Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DEIT) had taken up an initiative in February 2002 for setting up of Community Information Centres (CICs) in the hilly, far-flung rural areas of the country to bring the benefits of ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) to the people for socio-economic development of these regions and to alleviate the digital divide between urban and non-urban areas. The initiative which was as a follow up to the special package announced by PM (Prime Minister) to the North Eastern States has been extended to Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) in February 2004, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, and Lakshadweep Islands in February 2005. These CICs are a citizen interface for IT enabled e-Government services and training. During 2006, CIC at Nathula Pass in Sikkim near the Indo-China border has been commissioned which is the highest internet kiosk. 124 CICs in Jammu & Kashmir, 38 CICs in Andaman & Nicobar Islands, and 30 CICs in Lakshadweep Islands have been made operational.
The social cost benefit analysis of the CICs set up in the 8 North-Eastern States was carried out by National Council for Applied Economic Research (NCAER). Interim provision has been made for financial assistance up to 2 years beyond February 2007 for management of existing 555 CICs of North-Eastern States as a gap bridging arrangement to facilitate their merger into Community Service Centres (CSCs) under the NeGP (National e-Governance Plan). The financial assistance would be available to State Governments agreeing for integration of CICs with CSC Scheme and submit the RFP for CSC Scheme.