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Common Service Centres

Paper: General Studies 2

Topic: e-governance- applications,

Why in the news?

Data show that between 2014 and 2019, that the total number of transactions at Common Service Centres (CSCs) have grown from 4.5 crore to 17.4 crore and, in terms of value, they have gone up from Rs 1,560 crore to well over Rs 28,000 crore. 

What are Common Service Centres (CSCs)?

  • The CSCs were introduced to provide citizens access to services through a digital framework. Every CSC has a basic infrastructure, which is a computer, a webcam, a scanner, and a printer, and some facility for power and connectivity. In some places, the connectivity is through a landline, in others through the fibre, and some places still use data cards.
  • Entrepreneurs make their living by delivering services and charging a service fee either from the citizen or the government (in case it is providing a service). But someone pays him an incentive to deliver the service. Government services are only enablers; they alone cannot create a sustainable business model because of the frequency in which the citizens use them.
  • Both Central and State Government services are provided through the CSCs


BASIC nations

Paper: General Studies 2

Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

Why in the news?

In the run-up to the United Nations Framework for Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of Parties (COP-25) meeting to be held later in the year from 2nd to 13th December, the BASIC countries held its 28th Ministerial meeting on Climate Change from 14th to 16th August in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

What are the BASIC countries?

  • The BASIC countries are a bloc of four large newly industrialized countries – Brazil, South Africa, India and China – formed by an agreement on 28 November 2009. 
  • The four committed to act jointly at the Copenhagen climate summit, including a possible united walk-out if their common minimum position was not met by the developed nations.
  • The grouping is working to define a common position on emission reductions and climate aid money, and to try to convince other countries to sign up to the Copenhagen Accord.


PM Economic Advisory Council

Paper: General Studies 3

Topic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

Why in the news?

  • With the economy on a continuous slide, the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council Chairman Bibek Debroy said it is high time the government focused on expenditure and recommended a GST Council-like mechanism for the Centre and states to strategise on public expenditure for maximum impact.
  • There are limits to public expenditure because there are fiscal consolidation issues. But focused and strategic expenditure by the Centre and states together could yield efficiency gains.


About the PM Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC)

  • Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (PMEAC) is a non-constitutional, non-permanent and independent body constituted to give economic advice to the Government of India, specifically the Prime Minister.
  • The primary role of the PMEAC is to give a neutral viewpoint on economic policy matters that are referred to it by the Prime Minister.
  • Additionally it prepares a monthly report of economic developments that need to be highlighted to the PM. For this purpose it closely monitors national and international economic developments and trends and develops appropriate policy responses for the PM.
  • It publishes reports on the annual Economic Outlook and Review of the Economy of India.