As part of the Smart Cities Mission (SCM), in October 2018, the New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC), in collaboration with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, opened its first common service centre (CSC) kiosk at Minto Road. This followed the selection of New Delhi as one of the first 20 cities under the first phase of the SCM of the Ministry of Urban Development. A special purpose vehicle (SPV), New Delhi Municipal Council Smart City Limited (NDMCSCL) has been incorporated to this end. NDMCSCL is a public limited company, which is wholly owned by NDMC.
A good response to the CSC kiosk is expected owing to its location near the New Delhi railway station.
The CSC is an information and communication technology (ICT)-enabled service delivery outlet providing a range of services to residents. CSCs have the potential to become the front-end delivery nodes for the government, private and social sector services. They can also serve as a distribution network that can allow the government to deliver its schemes and put their offers directly to the consumer in a cost-effective manner. They form one of the crucial infrastructural pillars of e-governance. CSCs help strengthen the provision of single-window solutions for government-to-government and government-to-business services, which leads to efficient and effective service delivery.
Besides assisting in the delivery of services, CSCs can function as a delivery mechanism for providing private and public sector services such as education, adult literacy, telemedicine, agriculture extensions, community health and hygiene, critical data on weather, disaster management, entertainment, communication, awareness and vocational training.
The 24×7 CSC kiosk set up by the NDMC aims to provide online services and digital community services to its residents. The facilities like application for passport, Aadhaar card, and air and railway tickets have been provided to residents at the kiosk. The staff at the kiosk will help people book air or railway tickets online for a fee of Rs 10. As per reports, the employees working at the kiosks would fill out the forms for the same. The applicants will then be updated regarding the date on which they are required to visit the passport or Aadhaar office. This move is expected to save time and to abate the need for standing in queues.
Moreover, the kiosk will also provide information related to various services provided by the NDMC such as payment of electricity and water bills, building approval plan, birth and death certificates, health licences, booking of community halls and property tax.
Further, cash withdrawal facility of up to Rs 10,000 has been provided for Aadhaar-linked bank account holders.
Today, advances in information and communications technology (ICT) have made it possible for smart cities to potentially provide a whole range of high quality and cost-effective services pertaining to video, voice and data content via a single communication channel using appropriate terminal equipment. This has opened up an entire realm of possibilities for the provision of e-government services such as, entertainment, education, telemedicine, e-commerce, information, etc.
The Government of India is committed to leveraging these advances in ICT for the benefit of citizens, particularly those residing in rural and remote areas. As a powerful enabler of the developmental goals, ICT usage can considerably improve communication and exchange of information. Therefore, it is considered crucial to create a network of delivery points (CSCs) across the country, which can serve as outlets for such services.
By virtue of their design and application, CSCs can help create a transparent platform for direct delivery of government services as well as social development activities to consumers. CSCs are expected to decrease bureaucratic delays and administrative red tape and save substantial governmental manpower costs, while improving the quality of services. Such a system would provide the right impetus to promote good governance and take forward the concept of e-governance in the country a notch higher. By reaching remote locations of the country in a sustainable manner and providing a wide variety of high quality services, CSCs are expected to encourage social inclusion of the otherwise marginalised communities and under-privileged sections of society.
In line with this vision, the NDMC has a target to open 15 such kiosks in busy places like Connaught Place, Gol Dak Khana and a few metro stations in Delhi.