DMPQ- Write a short note on Community Information Centre.

Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DEIT) had taken up an initiative in February 2002 for setting up of Community Information Centres (CICs) in the hilly, far-flung rural areas of the country to bring the benefits of ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) to the people for socio-economic development of these regions and to alleviate the digital divide between urban and non-urban areas. The initiative which was as a follow up to the special package announced by PM (Prime Minister) to the North Eastern States has been extended to Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) in February 2004, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, and Lakshadweep Islands in February 2005. These CICs are a citizen interface for IT enabled e-Government services and training.  During 2006, CIC at Nathula Pass in Sikkim near the Indo-China border has been commissioned which is the highest internet kiosk. 124 CICs in Jammu & Kashmir, 38 CICs in Andaman & Nicobar Islands, and 30 CICs in Lakshadweep Islands have been made operational.

The social cost benefit analysis of the CICs set up in the 8 North-Eastern States was carried out by National Council for Applied Economic Research (NCAER). Interim provision has been made for financial assistance up to 2 years beyond February 2007 for management of existing 555 CICs of North-Eastern States as a gap bridging arrangement to facilitate their merger into Community Service Centres (CSCs) under the NeGP (National e-Governance Plan). The financial assistance would be available to State Governments agreeing for integration of CICs with CSC Scheme and submit the RFP for CSC Scheme.

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