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Indian government to use AI, data analytics to improve e-services in rural areas

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has been trying to develop the common service centre (CSC) scheme to help connect citizens in remote parts of the country. The government plans to use AI and data analytics to improve services across sectors such as finance, education, and healthcare, among others.

CSCs are facilities created under the Digital India programme. CSCs function as access points for the delivery of government e-services like social welfare schemes, healthcare, finance, education, and agriculture services.

MeitY, through the CSC SPV (special purpose vehicle) agency, will collaborate with a private company to develop and deliver digital services to about 900 million citizens living in rural areas in the country.

According to reports, the vision is to develop CSCs into a reliable and far-reaching IT-enabled network of citizen service points connecting the local population with government departments, business establishments, banks, insurance companies, and educational institutions. The scheme will impact primary, secondary, and tertiary sectors of the country’s economy.

A representative at CSC SPV said that the collaboration will help utilise technologies for the delivery of various services to citizens. Education, financial inclusion, and telemedicine are the areas where innovative technologies can be utilised to improve the quality of life for Indian citizens.

The CSC scheme has been quickly growing ever since it was first approved of in 2006. In fact, the country’s first airport CSC has been set up in the Swami Vivekananda Airport in Chhattisgarh’s capital. It is expected to be inaugurated by the end of the month. The centre will enable several B2C services to citizens visiting the airport.

According to reports, the Raipur centre will be a model centre under the CSC scheme. A few other airports across the country had been identified as potential locations to set up centres. Ranchi is expected to be the next city to have an airport CSC, followed by airports in larger cities.

Also, the Statistics Ministry and CSC SPV have decided to use a mobile phone application to conduct the country’s 7th economic census, beginning in June. It will speed up the process of data collection and analysis.

The census will provide insights into economic activities and ownership patterns of businesses across the country. According to a statement, the ministry has introduced geo-tagging which will help find out the distribution of economic activity in a certain place.

The ministry said that more than 6,000 training workshops will take place within a month for CSC enumerators. It will start with a state level workshop in Madhya Pradesh and gradually will be spread across all the states with the district level workshops. There will be two rounds of supervision to ensure the census is accurate.

This initiative is expected to set a precedent for the entire country for carrying out a large-scale survey work similar to this.

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