Reboot common service centres

Use them for government services as originally planned


Samir Sachdeva | December 30, 2010

The central government has scaled up its plan to open common service centres, from one lakh villages in its original vision for e-governance to a centre in every village across the country. These centres are meant to make government services available to the common man. So the decision to scale up seems a step in the right direction. But the fact remains that most of the existing centres are still not functional for a variety of reasons, the most important of which is that the back-end support has not yet materialised.  

The project can still be salvaged if only the government addresses some key issues. To begin with, the entrepreneurs running these centres need to be educated better on the various government services available on the internet which can draw customers – passport forms can be downloaded, for example, or appointment at regional passport offices can be fixed online. Besides, these centres should be integrated with the state government portals, as is the case with MP Online and AP Online. The centres need to be integrated with the panchayats as well so as to disseminate information on state and central welfare schemes. The centres can also be used for online courses in collaboration with distant education universities like the IGNOU. Villagers should be allowed to submit their applications under the Right to Information Act here, along with their grievances and complaints against the local authorities. These centres can also serve as registration offices for UID, voter ID etc. The government can also use these centres for better implementation of schemes like the MNREGA. Video conferencing through the webcam can be used for providing information related to agriculture and tele-medicine to the rural population.

In areas where these centres have not yet been established, the post offices can be used for the purpose, thereby saving considerable investment on infrastructure. It might also help if these centres are given a common name across the country – instead of e-Disha Ekal Seva Kendra in Haryana, Vasudha Kendra in Bihar, Lok Mitra Kendras in Himachal Pradesh and so on.

As the government rushes to scale up the scheme, it will do well to remember that the success will be measured by the number of people who make use of government services available at these centres and not merely by the number of centres established. Most of these centres are surviving by providing DTP services, IT education, digital photography etc, which is not why they were set up.



Other News

NCP’s Ajit Pawar is LoP in Maharashtra assembly

After the Bharatiya Janta Party orchestrated rebellion in the Shiv Sena partly led by Eknath Shinde who took away with him a majority of MLAs, the Eknath Shinde-BJP government proved majority in the state assembly floor test, crossing  the midway mark (144) getting 164 votes in their favour. The Natio

Why sanitation should matter to you

How many times a day do you flush the toilet? This number is probably between five and eight times for an average person. How many times a day do you spare a thought towards what happens to the human waste after you flush it away? The answer to this is likely to be close to zero for most people.

Who is Eknath Shinde, the auto driver who became CM?

Hailing from Satara district of Maharashtra, Eknath Sambhaji Shinde had to leave his education midway to financially support his family. He worked as an auto rickshaw driver, a lorry driver and also said to have worked in a brewery before he came in contact with Anand Dighe, Shiv Sena’s Thane unit pr

Metro 3 car shed to stay at Aarey, say new CM Shinde

Former Maharashtra chief minister Davendra Fadnavis stunned all at a press conference Thursday and named Eknath Shinde, the rebel MLA from Shiv Sena, as the next chief minister. Though Fadnavis said he would stay out of the government, a few hours later the BJP leadership announced he would be the deputy c

Uddhav Thackeray resigns as chief minister of Maharashtra

Minutes after the Supreme Court ordered a floor test on Wednesday night, Uddhav Thackeray in a televised address resigned as the chief minister of Maharashtra and also as a member of legislative council (MLC). He later drove down to Raj Bhavan and tendered his resignation to the governor Bhagat Singh Koshi

Gig workforce expected to expand to 2.35 crore by 2029-30

The gig economy has arrived in India, as the Covid-19 pandemic has propelled a flexibility of employment. As many as 77 lakh workers were engaged in the gig economy, constituting 2.6% of the non-agricultural workforce or 1.5% of the total workforce in India. The gig workforce is expected to expand to 2.35

Visionary Talk: Sanjay Pandey, Mumbai Police Commissioner with Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now


Current Issue


Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter