Jharkhand (Pragya Kendra)

Jharkhand is the first State in the country to adopt the CSC Scheme. Soon after the inception of the CSC Scheme, Jharkhand Agency for Promotion of IT (JAPIT) was appointed as the SDA and the State Government appointed three SCAs: Zoom Developers, Alternatives for India Development (AID) and United Telecoms Ltd (UTL) for setting up of 4562 CSCs – one per each Gram Panchayat. CSCs in Jharkhand were branded as the Pragya Kendras.
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The State took series of steps in order to enable better project implementation, such as approval of a uniform CSC transaction rates, allocation of space for CSCs in Panchayat Bhawans at Re 1 rent, directives to all local authorities, setting up of Block and District CSC Coordination centres at Zero revenue support etc.

In May 2008, SDA introduced five certificate services (E-Nagrik sewa) for issue of Caste, Income, Residence, Birth and Death certificates through the CSCs at pilot locations. E-Nagarik Portal has been developed by NIC Ranchi through which the citizen can track his application status. The process of issue of certificates is manual while the overall application of IT enables tracking and verification of issued certificates. Approx135 blocks of the present 259 blocks are offering the service and as on 31st Aug 2011, over 10 lakh applications have been received at Pragya Kendras. The model has proven to be an effective stop-gap service till the time a complete online service module is in place. It also resulted in creating acceptance, among Government officials, of a process different from the practiced models.

In the initial phase of CSC rollouts, many experiments and agreements / MoUs were undertaken. Some of them are as follows:
1. Online Land records in the pilot district of Lohardaga. The state wide replication depends on completion of digitization of RoR.
2. Online grievance redressal through e-Samvaad was started in Latehar district on processes similar to e-nagarik. With the new approach of the Government to have a comprehensive Grievance redressal –cum- disaster management module, replication is awaited.
3. MoU with Dept of Posts for postal services through CSCs was executed but could not move beyond some CSCs due to the procedural restrictions of DoP.
4. Dhanbad and Godda district administrations directed all its MNREGA functionaries to start using CSCs for online MIS entries. Subsequently, Latehar district administration issued a structured order using CSCs as MNREGA help-centers and for MIS entries based on GoJ approved transaction rates.
5. Jail Sakshatkar: The Block level CSCs are being used for interaction between Jail inmates and their relatives and friends through video conferencing, wherein all the CSCs can book timings for meeting online on http://jharkhand.gov.in/jail/.
6. The E-kalyan project, by the Welfare Department is a scheme that would process and release scholarships within the stipulated timelines without delays through the CSCs. Digitization of scholarship data has been done through 66 CSCs in the Pilot District of Lohardaga for 70,000 students. The VLEs of that district received Rs 1.4 lakhs as incentive. It is now ready to be replicated across the State.
7. The State Blindness Control Society (SBCS) has agreed to use the CSC network in Eye Screening of School Children in Jharkhand. All Government school children of 6-15 years of age would be screened by trained teachers and ophthalmic assistants and spectacles would be provided by the SBCS of Jharkhand free of cost. In this scheme, the VLE would act as a facilitator and get associated with the Health Department.
8. All three SCAs have signed MoUs with the Birsa Agriculture University (BAU) under which, all CSCs would act as resources centers for farmers. Online and offline content would be made available to the CSCs who can disseminate information to the farmers.

The SCAs in Jharkhand are delivering wide range of B2C services which include Payworld service, Mobile recharges, railway ticketing, sales agent of BSNL products, kisan sim card and agri consultancy for IFFCO, Birla Sun Life Insurance , etc. But with time and practice, it was felt that in rural areas, B2C was not a priority for the citizens as there were sufficient numbers of options to avail B2C services. The priority was G2C and Government information. The State Government as a whole and specially Departments like Panchayat Department, Rural Development Department, Commercial Tax, Human Resources Department, Health and Family Department, Jharkhand State Electricity Board etc have started identifying services to be offered through the CSCs. Such services would be information based, interaction based and transaction based by these Departments.

In 2010, when over 85% of CSCs had been rolled out, the Commercial Tax dept notified 261 urban and semi-urban CSCs as Facilitation centers for e-filing of VAT returns. Rural Development Dept notified CSCs as Pragya Kendra –cum- Panchayat Banks and directed all banks to adopt CSCs as their Business Correspondent outlets. CSCs were directed to relocate to panchayat bhawans and MNREGA functionaries were directed to start getting beneficiary accounts opened. AID and UTL signed agreements with State Bank of India and started online kiosk banking at approx 250 CSCs spread over 17 districts. MNREGA wage disbursal has been initiated in Kanke, the pilot block of Ranchi district. In all over Rs 15 lakh worth wages have already been disbursed by the 10 initially CSC-CSPs. CSC of Barhu, a panchayat of the block, operated by VLE Mr Aamir Akhtar has already disbursed Rs 10 lakh to local beneficiaries. The State as a whole is observing the model with interest as success would mean immediate adoption by other departments. The State plans to use the CSCs-bank model for disbursal of pensions, benefits and scholarships.
In future plans, the SDA is discussing areas of integration with Panchayati Raj dept for e-panchayat project, with JSEB for online electricity bill collection, Birsa Agriculture University for agri-info services etc.

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