DigiGaon CSC movement is a game-changer, will expand to 700 villages: Govt

DigiGaon
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With an aim to enable villagers various internet-based services living in rural regions, the government has planned to expand its Digital Village or DigiGaon initiative, underway in six villages, to 700 villages by end of this year.

As part of digital India scheme, it offers services such as tele-education, Wi-Fi and LED-based lighting.

The common service centers (CSC) which provide basic electronic services such as banking will be expanded to 2.5 lakh villages, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union minister for electronics and IT, told reporters while inaugurating a Wi-Fi Choupal in Dhanauri Kalan village in Jewar constituency. It is an initiative for providing low-cost internet connectivity to the rural areas.

Around 2.91 CSCs operate in the country.

The CSC is part the National Common Minimum Programme to introduce e-governance on a massive scale. It promises to 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. 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.

Earlier during this year budget presentation, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley proposed DigiGaon initiative to provide telemedicines, education and skills through digital technology. It claims to help in access to services including getting domicile certificate, pension schemes, mobile recharges, etc at their door step.

DigiGaon will not only connects the village with Wi-Fi, it also assists the residents in entrepreneurship opportunities. This is to see how many activities can we initiate and also how the village can become a self-sustainable unit, Prasad added.

The govt is also thinking about a subsidy scheme for DigiGaon. At present, they are evaluating the scheme.

In the initial phase villages, Piyala and Dayalpur in Haryana, Chandankiyari East and Shivbabudih in Jharkhand and Dhanauri Kalan and Sultanpur in Uttar Pradesh were chosen for the pilot project.

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