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Rural Development

Through the Plans

Five Year Plans : First Second Third Fourth Fifth Sixth Seventh Eighth Ninth Tenth Eleventh

The function of the Rural Development Division is primarily to provide overall policy guidance in formulation of plans and programmes for Rural Development. This is the nodal Division for matters relating to poverty eradication, employment generation in rural areas, development of watershed and degraded land. The following specific activities are undertaken by Division;

  1. To assist in formulation of rural development programmes to be included in Five Year Plans and Annual Plans and to make periodic assessment of progress achieved.
  2. To analyse and prepare comments on the EFC Memoranda and Cabinet Notes paper for Group of Ministers pertaining to rural development programmes.
  3. To maintain liaison with Ministry of Rural Development, National Institute of Rural Development (NIRD) and other allied organisations mainly and participating in the meetings.
  4. To collect information from various Divisions of the Planning Commission, State Governments and also from the Central Ministries which are implementing various schemes related to rural development.
  5. To organize Working Group meetings to finalise the Draft Five Year Plan proposals of the State Governments. This involves the preparation of background papers, discussions on inter-se plan priorities, critical examination of plan proposals in relation to plan objectives and approaches, preparation of Working Group Reports giving, inter-alia, outlays and physical targets.
  6. Finalisation of the Five Year Plan outlays of the Ministry of Rural Development. Finalisation of Annual Plans of the Central Ministry of Rural Development and State Governments. This includes assessment of progress both in physical and financial terms, in relation to the approved targets and outlays, scheme-wise examination of proposals and reviewing targets and finalizing allocation for next Annual Plan.
  7. To provide comments, materials etc. for Public representations, VIP references, Parliament Questions and Agenda items for the meetings of Consultative Committee/ Standing Committee for the Planning Commission pertaining to rural development sector are also attended to.

The Rural Development Division looks after the following programmes being implemented by the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD):

National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA),

The NREG was launched on February 2, 2006 and the first full year of operation was 2006-07 covering 200 districts. The programme was expanded to 330 districts in 2007-08 and covers the whole country from 1.4.08. The primary objective of the scheme is to provide guaranteed work for 100 days for any household wishing to have such employment. Although all households are eligible, the expectation is that only the poorer sections, i.e., landless labour and marginal farmers would actually seek work. The secondary objective is to ensure that employment generated is from works that raise land productivity.

Swarnjayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY)

SGSY is a major on-going scheme for the self-employment of the rural poor. The basic objective of the scheme is to bring the assisted poor families (swarozgaris) above the poverty line by providing them income generating assets through a mix of bank credit and government subsidy. Credit is the critical component of the scheme whereas the subsidy is an enabling element. The scheme involves organisation of the poor into Self Help Groups (SHGs) build their capacities through a process of social mobilization, their training, selection of key activities, planning of activity clusters, creation of infrastructure, provision of technology and marketing support, etc. Under the scheme focus is on the group approach. However, individual Swarozgaris are also assisted. The SGSY is being implemented by the District Rural Development Agencies (DRDAs) with the active involvement of Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs), banks, line Departments and the Non-Government Organisations (NGOs).

The credit mobilization under SGSY has been abysmally low. Further, a large number of SHGs are formed but fizzle out midway after availing the revolving fund. To make the scheme more effective it is being re-structured with a sharper focus on poorest of the poor people. A suitable mechanism will be put in place for higher social mobilization, capacity building and institution building among the target population

Indira Awaas Yojana (IAY)

The IAY is being implemented as an independent scheme since 1996. It aims to provide assistance for construction / upgradation of dwelling units to the Below Poverty Line (BPL) rural households, with special emphasis on SCs, STs and freed bonded labor categories. A maximum assistance of Rs 35,000 per unit is provided for construction in plain areas and Rs 38,500 per unit for hilly/difficult areas. Rs 15000 is given for upgradation of a dwelling unit for all areas. The funding of IAY is shared between the Centre and State in the ratio of 75:25. (100% in the case of UTs).

National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP)

The National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) was launched with the aim to provide social assistance benefit to poor households in the case of old age, death of primary breadwinner and maternity. The programme supplements the efforts of the State Governments with the objective of ensuring minimum national levels of well being and the Central assistance is an addition to the benefit that the States are already providing on Social Protection Schemes. With a view to ensure better linkage with nutrition and national population control programmes, the Maternity Benefit Component of the NSAP was transferred to the Department of Family Welfare, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare with effect from 2001-02. The schemes of NSAP and Annapurna have been transferred to the State Plan with effect from 2002-03 with a view to provide requisite flexibility to the State / UT in the choice and implementation of the schemes.

Integrated Watershed Management Programme (IWMP)

During the Eleventh Plan, the three area development programmes, namely, Integrated Wasteland Development Programme, Drought Prone Area Programme and Desert Development Programme have been integrated and consolidated into a single programme called Integrated Watershed Management Programme (IWMP). This consolidation is for optimum use of resources, sustainable outcomes an integrated planning. The common guidelines for the Watershed Development Programme have been formulated and are effective from 1.4.2008. An amount of Rs.1825 crore has been allocated for IWMP during 2008-09. The ongoing projects sanctioned prior to 1.4.2008 under DADP, DDP, and IWDP would be continued to be implemented as per old guidelines.

The modified IWMP would adopt a three tier apporch in which the upper reaches which are mainly forested and hilly would be treated with the support of Forest Department. For land situated intermediate slopes above the agriculture lands, the IWMP would address all the necessary issues of land treatment by adopting best possible options including cropping pattern, horticulture and agro-forestry etc. In the lower tire, which are plains and mainly agricultural lands, the IWMP would be dovetailed with the employment generating programme such as National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) an would fill the critical gaps of NREGS and vice versa.

Under the new programme, a cluster approach would be followed with a broader vision of natural hydro-geographical unit of average size of 4,000 to 10,000 ha. comprising of clusters of micro-watershed to be selected as project area. The progrrame would be implemented by dedicated institutional agencies at state and central level. Professional support (in the form of multidisciplinary expert team) would be provided to support these institutions with proper fund allocation. A core GIS facility with spatial and non-spatial data augmented with satellite imagery data would be set up for giving Controlled access/distributon for local project planning.

The project period is proposed in the range of 5 to 7 years in three distinct phases, i.e. Preparatory, Watershed works and Consodilation phase. The consodilation phase will include livelihood activities, marketing, processing and value addition activities.

National Land Records Modernization Programme (NLRMP):

The National Land Records Modernization Programme (NLRMP) has been conceptualized as a major system and reform initiative that is concerned not merely with computerization, updating and maintenance of land records and validation of titles, but also as a programme that will add value and provide a comprehensive database for planning developmental, regulatory and disaster management activities by providing location-specific information, while providing citizen services based on land records data.

Under the NLRMP, the following three layers of data will be integrated on a geographic information system (GIS) platform: Spatial data from satellite imagery/aerial photography, Survey of India and Forest Survey of India maps, and Revenue records: cadastral maps and RoR details. All cadastral maps will be digitized, and data included with plot numbers and unique id for each land parcel. Administrative unit boundaries from village level upwards (including panchayat, block, tehsil, circle, sub-division, district, division, State and national boundaries), forest, water bodies and other physical attributes of land and land use details will be overlaid, and other developmental layers (e.g., watersheds, road networks, etc.) added to the core GIS.

The activities to be supported under the Programme, inter alia, include survey/resurvey using modern technology including aerial photogrammetry, updating of land records including mutation records, completion of computerization of the records of rights (RoRs), computerization of registration, automatic generation of mutation notices, digitization of maps , integration of the entire system digitization of maps and training and capacity building of the concerned officials and functionaries. Connectivity amongst the land records and registration offices and land records management centers at tehsil/taluk/circle/block level would be supported. Access to land records data would be provided to Cooperative and other financial institutions for facilitating credit operations.

A major focus of the Programme will be on citizen services, such as providing records of rights (RoRs) with maps; other land-based certificates such as caste certificates, income certificates (particularly in rural areas), domicile certificates; information for eligibility for development programmes; land passbooks, etc.

In addition, the Programme will be of immense usefulness to the governments - both Central and State Governments - in modernizing and bringing efficiency to the land revenue administration as well as offering a comprehensive tool for planning various land-based developmental, regulatory and disaster management activities needing location-specific information. Even the private sector will be able to benefit from this comprehensive tool for planning business and economic activities.

As indicated above, the NLRMP has been approved by the Cabinet in its meeting held on 21.8.2008. The budget provision for the Scheme during the current year (2008-09) is Rs.473.00 crore. Accordingly, it is proposed to implement the NLRMP across the country and to make it fully operational over the next five to eight year period. The components of the scheme will become integrated with the Revenue Administration of the States/UTs and will continue as such on an ongoing basis.