The Common Service Centers (CSC) scheme is the initiative of Indian government, implemented throughout the nation, to provide support for enabling Internet penetration in rural India. The main objective of this scheme is to develop a platform that can enable government, private and social sector organizations to align their social and commercial goals for the benefit of the rural population in the remotest corners of the country. This scheme includes both IT and non-IT based services.
Amount Charged at CSCs or Cyber Cafes
The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) report (2010) on Internet in rural India states that most of the CSCs charged Rs. 11 to Rs. 20 per hour for Internet access. Out of total CSCs, 59% of CSCs charged Rs. 11 to Rs. 20 per hour. According to the report, only 3% CSCs providing services with free of cost. 5% of them charged Rs. 5 to Rs. 10 per hour, 34% of them charged Rs. 11 to Rs. 15 per hour, and 29% charged Rs. 16 to Rs. 20. Some CSCs (29%) even charged greater than Rs. 20 per hour. Of all the states, Orissa had been providing the cheapest CSCs services.
Facilities Availed at CSCs
Various facilities like Internet surfing, games, typing, scanning and so on are provided at the CSCs. Out of the people survey by the IAMAI, about 3.5 million claimed Internet users were found to use CSC services. About 49% of them availed facility of education information and exams. The other facilities of the centers include Internet surfing used by 46% of them. The other facilities and the percentage of people utilizing them include printing (28%), Internet and offline games (28%), typing (26%), bio data and CV services (25%), scanning (23%), and CD burning (20%).
Apart from them, railway ticket booking; electricity, water and telecom bill payments; land records, certificates, and ration cards; prepaid and postpaid services for mobile and so on are some other facilities availed at CSCs. However, they were used by very few people.
Visitors Satisfaction Level of Using CSCss
According to the report, most of the Internet users (59% of the 3.75 million claimed Internet users who used CSCs) were highly satisfied with CSC services in India. However, 34% of them claimed that they were satisfied, 4% of them were neither satisfied nor dissatisfied and 3% of them were dissatisfied.
Overall most of the people are stratified with the charges and facilities. So the scheme is running successfully and rural Internet penetration is growing year on year in India.