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Integrating public facilities

by IT Web Admin
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Development is an ongoing and continuous process and one which cannot be prevented or ignored. It is one which should be embraced and utilized to the fullest to make our lives and future better. With the ever changing pace of progress the perennial nature of development takes a new and interesting twist in that the rate of progress has quickened to an almost breakneck speed, and while we may take solace in the thought, having nothing much else to cheer about as it were, there lurks the dark side of it all waiting to make its unwelcoming presence felt at the slightest slip up. And it may well be that we are now feeling the disadvantages of all the changes more prominently rather than its positive impacts. Hard as we might try and ignore the fact, the reality is becoming more glaring. Increasing incomes resulting in increasing vehicles clogging the roads while an apparent lack of preparedness or short-sightedness have resulted in the state government getting caught unawares and therefore the underprepared administrators and lawmakers are feeling the pinch, while the frustrated public is bearing the brunt of the confused and haphazard traffic arrangements which are more experimental rather than studied steps. With the vision to usher in an era of digitization and e-governance, transactions and payments for public services and utilities are increasingly being made through the bank and or service centers, but this has not resulted in providing better convenience or benefit to the public, yet. One very obvious reason is the inability of the state government to provide the needed infrastructures and facilities in time to reap the benefits of such changes.
But all hope is not lost yet. Common Services Centers Scheme (CSCs), a strategic cornerstone of the Digital India programme is a scheme which was conceived as part of the commitment by the central government in the National Common Minimum Programme to introduce e-governance on a massive scale. They are the access points for delivery of various electronic services to villages in India, thereby contributing to a digitally and financially inclusive society. They provide high quality and cost-effective video, voice and data content and services, in the areas of e-governance, education, health, telemedicine, entertainment as well as other private services. A highlight of the CSCs is that it will offer web-enabled e-governance services in rural areas, including application forms, certificates, and utility payments such as electricity, telephone and water bills. CSCs are more than service delivery points in rural India. They are positioned as change agents, promoting rural entrepreneurship and building rural capacities and livelihoods. They are enablers of community participation and collective action for engendering social change through a bottom-up approach with key focus on the rural citizen. According to the Department of Information Technology, Government of Manipur, there are 399 CSCs in Manipur as updated on 21-5-2015.
The big question: are these CSCs really functioning as they were supposed to be? Is the majority of the general public even know of the existence of such a beneficial and enabling scheme conceived to make their lives more convenient, empowering and efficient? If the truth is anything remotely like what is being touted, then the truth should be made aware for the much harassed public to afford themselves some needed relief from the endless queues and running about to get anything done.

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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