Q. What are Common Service Centres? How do they promote the concept of good governance? (250 words)12 Mar, 2019 GS Paper 2 Polity & Governance
- In the introduction part explain what Common Service Centres are.
- Elaborate their benefits in general
- Examine how CSCs promote concept of good governance.
- Common Services Centre (CSC) programme is an initiative of the Ministry of Electronics & IT (MeitY),that serve as the access points for delivery of various electronic services to villages in India, thereby contributing to a digitally and financially inclusive society.
- It is a strategic cornerstone of the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP), as part of its commitment in the National Common Minimum Programme to introduce e-governance on a massive scale.
- CSC e-Governance Services India Limited is a Special Purpose Vehicle (CSC SPV) incorporated under the Companies Act, 1956 by the MeitY, to monitor the implementation of the Common Services Centers Scheme. It provides a centralized collaborative framework for delivery of services to citizens through CSCs, besides ensuring systemic viability and sustainability of the scheme
Advantages of CSCs:-
The CSCs would provide high quality and cost-effective video, voice and data content and services, in the areas of e-governance, education, health, telemedicine, entertainment as well as other private services.
A highlight of the CSCs is that it will offer web-enabled e-governance services in rural areas, including application forms, certificates, and utility payments such as electricity, telephone and water bills.
In addition to the universe of G2C services, a wide variety of content and services that are offered are:
- Agriculture Services (Agriculture, Horticulture, Sericulture, Animal Husbandry, Fisheries, Veterinary)
- Education & Training Services (School, College, Vocational Education, Employment, etc.)
- Health Services (Telemedicine, Health Check-ups, Medicines)
- Rural Banking & Insurance Services (Micro-credit, Loans, Insurance)
- Entertainment Services (Movies, Television)
- Commercial Services (DTP, Printing, Internet Browsing, Village level BPO)
They promote the concept of good governance:-
- Accountability: Accountability can be attained in governance by making entire process simple, clear and transparent, giving high priority to the needs and issues of society, ensuring security and safety to citizens, and facilitating free flow of information.
- Transparency: One important reason for the corruption is the unequal access to information or resources. The introduction of CSC scheme and ICT results in easy availability of information to everyone thereby promoting transparency.
- Participatory: The CSC is positioned as a change agent - that would promote rural entrepreneurship, build rural capacities and livelihoods, enable community participation and collective action for social change - through a bottom-up model with focus on the rural citizen
- Effective and Efficient: The objective is to develop a platform that can enable Government, private and social sector organizations to align their social and commercial goals for the benefit of the rural population in the remotest corners of the country through a combination of IT-based as well as non-IT-based services.
- Easy and integrated service delivery: The CSC Scheme, will act as the front-end delivery points for Government, private and social sector services to rural citizens of India, in an integrated manner.
- Responsiveness: The actors involved in the governance process become responsive when they are able to provide necessary services and information in a reasonable time frame. CSCs in India can ensure the timely delivery of services.
- Equity and Inclusiveness: It ensures equal opportunity to all and also helps to ensure safety and security to the citizen. CSC due to its wider reach promotes inclusiveness.
Undertaking such a mammoth task calls for active participation and close interaction amongst various stakeholders such as State Governments, local bodies, opinion makers and agencies/ institutions involved or having interest, commercial or otherwise, in rural areas/ markets.