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UP villages going tech savvy

india Updated: May 06, 2010 09:23 IST
Umesh Raghuvanshi
Umesh Raghuvanshi
Hindustan Times
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A birth, caste or income certificate at the click of a mouse at the Common Service Centers (CSCs) in villages will soon be a reality as the State Government erects II infrastructure for the ongoing e-district project across Uttar Pradesh.

About 32 services including issuance of ration cards, domicile certificates, payment of pension and other allied services will be provided through the CSCs being set up under the Private Public Partnership (PPP) model now.

"We propose to implement the project by March 31, 2011. About 5600 of the proposed 17000 CSCs have been already set up," said the Principal Secretary IT and Electronics Chandra Prakash while speaking to Hindustan Times.

"So far the villagers used to travel miles to the district headquarters to get such ocuments. It is however proving to be a time consuming process. A CSC will assist villagers to fill up the applications and allowed to charge a nominal sum of Rs 10 to Rs 15 for issuing a document," he said.

The State Government had implemented a pilot project providing these services through the CSCs in - Ghaziabad, Gautam Budha Nagar, Sitapur, Sultanpur, Rae Bareli and Gorakhpur districts. So far about seven lakh documents have been issued through the CSCs (set up in a cluster of six villages) in the past few months in these districts.

"As the project in these districts has been found successful the Union Government on March 15, 2010 asked us to implement the project across Uttar Pradesh and other states also," he said. "The CSCs have to be a successful business model. An investment of about Rs 39 crore has been already made in the private sector to set up the CSCs. We hope to get an investment of about 120 crore in the coming days. But making the villagers aware about the services available online is a major challenge," he said.

But how will these CSCs function? A CSC would be connected through the Internet and all the information collected there will be passed online to the State Wide Area Network (SWAN) centers.

"We have created a network of 885 State Wide Area Network (SWAN) centers. Officers will monitor the requests from the villagers on a day-to-day basis and issue the documents after digitally signing them through these SWAN centers. So far the time limit to issues the documents is seven days. But this may be brought down to a day," he said.