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eGov: Expensive Internet Services For Farmers; eDistricts CSCs Behind Schedule

One would expect that pricing of Internet access to farmers would be highly subsidized, and not as expensive as cybercafes: the Agriculture Department of Andhra Pradesh is running pilot programmes in 3 mandals from 3 regions of West Godavari, Kurnool and Karimnagar District for various services to farmers through Citizen Service Centres (CSCs). The cost: Surfing and Viewing agriculture information for an hour will cost Rs 10. Thats what most cyber cafes' charge, where is the subsidy or why charge at all? Printing per page will cost Rs 2, as high, if not more, than some cybercafes. Viewing video uing CD will cost farmers Rs 10 per hour and requesting for online Soil Health Card will cost Rs 5. Sending five questions through net will attract a fee of Rs 5 We're not sure of what this means, but "sending a one sentence query will cost Rs 2." Several CSCs Not Functional Anymore; SWAN, e-Districts Behind Schedule What's really not funny is this statement that the Government is trying to ensure that there's telecom and broadband in every village: the CSC rollout appears to be faltering: As of February 28, 2010, 561 out of the 1159 Common Service Centres are still non-operational in Haryana. The CSCs have been non-functional from January. Similarly due to cancellation of contract 133 CSCS are non operational in Tripura. Out of the 14 states for the e-district project, work is on schedule only in Assam but data digitization is still in progress and a state wide rollout…

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