WHAT IS A DIGITAL VILLAGE?
It will have a digital banker, a digital doctor and a digital teacher with internet WiFi access point.
The internet connection will be provided through BharatNet, the government’s programme to connect rural hinterland.
Small units for LED assembly, manufacturing of sanitary pads and photography lab will be set up.
The government of India is now gearing up to set up 100,000 Digital villages in next five years. A proposal for Rs 15,000 crore has been allotted and approved by CSC eGovernance Services India Ltd, which will be the nodal point for digital villages project.
The main goal of digital villages (Digi Gaons) is to transform rural villages of India into smart villages through use of ICT applications, besides promotion of a self-sustainable service model for citizens living in rural areas. Also, a digital village will provide a one-stop service solution for rural people, through Common Service Centers (CSCs) run a by a village level entrepreneur, for services such as tele-education, tele-medicine, financial services, internet connectivity and other G2C/B2C services which are easily accessible online at an affordable price. And not to mention, it will reduce the digital divide and help rural citizens to use all services as available to urban people.
According to the detailed project report prepared by CSC eGovernance, the overall project will include over 10 central ministries to make a digital village successful and connect it with the entire parts of India. Ministries of communications, electronics and IT, Jal Shakti, agriculture, health and others will play a major role of this visionary project.
Once the proposal which is drafted is approved by Ministry of Electronics and IT, it will send for Cabinet for final approval, a senior ministry official said.
Digital villages will have CSCs which act on behalf as additional service points for participating ministries, departments and bureaucrats. This is part of government’s biggest project Digital India, under which CSCs been have set up as a strategic cornerstone across India.
A digital village will also boost employment opportunities and accelerate business growth for rural people by promoting the Information Technology and Information Technology enabled services industry, a senior government official said.
As a proof of concept model, the Digital Village project has been implemented in villages in six villages where the area is connected through WiFi, entrepreneurship opportunities by setting up cottage industries for manufacturing candle incense sticks or sanitary napkins. On the contrary 700 villages have been transformed into digital ones to showcase the offerings, according to the DPR.
It is reported that the Digital Village concept is beautifully designed in a manner where there will be a digital banker, a digital doctor and a digital teacher with internet WiFi access point. The internet connection will be provided through BharatNet, the government’s programme to connect rural India. Apart from this, small scale units for LED assembly, manufacturing of sanitary pads and photography lab will be set up, which will create huge employment as well. A village-level entrepreneur (VLE) operates and manages the CSC unit and is paid based on a transaction model. VLE needs to invest in setting up the infrastructure.
Currently Out of 3.8 lakh CSCs operating across India, about 2.4 lakh are in the rural areas. Digi Gaon was formulated to improve health and education services in rural parts of India, provision of community access to Information Technology based resource center, Wifi and LED street lighting at a common place in the village to create a conducive environment for digital literacy, financial inclusion and digital access to knowledge and services.
CSCs, will be playing a major role in government’s Digital India initiative, which will function as a single point of access for delivery of services electronically, including passport enrollment, Aadhaar. They will also help and encourage people to access and use government services online such as train tickets, birth certificates, online submission of various forms and bills.