700 digital villages to be established by the year end: Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad

Guwahati, May 21: The network of Common Service Centres (CSCs), which act as access points for delivery of various electronic services to villages in India, are set to expand to 2.5 lakh gram panchayats by the year end, said Union Minister for Electronics and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad yesterday at Dhanauri Kalan village, Gautam Budh Nagar in Uttar Pradesh. “700 digital villages will be established by the year end” the minister added.

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Addressing an event to showcase a host of digital services, Prasad said that the CSC movement had transformed into a movement of change bringing services like banking, pensions, digital literacy and tele-medicine to rural and remote villages through electronic infrastructure.

Union Minister of Culture(IC) Dr Mahesh Sharma, who was also present at the event, said that the CSC project is providing sustainable digital access to rural communities and are giving the necessary impetus for the upliftment of rural communities.

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The CSC model has adopted six villages in the country in the pilot phase. DigiGaon or Digital Village is conceptualised as a connected village where citizens can avail various e-Services of the Central Government, state governments and private players in a rural and remote villages in the country.

The DigiGaons are projected to be agents of change, promoting rural entrepreneurship and building rural capacities and livelihoods through community participation and collective action.

The digital villages have been equipped with solar lighting facility in their community center, LED assembly unit, sanitary napkin unit (with active participation on Asha and Anganwadi workers) and Wi-fi choupal (rural Wi-Fi infrastructure and a slew of suitable applications).

These villages would also have the regular CSC services like banking, health, education, financial services and a host of other services.

In the initial phase villages Piyala and Dayalpur (in Haryana), Chandankiyari East and Shivbabudih (in Jharkhand) and Dhanauri Kalan and Sultanpur (in Uttar Pradesh) have been chosen for the pilot project.

Source: PIB

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