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India to Set up 700 Digital Villages: Tech Minister

Ravi Shankar Prasad and the Minister of State for Culture (I/C) and Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Dr. Mahesh Sharma visits Dhanauri Kalan, a Digital village, in Gautam Budh Nagar, Uttar Pradesh on May 20, 2018.

Ravi Shankar Prasad and the Minister of State for Culture (I/C) and Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Dr. Mahesh Sharma visits Dhanauri Kalan, a Digital village, in Gautam Budh Nagar, Uttar Pradesh on May 20, 2018.

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 be expanded to 250,000 gram panchayats by the year end, India’s Minister for Electronics and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad said Sunday at Dhanauri Kalan village in Gautam Budh Nagar (UP).

Addressing an event to showcase a host of digital services that will now be available in the digital village, Prasad said that the CSC movement had transformed into a movement of change bringing services like banking, pensions, digital literacy, and telemedicine to rural and remote villages through electronic infrastructure.

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

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Positioned as strategic cornerstones of Digital India program, the CSC model has adopted six villages in the country in the pilot phase. DigiGaon or Digital Village is conceptualized 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.

These DigiGaons are projected to be change agents, 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 of 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 selected for the pilot project.

Photo courtesy: Press Information Bureau

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