New Delhi, November 30, 2016: Common Services Centers (CSCs), under the Ministry of Electronics & IT, have been entrusted with the task of providing digital financial literacy training and enabling access to digital financial instruments for one crore citizens in rural India.
The project has been sanctioned on November 28th as a sub-component of Digital Saksharta Abhiyan (DISHA), which is being implemented by CSC SPV.
The project, titled ‘Digital Finance for Rural India: Creating Awareness and Access through CSCs (DFIAA)’ aims to enable the CSCs to become Digital Financial Hubs, by hosting awareness sessions on government policies and digital finance options available for rural citizens as well as enabling various mechanisms of digital financial services such as IMPS, UPI, Bank PoS machines, etc.
The project would reach out to each of the 250,000 Gram Panchayats across the country through 200,000 CSCs which are operational across rural and semi-urban locations. Each CSC would reach out to 40 households in the catchment area, covering one person from each household. Apart from rural citizens, each CSC would also target atleast 10 local merchants/shopkeepers/artisans per Panchayat to facilitate them in getting POS machines or digital payment mechanisms. The target group covered under the project will include the most vulnerable and poor communities, with a focus on women, farmers, marginalized sections, hawkers, small traders and artisans.
The project assumes more importance in light of the Government’s recent demonetization and plans to make India a cashless economy. There is an urgent need to create awareness among the citizens, especially in rural and semi-urban areas regarding digital finance services and also enable access to such mechanisms for them.
Common Services Centers (CSCs) are the access points for delivery of various e-governance and business services to citizens in rural and remote areas of the country. It is a pan-India network catering to regional, geographic, linguistic and cultural diversity of the country, thus enabling the Government’s mandate of a socially, financially and digitally inclusive society.
CSCs offer assisted access of e-services to citizens with a focus on enhancing governance, delivering essential government and public utility services, social welfare schemes, financial services, education and skill development courses, health and agriculture services and digital literacy, apart from a host of B2C services.