Thursday, August 20, 2009

Common service centres to generate 400,000 jobs

NEW DELHI: The government's common service centre (CSS) initiative will generate around 400,000 direct employment opportunities and as many as indirect jobs in rural India, a top government official said here on Thursday.

"The scheme was likely to generate over 400,000 direct jobs opportunities as well as indirect employment avenues of a like number in rural India," Cabinet Secretary K.M. Chandrasekhar told reporters after inaugurating a conference on 'Common Service Centres: The Change Agents'.

The CSC is a government-run one-stop shop that offers web-enabled e-governance services in rural areas, including various application forms, certificates, and utility payments such as electricity, telephone and water bills.

"The scheme was structured to promote rural entrepreneurship. By creating appropriate support structures that enable demand-driven services as well as capacity building and training, entrepreneurs can be empowered as change agents for rapid socio-economic change in rural India," he said.

Earlier, while inaugurating the conference, Chandrasekhar said inclusive growth and rural empowerment were the major goals of the CSC initiative.

He added that the government would set up 100,000 CSCs across the country under the public-private partnership model by year-end.

Last month, Communications and IT Minister A. Raja had said that the government would invest Rs.57.42 billion (Rs.5,742 crore) for setting up CSCs.

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