as access points for delivery of various services. Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Electronics and Information Technology, said the government intends to promote self-help groups, and added that CSC could act as a catalyst for such a movement.
“In the next five years, I want CSCs to transact business worth Rs. 3-lakh crore. I want the self-help group movement in India through CSCs. There is no dearth of work for CSCs,” Prasad said here at the celebration of CSC Diwas. He said the target set is “achievable” given the network and service delivery track record of CSCs, which, apart from providing a platform for essential government and public utility services, also deliver a range of social welfare schemes, financial services, education and skill development courses, healthcare, agriculture services and digital literacy.
Apart from routine awards everywhere to these VLEs, Prasad said the government will honour the best women VLEs who can be an example to the rest of the CSCs. He said such women VLEs would be awarded a cash prize of ₹10,000 each and also a chance to travel to the Silicon Valley (California) so that they can learn how start-ups work there.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Dharmendra Pradhan said the CSCs would play a key role in building a ‘New India’. “In the coming days, in LPG distribution, we will be adding a new avenue —point of sales. We will give priority to CSCs to be the point of sales,” he said.
Meanwhile, a number of memoranda of understandings (MoUs) were signed between CSC and corporates, as part of the celebration.
For instance, the one between CSC and the Department of Telecom (DoT) under the BharatNet project. As part of the agreement, they will conduct first line maintenance of GPON (Gigabit Passive Optical Networks) at gram panchayats and ensure last mile connectivity through Wi-Fi and fibre.
The VLE will also be made the custodian of GPON equipment in panchayats under the partnership and, in addition, the operation and maintenance of BharatNet fiber will be done through CSCs.
CSC also exchanged MoU with the Ministry of Agriculture facilitating access to Krishi Vikas Kendra services through CSCs. In addition, the CSC Academy has partnered with Facebook to jointly design and develop a digital curriculum, and provide digital training to 2.5 lakh rural entrepreneurs in over 3,000 villages.
Under this, Facebook and CSC will provide training to 5,000 women Village Level Entrepreneurs (VLEs) in ten States — Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Telangana, Bihar, Kerala, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, the statement added.
CSC has also partnered with Facebook to train 2.5 lakh women entrepreneurs in digital marketing across the country. Facebook in association with 5,000 women CSC owners will help women in rural areas to leverage from various marketing tools on Facebook to increase their earnings.
Similarly, it has tied-up with HDFC for providing credit card to such small and medium entrepreneurs, to expand their businesses in rural India.
“Known as HDFC-CSC credit card for small and medium businesses, this will transform rural credit mechanism in India,” Dinesh Tyagi, Chief Executive Officer, CSC, said.―The Hindu Business Line
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