AIR Spotlight - Strides in Rural Development

AIR Spotlight is an insightful programme featured daily on the All India Radio Newsonair. In this program, many eminent panellists discuss issues of importance which can be quite helpful in IAS exam preparation. In this article, the topic of discussion is the strides made by India in rural development.

Participants:

  1. Narendra Dev, Senior Journalist.
  2. Sanjeev Mukherjee, Journalist.

Context:

India is completing 75 years of independence. This article analyzes various aspects of rural development in India.

Rural Development in India:

  • Rural Development in India is one of the most important factors for the growth of the Indian economy. No story of India is complete without the discussion of rural India. Rural India has witnessed the following changes in the last few years:
    • Rural Innovation: The biggest contribution is in terms of rural innovation. The government has allowed the exploitation of traditional rich resources to create funds and generate growth. The National Bamboo Mission is an example of this through which the villages are getting work and money.
    • Rural electrification: The government of India with the objective to improve the quality and reliability of power supply in rural areas has launched the scheme Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY), an integrated scheme covering all aspects of rural power distribution in 2014.
    • Empowerment of Rural Civic Bodies: Rural civic bodies have been made powerful and money is being provided to them for the development of rural areas.
    • Public-Private Partnership: Efforts have been made to enhance the public-private partnership for rural infrastructural development. 

Rural Employment in India:

  • Migration from rural to urban areas in search of jobs has been a major issue in India since independence. But, rural development in India has witnessed several changes over the years in its emphasis, approaches, strategies, and programs.
  • The Government’s policy and programs have emphasized poverty alleviation, generation of employment and income opportunities, and provision of infrastructure and basic facilities to meet the needs of the rural poor.
  • The government has introduced several schemes such as Garib Kalyan for rural employment and also made changes in the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS).

Rural Housing Scheme:

  • The Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana – Gramin (PMAY-G) has been devised in line with the Government’s commitment to providing ‘Housing for All’ by 2022 in the rural areas. The scheme aims at providing a pucca house with basic amenities to all houseless householders living in kutcha and dilapidated houses by 2022.
  • The Central Government is providing financial assistance to eligible citizens in rural regions to construct pucca houses. According to a revision in terms of the amount sanctioned in the scheme, if the house is built in the plains the new sanctioned amount is Rs 1.2 lakh and if it is built in a hilly region then the amount stands at Rs 1.3 lakh. 
  • Along with financial assistance, the beneficiary is also offered 90 days of employment under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, (MGNREGA) which effectively amounts to approximately Rs 18000. Another Rs 12000 will be offered to construct toilets.

Development of Agriculture:

  • India is primarily an agriculture-based country. To increase the growth of agriculture, the Government has planned several programs pertaining to rural development in India.
  • India is expected to achieve the ambitious goal of doubling farm income by 2022. The agriculture sector in India is expected to generate better momentum in the next few years due to increased investment in agricultural infrastructures such as irrigation facilities, warehousing, and cold storage. 
  • The development of agriculture requires a wholesome approach so that its benefits can be utilized efficiently.

Important initiatives by the government:

Jal Jeevan Mission:

  • Jal Jeevan Mission is a flagship programme of the Union Govt. to provide tap water connection to every rural home by 2024.
  • The objective of the mission is to ensure that every rural household has a drinking water supply in the adequate quantity, of prescribed quality, on a regular and long-term basis at affordable service delivery charges leading to improvement in living standards of rural communities.

Read more on the Jal Jeevan Mission in the linked article.

Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana:

  • The Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) was launched by the Govt. of India to provide connectivity to unconnected habitations as part of a poverty reduction strategy. 
  • The Government of India is endeavouring to set high and uniform technical and management standards and facilitating policy development and planning at the State level to ensure sustainable management of the rural roads network.
  • This yojana is an example of how rural infrastructure can be transformed.

Way Forward:

  • The psychological perspective of rural people should be changed. They should move from a traditional to a modern approach to jobs.
  • There should be a realistic approach and rural people should adopt innovation. Nowadays, there is competition in every field and people should prepare themselves accordingly.
  • There are various skill development programmes introduced by the government. Rural people should avail those to get better opportunities in rural areas itself.
  • Rural people should accept the participation of the private sector and the private sector should also work for the betterment of rural development.

Conclusion:

India has achieved a lot in the field of rural development and as India is completing its 75 years of independence, it is expected that villages will be the growth engine of our economy as villages are known as the heart of India.
Read more Gist of AIR Spotlight here.

AIR Spotlight – Strides in Rural Development:- Download PDF Here

Related Links
UPSC Mains Exam Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maan Dhan (PM-SYM)
National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA)
Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY)
Atal Bhujal Yojana National Solar Mission

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