IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has said that the Village Level Entrepreneurs (VLEs) have played a major role in revolutionising Common Service Centre (CSC) movement in the country. Inaugurating the two-day workshop on ‘Tele- Centre Entrepreneurship Course’, he said time has come when these entrepreneurs have to be the main drivers of shaping new India as envisaged by the government. He appreciated the efforts of the enterprising VLEs in providing key services at the grassroots level and announced introduction of rewards at both central and regional level for the best performing entrepreneurs. He said next year onwards best performing VLE will get cash reward of one lakh rupees. These awards will also be on regional basis and there will be five activity based awards.
Prasad said, “When our government came into existence, there were 83,000 CSCs in India; now, we have 2.92 lakh CSCs across the country. 54,000 women VLEs are working hard to achieve the goals of Digital India mission in rural areas. In just four years, the total transactions of VLEs have increased from just one crore (in year 2013-14) for an amount of 180 crore to 17.83 crore for an amount of Rs 19,000 crore in 2017-18. CSCs have given employment to more than 10 lakh people in India. I am confident that all VLEs will be able to achieve the turnover of Rs one crore during the current year.”
Appreciating the strength of VLEs in mobilising rural citizens under Digital India mission, the Minister said, “I have great expectation from CSC VLEs. Our VLEs are change makers of India. I am happy to note that CSCs are training auto drivers for using BHIM and encouraging them for Cashless India movement. I congratulate our VLEs who are running sanitary napkin manufacturing units in various part of country and contribution in women’s health and hygiene. Swachh Bharat and Swastha Bharat must be mass movement through CSC. We want to take our Digital Economy to Rs one lakh crore. In next few days, expansion of railway reservations would be done through CSCs. CSCs has opened 31 BPOs in India and the plan is to open more such BPO in CSC.”
Prasad was addressing 700 VLEs at a two-day training workshop organised by CSC SPV on “Tele- Centre Entrepreneurship Course”. The main objective of the Telecentre Entrepreneur Course (TEC) is to inculcate the skills of entrepreneurship among the Village level Entrepreneur (VLE) and train them on various government and other services provided by Common Services Centres.
The Minister also asked to explore the possibility of involvement of CSCs in health insurance scheme and support the citizens in availing this unique initiative of the government.
Ajay Prakash Sawhney, Secretary, MeitY, said, “CSC movement has great significance in Digital India mission. I want to congratulate VLEs for their tremendous role. CSC VLEs are enabling the disbursement of entitlement and pension to various citizens living in far flung areas of the country. The VLEs should encourage citizens and merchants for using BHIM app through BHIM QR code in their day-to-day transactions. Today, we have 110 micro manufacturing units of sanitary pads. It’s a matter of pride for all of us. This is magic of entrepreneurship, that VLEs have converted their turnover to more than Rs one crore. We would support CSCs in setting up 10 seater BPOs.”
Pankaj Kumar, Additional Secretary, MeitY said, “CSCs are playing a central role in the government’s Digital India programme. The government is encouraging women to set up CSC. CSCs are regarded as change of social change.”
While welcoming the participants to the workshop, Dr Dinesh Tyagi, CEO, CSC SPV said, “VLEs like Samkit Jain (Rajasthan), Padma (Andhra Pradesh), Dhanlakshmi (Tamil Nadu), Sonu Bala (Haryana), Ramshida (Kerala), Snehlata (Rajasthan), Gokul Saini (Rajasthan) are doing wonders through their hard work. CSC will make six crore people digitally literate in India as well as build the Gram Swaraj in India. Today, government has a lot of expectations with CSC. We have to work hard to fulfill the mission of empowerment of Rural India.”