Why is rural development important in India?
Rural Development in India is one of the foremost important factors for the expansion of the Indian economy. India is primarily an agriculture-based country. Agriculture comprises nearly one-fifth of the GDP (gross domestic product) in India. To extend the expansion of agriculture, the government has planned several programs concerning Rural Development in India. The Ministry of Rural Development in India is the apex body for formulating policies, regulations, and acts concerning the event of the agricultural sector. Agriculture, handicrafts, fisheries, poultry, and dairy are the primary contributors to the agricultural business and economy.
Aims and Objectives of Rural Development
Rural development aims at improving rural people’s livelihoods both socially and environmentally in a sustainable manner. This is maintained through better access to assets and services that are natural, physical, human, technological, and social capital and have control over productive capital (in its financial or economic, and political forms) that helps them to reinforce their livelihoods on an equitable and sustainable basis.
The main goals of rural development programmes have been to reduce poverty and unemployment by building basic social and economic infrastructure, providing training to unemployed youth in rural areas, and providing jobs to marginal farmers and labourers in order to discourage seasonal and permanent migration to cities.
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Role and performance of the government
Agriculture, Health and Family Welfare, New and Renewable Energy, Science and Technology, Women and Child Development, and Tribal Affairs are among the central government ministries involved directly or indirectly in the implementation of several rural development programmes and schemes.
The Government’s policy and programmes have laid emphasis on poverty alleviation, generation of employment and income opportunities and provision of infrastructure and basic facilities to satisfy the wants of rural poor. The Ministry of Rural Development in India is that the apex body for formulating policies, regulations, and acts concerning the event of the agricultural sector. Agriculture, handicrafts, fisheries, poultry, and diary are the primary contributors to the agricultural business and economy.
The introduction of Bharat Nirman, a project by the government of India alongside the State Governments and thus the Panchayati Raj Institutions could also be a serious step towards the event of the agricultural sector. The National Rural Employment Guarantee Act 2005 was introduced by the Ministry of Rural Development, for improving the living conditions and its sustenance within the agricultural sector of India.
Strategies and programs for rural development
The various strategies and programs of the govt. for rural development are discussed below:
- Integrated Rural Development Program (IRDP):
First introduced in 1978-79, IRDP has provided assistance to rural poor within the type of subsidy and bank credit for productive employment opportunities through successive plan periods.
- Wage Employment Programs:
Anti-poverty strategies, like assistance to the agricultural poor families to bring them above the poverty line by ensuring the appreciable sustained level of income through the tactic of social mobilization, training, and capacity building. Wage Employment Programs have sought to understand multiple objectives.
- Employment Assurance Scheme (EAS):
The employment Assurance Scheme was launched in October 1993. EAS scheme covers 1,778 drought-prone, tribal, desert, and hilly areas.
- Rural Housing:
IAV was initiated in 1985-86. This program was initiated for providing free housing to various families in rural areas. It targets households and freed bonded labourers and scheduled castes (SCs)/scheduled tribes (STs). The agricultural housing program has certainly enabled many BPL families to accumulate pucca houses.
Science and Technology for rural development
Ministry of Science and Technology plays a crucial role in promoting science & technology within the country. The departments has wide ranging activities ranging from promoting high-end basic research and development of vanguard technologies on one hand to serving the technological requirements of the commoner through the development of various skills and technologies on the other. Appropriate rural technology focuses mainly on those technologies which are simple and within the reach of the quality people for his or her own benefit and thus the advantage of their community and harness the local or regional capacity to satisfy local needs without increasing dependence on external factors. A large number of governments, public and personal non-government organizations are involved in developing technologies for rural areas. However, these technologies have hardly touched the lives of the agricultural population. Apparently, the matter lies not only within the generation, diffusion and adoption of technologies but also in poor documentation. Recently, efforts are made by several organizations like NRDC, CAPART, TRCS, NIRD, DST, DBT, CSIR, ICAR, KVKs and other voluntary organizations etc.
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