‘CSCs have helped in 1.92 crore downloads of Aarogya Setu App’

S Ronendra Singh New Delhi | Updated on April 17, 2020

Dinesh Tyagi, CEO, Common Services Centres

Transactions worth ₹9 crore taking place per day: CEO

As the world faces one of its biggest health and humanitarian crises due to the Covid-19 pandemic, India, too, is taking swift and strong measures to contain the spread while responding to treat those affected. In this scenario, digital platforms and services offered through them have become even more critical. Common Services Centres (CSC) is one of these, playing a big role ensuring business continuity and strengthening outreach by continuing to provide last-mile connectivity through digital services and infrastructure. CSC, a special purpose vehicle of the government for Digital India campaign, has over 3.50 lakh centres across India. In an interview with BusinessLine, Dinesh Tyagi, Chief Executive Officer CSC, shares how these centres and their village-level entrepreneurs (VLEs) are ensuring services reach the remotest of areas. Edited excerpts:

With the government announcing financial help to citizens, especially daily wage workers, women and the elderly, how is CSC assisting rural citizens access their entitlements during the lockdown?

As the government has exempted banking facilities under the Covid-19 lockdown, CSC VLEs who function as Banking Correspondents (BCs) and Bank Mitras have been working hard to enable citizens to access their entitlements. Around 15,043 CSC BCs are active across the country and have carried out 54.64 lakh transactions for an amount of over ₹1,088 crore during the first 14 days of April. Since March 25, around 15,000 VLEs have been taking banking services to the doorsteps of citizens through DigiPay.

During the lockdown period, as many as 9.04 lakh transactions have been carried out by VLEs to help withdraw an amount of ₹145 crore under DigiPay. Presently about 1.30 lakh transactions are taking place for an amount of ₹9 crore per day from CSC ecosystem. With the recent permission by the government for enabling rural CSCs to operate, about 1.9 lakh rural CSCs will be able to provide financial services to citizen close to the place of his/her residence.

Telemedicine has also emerged as a frontline weapon against COVID-19 pandemic. How is CSC geared up to provide access to healthcare through telemedicine during the current situation?

The CSC health service involves telemedicine consultations through a panel of doctors in allopathy, homeopathy and ayurvedic medical systems. During the lockdown, CSCs have been offering telemedicine service to citizens from experienced medical practitioners of Apollo, docOPD, Optimus and WelcomeCure. Citizens can visit the CSC anytime during 8 AM to 8 PM any day of the week and avail consultation at the cost of ₹1. We are presently doing about 1,200 tele-consultations per day and expect to do more than 20,000 tele-consultations during April.

How is CSC helping the government spread the Aarogya Setu App?

CSCs have been engaged in spreading awareness about the App and getting citizens to download the App on their smartphones. So far, 1.92 crore downloads of the App have been carried out through the network of CSCs across the country. The district VLE societies have also been engaged in carrying out activities for downloading the App on citizens’ mobiles. We are motivating the VLEs to get 100 per cent App downloads in their villages. Many of them have already done the same.

How are the CSCs involved in creating awareness and helping citizens during the lockdown?

CSCs across the country have been involved in creating awareness about coronavirus. CSCs have been asked to display posters on information about the pandemic as well as hygiene and social distancing to follow. In view of the need and demand of face masks in the market, CSCs have stepped in to produce face masks in bulk and are distributing it freely among the citizens. For example, in the Villupuram district of Tamil Nadu, VLE Uthayakumar has produced 10,000 face masks at his CSC for distribution among the citizens. Whereas in thee Tiruppur district, VLE Jagadessh manufactured three lakh face masks for distribution among citizens. Similarly, many CSC district societies are supporting the citizens in distributing face masks and food items. A large number of CSCs have also contributed to the PM-Cares Fund.

Published on April 17, 2020

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