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Inclusive Digital Services Transforming Rural India

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A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the Common Services Centre Special Purpose Vehicle (CSC SPV) and the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmer’s Welfare marks a significant step towards inclusive digital transformation in India.

Image credits: Press Information Bureau

This collaborative effort aims to convert Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) registered under the ‘Formation & Promotion of 10,000 FPOs scheme’ into Common Services Centers (CSCs), thereby facilitating the delivery of citizen-centric services to rural communities.

CSCs play a crucial role as access points for delivering various e-governance and business services to citizens residing in rural and remote areas across the country. This extensive network of CSCs forms the backbone of the government’s vision for a socially, financially, and digitally inclusive society.

By offering assisted access to a wide array of e-services, including governance enhancement, essential government services, social welfare schemes, financial services, education, health, agriculture services, and digital literacy, CSCs bridge the digital divide, ensuring equitable access to services for all citizens, irrespective of their geographical location.

Under the oversight of the CSC e-Governance Services India Limited, a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) established under the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY), CSCs operate within a centralised collaborative framework.

The CSC SPV ensures the systemic viability and sustainability of the CSC scheme, aiming to develop CSCs as ubiquitous IT-enabled citizen service points connecting local populations with government departments, businesses, banks, insurance companies, and educational institutions. Through this coordinated effort, CSCs aim to have a significant impact on all sectors of the country’s economy, fostering economic growth and social development.

As part of the MoU, 10,000 FPOs will undergo conversion into CSCs, with the CSC SPV facilitating their integration into the Digital Seva Portal. Furthermore, CSCs will undertake training and capacity-building initiatives for FPOs, ensuring their seamless transition into the CSC ecosystem.

The Government of India’s Central Sector Scheme for “Formation and Promotion of 10,000 Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs)” launched in 2020 aims to empower farmers by enhancing their bargaining power, leveraging economies of scale, reducing production costs, and augmenting farmers’ incomes through the aggregation of agricultural produce.

This initiative, coupled with the conversion of FPOs into CSCs, is expected to increase employment opportunities in rural areas while bolstering agricultural services delivered through CSCs.

During the programme, Mr Sanjay Rakesh, MD-CEO of CSC SPV, expressed his pleasure at the prospect of 10,000 FPOs operating as Common Services Centers, highlighting the increased accessibility of CSC services to farmers. This initiative is poised to redefine rural development and digital empowerment in India, enhancing the scope of agriculture-related services provided by CSCs and positioning FPOs as nodal centres for a variety of essential services, including Direct Benefit Transfer, Interest Subsidy Scheme, Crop Insurance Scheme, and fertiliser and seed inputs.

OpenGov Asia reported that The Ministry of External Affairs, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, and CSC e-Governance Services India Limited signed an MoU to integrate eMigrate services with Common Services Centers across India.

It provides blue-collar workers and other migrants with seamless access to essential services such as registration, document processing, service booking, and awareness creation. It enhances digital governance, promotes safe and legal migration and underscores India’s commitment to a digitally inclusive society, especially benefiting rural and remote areas.

The MoU between CSC SPV and the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmer’s Welfare represents a significant stride towards inclusive digital transformation in India. By leveraging the extensive network of CSCs and converting FPOs into CSCs, this collaboration aims to empower rural communities, advance agricultural services, and drive digital and economic growth across the country.

Through this concerted effort, India endeavours to create an inclusive digital economy where all citizens, including those in rural areas, can benefit from the transformative power of technology and digital services.


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