Community Information Centre(CIC) and it\\'s Future

Also the recent advancement in the field of Communication and Information Technology creates digital divide between the people of north eastern states and rest of India as there is not enough facilities in accessing ICT services in these areas. Realising this fact the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology set up Community Information Centre(CIC) in August 2002 at the Block Head quarter of each development block of North Eastern State and Sikkim. The main motto of this project was to provide ICT services to rural masses and to improve their socio-economic life.

CIC is equipped with Computers, VSAT Internet connectivity, Uninterrupted Power Supply, Laser & Dot Matrix Printers and Television sets with IRU (for video broadcasting) and are run by 2 (two) Operators per CIC.

During the last 4 years CIC Project is emerging as a most successful one and gets overwhelming response from all sorts of people. People from remotest part of north-east India specially the people living in high hilly terrain, Char Areas, and other geographically isolated areas get the benefit of ICT services. CIC familiarized those people with many facets of ICT and now the needs for such services are growing among them.

CIC Project is funded by Central Govt. for 5 years and according to MOU between the Central and State Govt. after the completion of 5 years every State Govt. has to take over the charges of CICs. Now at this stage when the ICT services are becoming an indispensable part of our life it will be the responsibility of State Govt. to continue the existence of CIC as there is no other alternative possible for our rural people. It will be really painful and injustice if CIC will be closed only because of its maintenance headache and shortage of fund.

So, in the greater interest of the people of Assam CIC should be made permanent and a part of Administration for delivering much needed ICT services to all sorts of people.

CIC can also be utilized as an important stakeholder for implementing E-governance. Again for implementing Right to Information Act. Govt. can use CIC as an information delivering Centre.

Sanjib Kumar Sarma
Bilasipara, District-Dhubri
Assam