The Common Service Centres (CSCs) have been an integral part of government’s Digital India initiative aimed at providing a viable interface between common public and government agencies and departments, business establishments, insurance companies and educational institutions paving the ground for efficient delivery of essential public utility services. Serving as an IT-enabled bridge between the government and the governed, they have truly revolutionised the idea of governance on the ground. That they have grown from only 83,000 CSCs in 2014 to almost 3 lakh CSCs today speaks of their immense contribution to the cause of delivery in governance.
How they have made governance more efficient
Serving as first point of connect:
By virtue of being a countrywide network that provides immediate access to public services, it is the first point of contact for common people redefining the delivery of services to the last mile. The ease of use, the ready access and through the IT-enabled transparent processes, common citizens do not have to run from one government office to another with no sight of redressal in the end.
Provision of digital identity:
Through Aadhaar, the Government has provided digital identity to 122.9 crore residents of the country with 99% coverage of adult population until November-end 2018.
Facilitating digital literacy:
The Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan (PMGDISHA), the largest digital literacy programme in the world launched in 2017 has already imparted training to around 1.58 crore people in rural India by 2018-end. With 1.62 crore beneficiaries having been enrolled, the aim is to train 6 crore people eventually
Making digital payments a habit:
Over the past four years digital payment transactions have grown multifold from 316 crore transactions in 2014-15 to 2071 crore transactions in 2017-18.
Plugging of leakages through DBT:
A total of ₹ 5.49 lakh crore have been disbursed through Aadhaar based DBT to beneficiaries of 433 government schemes which have led to saving of over ₹ 90,000 crore in the last 4 years by weeding out fictitious claimants.
Enabling rural entrepreneurship:
Business Process Outsourcing (BPOs) are no more the preserve of the metros and big cities. In smaller towns and rural areas, under India BPO Promotion Scheme, 45, 840 seats have been allocated to 163 companies, resulting in setting up of 240 units distributed across 110 locations of 20 States & 2 UTs. BPOs are promoting local entrepreneurs while giving employment to women and differently-abled.
Taking healthcare to the grassroots:
CSC offers an array of healthcare services including tele-consultations, diagnostic services and affordable generic medicines through Jan Aushadhi Stores. By offering video based tele-consultation service in allopathy, ayurvedic and homeopathy systems throughout India at affordable rates through the platform of Digital Seva Portal, healthcare to the grassroots has become a new reality.
Identification and authentication of beneficiaries of govt programmes:
For instance, the Common Service Centres will utilize their over 3 lakh village level entrepreneurs for identifying beneficiaries for the newly launched Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana, the largest healthcare programme in the world targeting 50 crore beneficiaries.
Therefore, CSCs have been a success on all fronts under the leadership of PM Modi. In an age of enlightened citizenry where the quality of governance can no more be taken for granted, in a short period of four and a half years, these centres have truly exemplified the idea of ‘Minimum Government Maximum Governance’.