While delivering government services electronically is the key objective of the CSC, a centre cannot be sustained just by this. That is where B2C and B2B services come into play. The experience has shown that an enthusiastic entrepreneur will be able to earn as much as Rs 15,000 (nearly USD 300) a month from running the CSC. The West Bengal government plans to set up 6797 CSCs in rural areas and another 700 CSCs in urban localities. Till November 30, 3,337 CSCs are operational. The rest will be added by March 31, 2010.
Some of the key challenges for the roll-out of CSCs, according to him, are rigid mindset of the decision makers, lack of physical and IT infrastructure at various levels and dearth of sustainable resources. The officials should realise “service is not a mercy but a right of people.” They should also be willing to tolerate “genuine failures” while experimenting with the model.
Usha Mishra Hayes, vice president for sustainable development and media business at SREI Sahaj e-Village, who addressed the delegates subsequently, informed them about a diagnostic kit for agricultural diseases that her firm has developed and patented. Using this, village level entrepreneurs will be able to assist farmers to identify problems afflicting the crops.
The delegates visited the data centre located at the headquarters of SREI Sahaj e-village in Kolkata after the meeting. The visit was wrapped up in the evening with a free-wheeling interaction with state government SREI Sahaj e-Village officials at Silver Spring Club in the city. The delegation later left for New Delhi, the Indian capital city which would host a two-day Africa-India Dialogue from Monday.