Common Service Centers

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Common Services Centers (CSC) (Hindi: सर्व सेवा केंद्र) are multiple-services-single-point model for providing facilities for multiple transactions at a single geographical location. The main purpose of these centres is to provide a physical facility for delivery of e-Services of the Government of India to the rural and remote locations where availability of computers and Internet is currently negligible or mostly absent. The introduction of eGovernance on a massive scale is part of the Common Minimum Programme (CMP) of the UPA-II (2009-2014) government of India. The CSC project, which forms a strategic component of the National eGovernance Plan was approved in September 2006.[1][2] It is also one of the approved projects under the Integrated Mission Mode Projects of the National eGovernance Plan.[3]


CSC is meant to be a low cost vehicle for Government institutions to deliver eGovernance services to the rural population of India in 'Simple, Moral, Accountable, Responsive and Transparent’(SMART) and most cost-effective manner.[4] They are the physical front-end for delivery of eGovernment Services to citizens and accepting requests for government services from the private citizen via eForms.[5] They would also be used for delivery of services and interaction with private service providers. The aim is to create 1,00,000 CSC across 600,000 rural and remote locations[5] of India. CSC is a strategic cornerstone of the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP), approved by the Government in May 2006, as part of its commitment in the National Common Minimum Programme to introduce e-governance on a massive scale


Officially, the objectives of the CSC have been stated as follows:[6]

  • Access to information : all remote/ rural citizens
  • Delivery of public services – G2C & B2C
  • ICT for rural Empowerment of socially disadvantaged people for inclusive growth
  • Access to quality education / skill upgradation
  • Access to cost efficient & quality health services
  • CSC as a change agent - To promote rural entrepreneurship, enable community participation and effect collective action for social improvement[2]

Through collaborative framework, the objective of CSC is to integrate the twin goals of profit making and social services, into a sustainable business model for achieving rapid socio-economic change in rural India.[7]

Revenue support to Common Service Centres[edit]

It is envisaged that G2Cservices may take longer to be operational, hence the SCAs(Service Centre Agencies) are to be provided support in the form of “Guaranteed Provision of Revenue from Governmental Services” over a period of four years, once the CSCs are certified as operational by the SDA(State Designed Agency). The amount of revenue support is proposed to be 33.33% of the normative value which works out to Rs. 3304/- per CSC per month. This support is to be shared by the Union and State Governments in equal ratio. However, the exact amount of support is to be arrived at through a ‘price discovery mechanism’ discovered through bids (not to exceed 50% of the normative value). [8] [9]


The following types of services are expected to be provided at the CSCs:[6]

  1. G2C Communication - All G2C (Government to Consumer) Communication including Health, Education, Agriculture, Human Resource Development, Employment, Fundamental Rights, Disaster Warnings, RTI, etc.
  2. Information dissemination - Interactive kiosks, voice & Local Language Interface, including web browsing
  3. Edutainment - Including multi-functional space for group interaction, entertainment, training and empowerment
  4. eGovernance & eServices - Transactions like Market (eKrishi)Information, Banking,Insurance, Travel, Post, eForms to request government services, etc.
  5. C2G Kiosk - Grievances, complaints, requests and suggestions.
  6. Financial Inclusion - Payment for NREGA, etc.
  7. Healthcare - Telemedicine & remote health camps have also been envisaged as part of the CSC's extended functionalities
  8. Agriculture
  9. Rural BPO

Project governance[edit]

The project governance would have a 3-tier implementation framework[6] involving the following stakeholders:[2]

  1. State Designated Agency(SDA) - SDA would be the nodal agency at state level involved for the monitoring and supervision of the project progress at the state level.
  2. Service Centre Agency(SCA) - This would be the main implementing agency providing the required investment budget and the functional specifications of the CSC. This would be equivalent to a franchisor of the CSCs, typically for one or more districts, as identified by the SDA.
  3. Village Level Entrepreneur(VLE) - This would be the local level entrepreneur who would be in-charge of running the daily operations of the CSC after its implementation. This is loosely equivalent to a franchisee and would serve rural consumers in a group of 5-6 villages.[5]

Project components[edit]

The Project Components of the CSC consist primarily of Content & Services, Technology, Connectivity, Capacity Building and Business Model.[10]


The implementation of the CSC would be done in a Public-Private-Partnership(PPP) model whereby the total project cost of Rs. 57.42 billion, over 4 years, would be shared between Government(30% equal to Rs. 16.49billion) and private finances (70% equal to Rs. 40.93 billion).[6] The split between central and state government would be Rs. 8.56 billion and Rs. 7.93 billion respectively.[5] As of 31st Jan 2011, 88,689 CSCs have been rolled out in thirty one States/UTs. 100% CSCs have been rolled out in 11 (Eleven) States (Chandigarh, Delhi, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Kerala, Manipur, Pondicherry, Sikkim & Tripura). More than 80% of the rollout has been completed in 6 States (Assam, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram and West Bengal). In about 6 States (Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Tamil Nadu and Uttarakhand) implementation of CSCs have crossed half way mark (more than 50%). It is expected that the roll out of 100,000 CSCs would be completed by March 2011.[1]


External links[edit]