SREI Sahaj, the company setting up 28,000 broadband enabled Common Service Centers in rural India in a public-private partnership, has tied up matrimonial classifieds company Consim Info (BharatMatrimony.com). SREI has the mandate for setting up CSCs in the states of West Bengal, Bihar, Assam, Uttar Pradesh, Orissa and Tamil Nadu. As of 31st May 2010, 79,043 CSC’s had been rolled out in India (pdf), but it is unlikely that the government met its deadline of June 3oth for completing rollout, especially since some CSC licenses have been cancelled.

A complete list of companies operating CSCs here. Spice Digital has a tie-up with CSC co Zoom Developers for mobile services.

Matrimonial Segmentation?

Now BharatMatrimony has over 250 matrimonial sites, segmented religion and region and community, and we wonder which of these sites will be made available through Chaakri. Segmentation could come in handy, so it’s likely to be a new interface, with segments pertaining to the site highlighted. One change that Bharatmatrimony will have to make, given that many of these CSCs will reach out to communities in areas where English isnt the first or second language, is launch a language interface. How many people will want to use an assistant at a village to browse a matrimonial website in English? And is there a need for matrimonial sites in rural India?

Rural Plans: Expensive

Registration is free for the villager, and there is an incentive for the assistant / Village Level Entrepreneur (VLE), who gets Rs. 45 per registration, and a commission of 10% on every special package: Classic Membership at Rs. 499 for 3 months, and Classic Super Membership for 6 months is at Rs. 999. Now we’d sure like to know how BharatMatrimony arrived at that pricing, cause it does appear to be rather expensive.  The other problem is that many people will be travelling long distances to visit CSCs, do one shouldn’t expect regular usage these portals: perhaps they could have considered modified their offering to cover, say, a month of use spread across 3-6 months, and lowered the price further.

What About The Job Portal, Chaakri?

MediaNama readers might remember that SREI Sahaj had previously launched Chaakri.in, a job portal targeting rural India. Well, the domain registration for that expired on June 19th (Screenshot),and no one has bothered to renew it. So has it been junked? In response, a Sahaj spokesperson said that Chaakri will have a new interface, and there will be an announcement regarding that soon.

Note that Monster.com had also tied up with ITC e-Choupal for RozgarDuniya.com.

Related:
Spice Digital Bags Himachal M-Governance Deal; CSC Tie-Up
RBI Allows Broadband Enabled CSC’s To Be Used As Banking Correspondents
Common Service Centers In India – SCA List
Status of Common Service Centers (31st May 2010)
Lack Of Funds Stalls National E-Governance Projects
More on Common Service Centers.

SREI Sahaj
SREI Sahaj To Invest Rs 10 Billion On Kiosks; Rural Job Portal Chaakri; Mobile CSCs?
Rural Jobs Portal RozgarDuniya Launched By ITC & Monster; Chaakri & SREI Sahaj
Sahaj To Set Up 24780 Rural Broadband Enabled Kiosks In India
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