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Critical Factors in the Implementation of Common Service Center (CSC) Scheme in Rural India-Ms. Sandeep Kaur

Critical Factors in the Implementation of Common Service Center (CSC) Scheme in Rural India-Ms. Sandeep Kaur

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This paper was submitted for eWORLDFORUM 2011 conference Page 1
Critical factors in the Implementation of Common Service Center (CSC)Scheme in Rural India
Ms. Sandeep Kaur
Assistant Professor, Department of Communication and Media StudiesBharathiar University, Coimbatore
641046, Tamilnadu, India(email: sandeepkaur78@gmail.com,Phone: 09442280012) ***
 Abstract category: CSC Programme under Telecenter)
India is devoted towards ICT-enabled Rural Governance archetype in
technological,social, cultural and political contexts. Eight internationally-agreed goals which seek to alleviatepoverty are intertwined with the provision of ICT-driven public services at affordable costs to theunderprivileged on a public-private partnership mode. However, given the high incidence of poverty in rural India, e-Governance implementation to cover 135 million rural poor is anincreasingly complex process. Common Service Centre (CSC), the Rs. 40,000 croreinventiveness was the last confederacy in the realization of the National e-Governance Plan(NeGP) of India to make successful e-Government roll out in the country.Approved by the Cabinet in May 2006, the Department of Information & Technology(DIT), called for the rollout of over 100,000 CSCs across the country by March 2011. It visionsthe provision of reasonably priced public services to the common man in his locality to empowercitizens. Through the CSCs, the Governments at the National, State and Local levels areexpected to provide e-Services such as registration of birth, death and marriage certificates;information on weather conditions and prices of agricultural products to rural farmers; issuanceof electronic ID cards for farmers, etc. The CSCs are expected to be run by village-levelentrepreneurs. While 14 major e-governance projects that have already gone live, the
This paper was submitted for eWORLDFORUM 2011 conference Page 2
Government expects all the 27 mission mode projects envisaged under the e-governance draft, totake off by end of 2014.
The total estimated number of CSCs is 2,50,000 by 2012, covering allPanchayats.
Common Service Centers (CSCs) are still by far the most widely used Internet access points. About 65 per cent of all Internet access in rural India happens at a CSC or any publiclyaccessible computer. Education related surfing (49 per cent), general Internet surfing (46 per cent), gaming purposes (28 per cent) and biodata and CV services (25 per cent) were the mainreasons for people to access CSCs.
he total number of active internet users in rural India is projected to rise by 98 per cent and touch 24 million by December 2011
 About 69 per cent of therural population is aware of internet, Only 18 per cent have had to access internet fromCommon Service Centers (CSCs) located outside the 10 km radius.
 Connectivity has been provided to 66,758 CSCs out of which 18,222 CSCs are connectedthrough BSNL as on 31st March 2011. A total of 93,163 CSCs have been rolled out throughoutthe country with 100% roll out in 11 States
(Chandigarh, Delhi, Goa, Gujarat, Tripura, Haryana, Jharkhand, Kerala, Manipur, Puducherry and Sikkim); m
ore than 80% rollout in 13States (
Orissa, Assam, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, HimachalPradesh,Tamilnadu, Meghalaya, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Mizoram, and West Bengal
) andmore than 50% roll out in about 3 States
(Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Arunachal Pradesh)
.Complete roll out of 100,000 CSCs is expected to be accomplished by June 2011. Over 100,000rural micro enterprises have been created as a result of execution of this scheme.Though CSCs have been recognized as powerful change agents towards sociallyinclusive community participation, the scheme is being snowed down under with issueshindering its functions and sustainability. Even in states that have legitimately achieved absoluterollout, all the established centres are yet not completely operational. Some centers had beenopened and then got closed while a huge chunk instituted non - G2C services. Significantly, out
This paper was submitted for eWORLDFORUM 2011 conference Page 3
of the total rollout of over 90,000 CSCs, around 5,000 are presently non-operational that hasresulted in the condemnation of the scheme for the setback in completion pushed to March 2011.A plethora of reasons could be affirmed for such a criticism such as poor connectivity; lack of proper infrastructure; lack of cooperation from government officials; lack of e-governmentservices; lack of adequate training of the Village Level Entrepreneurs who man these centres;withdrawal of Service Center Agency (SCA); delay in facilitating the implementation of thescheme by State Level Agency (SLA); under-developed public-private partnership; lack of coordination among various stakeholders; lack of legal and policy measures as contemplated inthe CSC framework; lack of promotional campaigns and lack of monitoring of the scheme andproject management. Funding, rural electrification, cost-effectiveness in accessing e-services aresome of the challenges associated with the implementation of the scheme.It becomes imperative to examine the identification of various issues pertaining to thedelay in rollout across various states in the country to ensure complete implementation of theCSCs. This paper delineates some of the critical factors that inhibit implementation of CSCscheme across the country by deeply investigating and exploring the factors that have resulted insuccessful roll out and ongoing operations in some states. These factors can be consideredrepresentative in identifying those critical issues serving as the roadblocks to successful rolloutand sustenance of these CSCs. A thematic framework of challenges posited in the delivery of e-services through CSCs was developed by analyzing success-failure factors in the implementationof such massive projects in rural development context through extensive review of secondaryresearch conducted in the field of study. The existence of these factors and the relationshipbetween them will help in the effective planning and execution of e-government strategies inrural context. Since sustainability of such mission-oriented national developmental schemesremain one of the key issues facing e-inclusion projects, findings of the study will contribute toexplicate key issues and challenges in project management at national level with internationalrecognition, enhance community participation by creating awareness among the rural masses

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