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The African delegation on study visit of India on Thursday wrapped up the second leg of the tour – to the southern Indian state of Karnataka – by visiting a citizen centric e-governance project in rural Karnataka.

Delegates at Nemmadi centre in Karnataka

The visit to a telecentre in a village located 45 kilometres from state capital city of Bangalore helped the delegates appreciate different kind of activities undertaken by the rural e-governance project, called Nemmadi (Nemmadi in local Kannada language means “peace of mind”. There are currently 769 Nemmadi telecentres in Karnataka. "The main idea behind the project is to bring the administration closer to the common man and have a single window for all government services at the village level,” said Jayateerth Gururaj, state coordinator for CSCs.

Delegates at Nemmadi Centre

The telecentres offer as many as 40 services, the most important one being the digitised land records. Besides, a villager does not have to travel the faraway district headquarters for getting various certificates issued normally by the district administration.

“A citizen who had to spend a whole day and a minimum of Indian Rupees 150 to get services by way of bus fares and money given to officials to get the certificates, will have to pay just Rs. 15 as service fee at the telecentre, Mr Gururaj said. The services include registration of life and death, income certificate, marriage certificate, residence certificate, etc. The telecentres have also recently started railway reservation and accepting payment towards electricity and telephone.

The delegation in the evening left for Kolkata. Next two days, the delegates will visit rural telecentres in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal.