Wed, 08 Feb 2023

New Delhi [India], December 5 (ANI): The Common Service Centre (CSC) on Monday announced that it would open 500 cinema halls in rural areas by March 2023. CSC e-Governance Services India has signed an agreement with October Cinemas to take entertainment through CSC rural cinema to rural areas.

The MoU signed between CSC -- a special purpose vehicle under the ministry of electronics and IT -- and October Cinemas aims at opening around 1 lakh small movie theatres in rural areas.

By the end of 2023 around 1,500 cinema halls will be operational across India. These cinema halls with a seating capacity of around 100-200 will also act as a hub of various CSC activities in rural areas.

Commenting on the new initiative, CSC Managing Director Sanjay Kumar Rakesh said, "The concept of cinema halls in villages is still new. The aim is to start small cinema halls with around 100 seats. CSC cinema halls will open new avenues for our VLEs (village-level entrepreneur)."He said the entertainment sector was booming in India and our VLEs will help grow the sector in rural and semi-urban areas. "CSC cinema halls, which will also work as a commercial hub, will make our services more accessible to the people in rural areas."October Cinemas Managing Director Punit Desai said, "We are launching CSC Rural Cinema for the entertainment of villagers in remote areas. India is the world's largest entertainment market in terms of movie consumption. Our venture will have features to control piracy of films. We will provide all hardware and software equipment to VLEs who run the CSC."On the investment requirement, he said, "An investment of around Rs 15 lakh is needed to run these cinema halls which will have video parlour cinema licence. We have already got over 5,000 express of interest requests from VLEs. We hope to make around 10,000 cinema halls operational in rural areas by the end of 2024."Rakesh, speaking at a workshop on Emerging Opportunities for VLEs through CSCs, said CSC was promoting the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) across India, particularly in rural areas through its CSC Rural e-Mobility programme.

"Our aim is to improve issues of mobility in villages. Mobility creates opportunities for development and growth, generating jobs, and facilitating trade. It also enhances rural India's competitiveness by improving connectivity across local and national areas," he added.

Our plan is to scale up our rural e-mobility programme by offering a range of electric vehicles to citizens in rural areas of the country. This will not only provide a clean source of energy, but also boost productivity and employment in rural areas..." CSC MD added.

While adoption of EV is still at an early stage in India, electric three-wheelers have a huge potential in the last mile transportation for delivery of goods in rural areas and small towns. CSC Rural e-Mobility programme has been contributing to the growing shift to renewable energy options, through the supply of e-mobility vehicles, setting up charging infrastructure and solar energy units and rooftops in rural areas of the country.

So far, CSC has tied up with more than 23 companies like Tata, Mahindra, Hero, Escorts, Okinawa, Motovolt, Savey, Bounce, etc for e-vehicles and renewable energy options and more than 2000 e-agents are functional across the country, Rakesh added.

Kamal Mongia, Business Head for Piaggio said, "Piaggio is offering their range of electric vehicles to aspiring customers in rural markets through the network of over 4.5 lakh CSCs across the country. The three- and four-wheeler light transportation vehicles are marketed under the Ape, Porter and Quargo brands. The tie-up with CSC provides opportunities for the educated youth in India to earn a proud livelihood. The earning ability with Piaggio electric three- and four-wheelers is quite high while the maintenance is the lowest when compared to conventional fuel vehicles and the benefit to the environment is significant. CSC is helping us to penetrate rural markets and propagate the use of electric vehicles, thereby helping India achieve its EV mission quicker."Piyush Sinha, Vice-President, Sun Mobility, said, "We provide battery-swapping technology through our stationed network. This integrated service offering provides customers with an all-in bundled solution comprising electric vehicles with the flexibility of an unlimited swap plan for the duration of the contract. Consequently, fleet operators can scale up their business in an asset-light manner while utilising Sun Mobility's offering at the lowest cost and highest uptime via a two-minute swap." (ANI)

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