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Rural Development

24- RURAL DEVELOPMENT

Introduction

INDIA has been a welfare state since independence and the primary objective of all governmental endeavours has been the welfare of its people. The policies and programs have been designed with the aim of alleviation of rural poverty which has been one of the primary objectives of planned development in India. It was realized that a sustainable strategy of poverty alleviation has to be based on increasing the productive employment opportunities in the process of growth itself. Elimination of poverty, ignorance, diseases and inequality of opportunities and providing a better and higher quality of life were the basic premise upon which all the plans and blue-prints of development were built.

  • Accordingly, in 1952, an organization is known as the Community Projects Administration was set up under the Planning Commission to administer the programs relating to community development.
  • In October 1974, the Department of Rural Development came into existence as a part of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.
  • In August 1979, this Department was elevated to the status of a new Ministry of Rural Reconstruction.
  • That ministry was renamed as the Ministry of Rural Development and again converted into a Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
  • It was later rechristened as the Ministry of Agriculture in September 1985.
  • In 1991 the Department was upgraded as Ministry of Rural Development.
  • The Ministry was again renamed as the Ministry of Rural Development in 1999 with three departments viz., Department of Rural Development, Department of Land Resources and Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation.
  • The Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation was made a separate Ministry from July 2011.
  • Presently, the Ministry of Rural Development consists of two departments, namely, the Department of Rural Development and the Department of Land Resources.

Major Programmes for Rural Development

Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA)

  • Aims: Enhancing livelihood security of households in rural areas, by providing not less than one hundred days of guaranteed wage employment in a financial year to every household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work.
  • Social inclusion, gender parity, social security and equitable growth are the founding pillars of Mahatma Gandhi NREGA.
  • Measures like electronic fund management system (eFMS), Aadhaar seeding, geo-tagging of assets and strengthening of Social Audit System are some steps towards bringing in more transparency and accountability in the program implementation.

Direct Benefit Transfer:

  • The Ministry of Rural Development has implemented National Electronic Fund Management System (NeFMS) in 21 states and 1 union territory.
  • This process reduces the delay in the allocation of funds for payment of wages to the states and removes parking of funds at various levels.
  • Around 96 percent of the wages are being paid electronically into the bank/post office accounts of MGNREGA workers through Electronic Fund Management System (eFMS).

Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana—National Rural Livelihoods Mission

  • National Rural Livelihoods Mission, renamed as Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana—National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM) was launched in 2011.
  • It seeks to reach out to 8-9 crore rural poor households and organize one woman member from each household into affinity based women SHGs and federations at village level and at higher levels.
  • While doing so, DAY-NRLM ensures adequate coverage of vulnerable sections of the society such that:
  • 50 percent: Members of the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes
  • 15 percent: Minority groups
  • 3 percent: Persons with disability
  • The overall target of 100 percent coverage of the rural poor households identified through Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC) and through participatory processes of identification of poor households and approved by Gram Sabha.
  • The key components of DAY-NRLM include:
    • Promoting Institutions of Poor
    • Training, Capacity Building and Skill Building
    • Community Investment Support Fund
    • Infrastructure Creation and Marketing Support

Rural Self Employment Training Institute

  • It has been decided to set up one Rural Self Employment Training Institute (RSETI) in each district of the country.
  • CONTRIBUTION:
    • Central Government: Provides one-time infrastructure support of ? 1 crore besides reimbursing the cost of training rural poor candidates
    • State government: Provides land free of cost or at nominal charges
    • Banks: Responsible for day to day functioning of the RSETI
  • RSETIs are expected to train 750 rural poor youth each year to take up self-employment in the area they reside in.
  • Currently, 583 RSETIs are functioning in the country.

Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana

  • It was launched in 2000, as the part of poverty reduction strategy.
  • It is a centrally sponsored scheme to assist the states, though rural roads are in the State List under the Constitution.
  • Objective:
    • To provide connectivity by way of an all-weather road (which is operable throughout the year), to the eligible unconnected habitations as per core-network with a population of 500 persons (as per 2001 census) and above in plain areas.
    • In respect of ‘Special Category States’ (North- East, Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttarakhand), the desert areas, the tribal (Schedule V) areas and 88 selected tribal and backward districts, the objective is to connect eligible unconnected habitations as per Core-Network with a population of 250 persons and above (census 2001).
  • To bring execution of the programme to the desired quality standards, a three tier quality management mechanism has been institutionalized.

Rural Housing

  • The rural housing scheme Indira Awaas Yojana (IAY) implemented by Ministry of Rural Development, aimed at providing houses to families below the poverty line (BPL) in rural areas.
  • In the context of government’s priority for “Housing for All” by 2022, the rural housing scheme IAY has been restructured to Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana—Gramin (PMAY-G), which came into effect from the financial year 2016-17.
    • The main features of the scheme include:
    • Providing assistance for construction of 1.00 crore houses in rural areas over the period of 3 years from 2016-17 to 2018-19
    • Enhancement of unit assistance from ?70,000 to ?1.20 lakh in plains and from ?75,000 to ?1.30 lakh in hilly states and difficult areas.
    • Identification of beneficiaries based on the socio-economic and caste census (SECC 2011) data
    • Covering households that are houseless or living in houses with kutcha walls and kutcha roof with two rooms or less

National Social Assistance Programme

  • Article 41 of the Constitution of India directs the state to provide public assistance to its citizens in case of unemployment, old age, sickness and disablement and in other cases of undeserved want within the limit of its economic capacity and development.
  • The government of India introduced the National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) in 1995 as a centrally sponsored scheme under which 100 percent central assistance is extended to the states/UTs.
  • NSAP is a social assistance program for poor households—for the aged, widows, disabled and in the case of death of the breadwinner.
  • Presently NSAP comprises the following schemes for Below Poverty Line (BPL) Households:
    • Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme
    • Indira Gandhi National Disability Pension Scheme
    • National Family Benefit Scheme

Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana

  • Announced in 2014, It is the flagship placement linked skill-training programme under the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD).
  • The ultimate aim is to convert India’s demographic surplus into a demographic dividend by developing rural India into a globally preferred source of skilled labour.
  • As a result, the scheme will also benefit more than 55 million Poor rural youth.
  • Key Features:
  • The focus of this programmes is on the rural youth from poor families, in the age group of 15 to 35 years.
  • Mandatory coverage of socially disadvantaged groups—50 percent allocation to SC/ST groups, 15 percent to minorities, 33 percent for women, and 3 percent for persons with disabilities.
  • Placement in wage employment is mandated for a minimum of 70 percent of all successful candidates, with a minimum salary of ? 6,000/- per month or the minimum wages, whichever is higher.
  • The program promotes economic strategies—Make In India, through a proactive partnership with industry.

Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana

  • SAGY was launched in 2014 with the aim to develop one village by each Member of Parliament as a model village by 2016 and two more by 2019.
  • Till now 702 Gram Panchayats have been identified by Members of Parliament under Phase - I and are taking concrete steps towards their development.
  • It envisages integrated development of the selected village across multiple areas such as agriculture, health, education, sanitation, environment, livelihoods, etc.

Land Reforms

Watershed Management Programme:

  • A watershed is a topographically delineated area that is drained by a stream system.
  • It includes physical and hydrological natural resources.
  • Watershed management is the process of guiding and organizing land use and use of other natural resources in a watershed.
  • Watershed development is a multi-disciplinary field, for sustainable natural resource management.
  • Watershed development activities also contribute towards mitigation and adaptation to global warming.

Watershed Development:

  • Under the erstwhile Integrated Watershed Management Programme, 8214 watershed development projects were sanctioned in 28 states (except Goa) during the period 2009-10 to 2014-15 covering an area of about 39.07 million hectares, principally for development of rainfed portions of net cultivated area and culturable wastelands.
  • No further watershed development projects have been sanctioned from 2015-16 onwards.

Natural Land Reforms Modernization:

  • The scheme of National Land Reforms Modernization Programme (NLRMP) has been renamed as Digital India Land Records Modernization Programme (DILRMP) and is being implemented since 2008.
  • Under it, 27 states/ UTs have computerized the registration of records (RoRs) of land in their respective areas, 19 states/UTs have stopped manual issue of RoRs and 22 states/UTs have uploaded in their websites.

Panchayati Raj

  • The mandate of the Ministry of Panchayati Raj (MoPR), which was set up in 2004, is to ensure the compliance of the provisions of Part IX of the Constitution, provisions regarding the District Planning Committees as per Article 243 ZD, and PESA.
  • The Ministry’s vision is to attain decentralized and participatory local self-government through Panchayats, or Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs).

Constitutional Mandate:

  • Part IX of the Constitution of India provides for setting up of three tiers of Panchayats (only two tiers in case of states of union territories having a population less than 2 million):
    • Gram panchayats at the village level
    • District panchayats at the district level
    • Intermediate panchayats at sub-district level in between gram panchayats and district panchayats.
  • It also provides for gram sabha (general assembly of registered voters who reside in the area of gram panchayat) as a forum for direct participation of villagers in local governance.
  • The Constitution India has fixed five-year term for these panchayats and has made provision for the reservation of seats for women and marginalized sections (scheduled castes and scheduled tribes) of Indian society.
  • While reservation of scheduled castes (SCs) & scheduled tribes (STs) is in proportion to their share in population, that for women is at least 33.33 percent.
  • However, many states have increased the reservation of seats and chairperson posts for women in panchayats to 50 percent.
  • The Constitution of India also stipulates direct elections of all members of panchayats.
  • For conducting these elections, all states are mandated to constitute a State Election Commission.
  • Also it is compulsory for states to constitute a State Finance Commission (SFC) every fifth year for recommending principles for division of financial resources between state and local governments (both urban and rural).
  • SFCs are to make recommendations to the Governor regarding the distribution between the state and panchayats of the net proceeds to taxes, duties, toll, and fees, etc.
  • Within this broad framework, as local government is a state subject, state legislatures have a critical role in determining various aspects of Panchayati raj in their states.

Rajiv Gandhi Panchayat Sashaktikaran Abhiyan

  • To improve the functioning of PRI, the MoPR implemented the Rajiv Gandhi Panchayat Sashaktikaran Abhiyan (RGPSA) in the 12th Five Year Plan period i.e., from 2012-13 upto 2015-16.
  • The RGPSA addressed the major constraints of inadequate devolution of powers, lack of manpower, inadequate infrastructure and limited capacity in the effective functioning of panchayats.

Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan:

  • The Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan (RGSA) will focus on capacity building of Panchayati Raj Institutions for convergent action to deliver basic services and achieve development goals.

e-Panchayat:

  • e-Panchayat was identified as one of the 27 Mission Mode Projects under the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) formulated in 2006.

Recommendations of Fourteenth Finance Commission

For the period 2015—2020:

  • Grants to the tune of ? 2,00,292.20 crore are being devolved to gram panchayats in the country constituted under Part IX of the Constitution constituting an assistance of ? 488 per capita per annum at an aggregate level for 26 states to ensure stable flow of resources at regular intervals.
  • The FFC has not recommended grants to Non-Part IX areas under Schedule VI in Meghalaya, Mizoram, Tripura and Assam, the areas in the hill districts of Manipur, rural areas of Nagaland and Mizoram.

Drinking Water and Sanitation

  • The Department of Drinking Water Supply was created in the Ministry of Rural Development in 1999, which was subsequently renamed as the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation in 2010.
  • The government of India created and notified the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation as a separate Ministry in 2011.
  • After the notification in June 2019, the Ministry has since been renamed as Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Ministry of Jal Shakti.
  • The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation is the nodal Ministry for the overall policy, planning, funding and coordination of the flagship programs of the Government of India viz., the National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) for rural drinking water supply and the Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) [SBM(G)] for sanitation in the country.

Swachh Bharat Mission:

  • Swachh Bharat Mission was launched in 2014.
  • The concept of Swachh Bharat Mission is to provide access for every person to sanitation facilities
  • including toilets, solid and liquid waste disposal systems and village cleanliness.
  • The program is implemented by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation.
  • An Action Plan has been drawn up for Swachh Bharat to become a reality by 2019, the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
  • Mission Aim:
    • To increase the access to sanitation from 39 percent in 2014 to 100 percent by October, 2019.
    • The Action Plan calls for an Open Defecation Free (ODF) India in five years.
  • To begin with, as part of Swachh Bharat, priority was given to build toilets for boys and girls in all schools of the country.
  • This was completed within one year.

Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin):

  • Intervention in the rural sanitation sector in the country was initially started in 1954 as a part of the First Five Year Plan.
  • The Government introduced a structured scheme in the form of the Central Rural Sanitation Programme (CRSP) in 1986 primarily with the objective of improving the quality of life of the rural people and also providing privacy and dignity to women.
  • From 1999, a demand-driven” approach under the “Total Sanitation Campaign” (TSC) emphasizing more on Information, Education and Communication (IEC), Human Resource Development (HRD), capacity development activities to increase awareness among the rural people and generation of demand for sanitary facilities was started.
  • The “Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan” (NBA), the successor program of the TSC, was launched from 2012, aimed at creating Nirmal villages, provided increased incentives through convergence with MNREGS.
  • The Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) was launched in 2014.
  • The focus of the new strategy is to move towards a Swachh Bharat by providing flexibility to state governments (sanitation being a state subject), to decide on their implementation policy and mechanisms, taking into account state-specific requirements.
  • The Ministry is reforming the sanitation sector by shifting metrics from building toilets to Open Defecation Free villages.

Swachhata Pakhwada:

  • Swachhata Pakhwada was started in April 2016 with the objective of bringing a fortnight of intense focus on the issues and practices of Swachhata by engaging GoI ministries and departments in their jurisdiction.

Namami Gange:

  • Namami Gange Programme is an initiative of the Ministry of Jal Shakti, comprising making villages on the bank of river Ganga ODF and interventions dealing with solid and liquid waste management.
  • All 4470 villages located across 52 districts of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, and West Bengal have since been made ODF with the active help of state governments.
  • Now the Ministry has taken up 24 villages on the bank of river Ganga to transform them as Ganga Grams in coordination with NMCG.
  • Ganga Gram is another inter-ministry project between SBM and the Namami Gange Programme.
  • Ganga Gram Project was unveiled in 2017 at a grand sammelan of sarpanches where all 4,475 Ganga Grams were declared Open Defecation Free (ODF).
  • Gram Panchayats have been empowered to play an active role in the ownership and maintenance of Ganga Gram activities.

Swachh Iconic Places:

  • The Ministry has taken up a multi-stakeholder initiative focusing on cleaning up 100 places across the country that are “iconic” due to their heritage, religious and/or cultural significance.
  • This initiative is in partnership with ministries of Urban Development, Tourism, and Culture with MDWS being the nodal ministry.
  • So far in first two phases, 20 iconic places have been taken up.
  • All these 20 iconic sites have designated PSUs for financial and technical support.

National Rural Drinking Water Programme:

  • The National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) is a centrally sponsored scheme aimed at providing adequate and safe drinking water to the rural population of the country.
  • The NRDWP is a component of Bharat Nirman which focuses on the creation of the infrastructure.
  • Rural drinking water supply is a state subject and is also included in the Eleventh Schedule of the Constitution amongst the subjects that may be entrusted to panchayats by the states.

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