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The Influence of Common Service Centers & ‘Digital India’ Initiative

The overall facts and figures clearly showcase India’s growing influence over the world economy.

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India – a country backed by its strong democracy and partnerships, has emerged as one of the fastest-growing major economies in the world. All thanks to the continuous market expansion, supported by the Government policies and growth plans, India is expected to be one of the three top economic powers of the world over the next 10-15 years.

With an expected GDP increase of 7% in the FY 2018-19 and continuous improvement in every sector, India has managed to maintain a sustained rapid growth of GDP for most of the last two decades leading to rising per capita incomes as well. An official data from the Reserve Bank of India suggests that India’s foreign reserves were $405.64 billion in the week up to March 15, 2019. The overall facts and figures clearly showcase India’s growing influence over the world economy.

Development Path through Technological Excellence
The rapid growth and improvement in the economic scenario have given a much-needed thrust to various business sectors. It has all been possible with better infrastructure support, availability of skilled resources, expanding market, and various government policies and plans, which have eased up the process of doing business in India, further boosting fresh business initiatives, making their way in the form of startups.

India has proclaimed to be the third-largest startup base in the world with over 4,750 technology startups. It has successfully become one of the most lucrative markets for highly advanced, innovative and technology-led businesses, where cities like Bangalore, Chennai and Pune have emerged as top favourite IT hubs. And today, it has successfully reached tier-2 and tier-3 cities as well. The availability of affordable smartphone/laptop devices and internet services, even in rural India has ensured that technology and its services reach everywhere.

Starting from website development, mobile application development, digital marketing, social media marketing to high-end business software development, India has emerged as a key player in the IT Industry, which has further provided the next level strength & support to the Indian economy.

IT Expansion & ‘Digital India’
The Indian Information Technology (IT) Sector has its influence in almost every business sector. From manufacturing, trading, marketing, sales to customer support, technology and its services have a strong and impactful presence everywhere. The continuous growth, technological advancements and emerging innovations in the IT Sector have enabled The Government of India to leverage the benefits at its best.

The ‘Digital India’ initiative, rolled out on 1st July 2015, is one such Government of India’s visionary mission to ensure that its services and schemes are made available electronically to all its citizens, irrespective of their current location, whether a tier-1 city or a rural village. The Government of India has left no stone unturned to improve the IT infrastructure, increasing internet connectivity and making India digitally empowered in the field of technology.

As a result, today’s internet and technically led Government services have reached even to the remote areas, further working as a bridge between the urban and rural divide. The wide presence and expansion of e-Government have driven a strong force in developing India, with a prime focus to enhance public service delivery to the citizens.

Entrepreneurship & ‘Digital India’ in Tier-2 & Tier-3 Cities
It is a general myth that entrepreneurship is possible in only metro cities like Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, New Delhi or Chennai. However, the scope to grow as an entrepreneur is now possible in tier-2 and tier-3 cities as well. Cities like Patna, Chandigarh, Bhopal, Raipur, Bhubaneshwar have marked tremendous growth in past decade, as the IT industry is flourishing in these cities at a very fast pace. ‘Digital India’ has played a major role in this development.

The entrepreneur in me always provoked to start something at my own place, Patna, Bihar. Even I personally wanted to do something for the land, where I was born, where I studied and the land which gave me so much. However, the unavailability of infrastructure support, resources and a work environment always came as a challenge for me.

But with time, things became better and now, Patna has a positive work environment with the availability of everything an IT company needs to operate smoothly. The ‘Digital India’ initiative has helped Patna grow huge in the IT Sector. Thanks to which, I started Brand Radiator, an IT company in Patna, where our motto is to empower business enterprises in tier-2 cities to leverage the power of IT and digital marketing.

Not only this, but we have managed to bring back a lot of people belonging to Bihar, by generating employment opportunities and reserving the brain drain.   

Common Service Center – Reducing the Digital Divide
The implementation of the Common Service Center (CSC) based service delivery model by the Government of India has been a major strategic decision to eliminate the digital divide gap that exists between the rural and urban, as well as economically less and abler citizens.

The Common Services Centre (CSC) programme is an initiative of the Ministry of Electronics & IT, Government of India, which promises to deliver public services in the form of e-services to every citizen, even at the village level, where the availability of the laptop or internet services was not present a few years ago.

It is an efficient multiple-services-single-point model for delivery of a host of essential public utility services in the areas of e-governance, agriculture, health, education,  entertainment as well as other private services. Whether it is any exam application, passport application, certificate, utility payments or Aadhar related services, a Common Service Center is capable enough to cater all these services in no time. The CSC offers a wide range of services, which encompass-

  • E-government Services
  • Online Application of Aadhar, PAN, GST, Passport, Driving License and more
  • Tax Filing (ITR, GST, Company Tax and more)
  • Agriculture Services (Agriculture, Horticulture, Sericulture, Animal Husbandry, Fisheries, Veterinary)
  • Education Services (Online Application, Certifcate Request)
  • Training Services (Skill development, employment training and job assistance)
  • Health Services
  • Banking & Insurance Services
  • Bill Payments, Online Booking and other utility services
  • Commercial Services
  • Entertainment Services

The reach of the Common Service Center delivery model is very huge, and it has been successfully implemented in the country. It has been a strategic approach of the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP), approved by the Government of India to introduce e-governance services on a massive scale across the country, and the results have been good too.

The CSC e-Governance Services India Limited is a Special Purpose Vehicle (CSC SPV), which has signed an agreement with 26 Banks (Public Sector Banks, Regional, Rural and Private Sector Banks) for enabling CSCs to become service points for the banking correspondent and customer service agents. 

Recently, Indian Highways Management Company Ltd (IHMCL) has inked a pact with CSC e-Governance Services for the issuance of FASTags through common service centres to ensure faster implementation of electronic toll collection.

There are several other examples which clearly showcases that the implementation of the Common Service Center (CSC) based service delivery model by the Government of India has been highly successful, which has further boosted technology adoption even in rural areas.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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Himani Mishra

She is enriched with 13+ years of experience in Telecom and Digital marketing companies with proven track record of success stories & technical skills achieved via rich cross-functional exposure across the industry. Her last stint was as the Vice President in a Bangalore based digital marketing company. She is the founder of the company Brand Radiator.

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