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CSC e-Governance Services Ltd, under the Ministry of Electronics and IT, is in the process of preparing a detailed project report (DPR) for setting up 1,00,000 digital villages across the country.

The project rollout is expected to start from June onwards.

The ambitious programme of setting up these digital villages was announced in this year's Interim Budget and the government is likely to spend Rs 10,000 crore in setting up one lakh digital villages across the country in the next five years.

The DPR will be completed by April-end and allocation through various ministries will happen only after the Lok Sabha elections as multiple agencies and government bodies will be involved in this project, a senior official from the ministry told DNA Money.

The plan is to set up 25,000 digital villages through Common Service Centers (owned by CSC e-Governance Services) every year and funds will be allocated accordingly on an annual basis, the official said.

The first three months (April to June) will be planning phase, wherein anyways CSC doesn't need funds, CSC e-Governance Services CEO Dinesh Tyagi said, adding that CSCs have already set up 700 digital villages or digi gaons as they are called.

An investment of about Rs 10 lakh is required for turning one village into a digital one, according to estimates. Conceptually, a digital village means it will have a digital banker, a digital doctor and a digital teacher with internet WiFi access point. The internet connection will be provided through BharatNet, the government's programme to connect rural hinterland.

Every CSC center at the digital village will have 5-10 computers for providing online services to citizens, apart from various digital course offerings. Apart from this, small units for LED assembly, manufacturing of sanitary pads and photography lab will be set up, which will generate employment as well. A village-level entrepreneur (VLE) operates and manages the CSC unit and is paid based on a transaction model. VLE needs to invest in setting up the infrastructure.

Out of 3.5 lakh CSCs operating in across India, about 2.20 lakh are in the rural areas.

The DigiGaon project was started in 2017. It was formulated to improve health and education services in rural areas, provision of community access to IT-enabled resource centre, Wifi and LED street lighting at a common place in the village to create a conducive environment for digital literacy, financial inclusion and digital access to knowledge and services.

CSCs, an important part of government's Digital India initiative, function as a single access point for delivery of services electronically including passport enrolment. They also enable people to access government services online such as train tickets, birth certificates, online submission of various forms and bills.

CSCs are also readying 15 lakh enumerators for the 7th Economic Census to be conducted this year. The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) has roped in CSC e-Governance Services India for conducting the economic census, which is conducted across households to match the population census.

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Autor(en)/Author(s): Mansi Taneja

Quelle/Source: DNA India, 26.03.2019

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