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Rural Development

  • Categories: Agriculture Economic Growth

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Words: 730 |

Published: Sep 20, 2018

Words: 730 | Pages: 2 | 4 min read


Works cited.

  • Odurukwe, S., Matthews-Njoku, E., & Ejioku-Okereke, N. (2006). Agricultural production and poverty in Nigeria. Journal of Rural Economics and Development, 15(1), 32-45.
  • Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). (1995). Agricultural development and food security in Africa. Retrieved from http://www.fao.org/3/v8330e/v8330e00.htm
  • International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). (1993). Rural poverty report. Rome: IFAD.
  • United Nations Development Program (UNDP). (n.d.). Gender and agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa. Retrieved from http://www.africa.undp.org/content/rba/en/home/library/women-economic-empowerment/gender-and-agriculture-in-sub-saharan-africa.html
  • Damisa, M., & Yohanna, M. (2007). Gender roles in agricultural production: A case study of women farmers in rural Nigeria. Journal of Gender and Rural Development, 2(1), 32-42.
  • Abdullahi, R. (n.d.). Rural women and agricultural development in Nigeria. Retrieved from https://www.intechopen.com/chapters/11527
  • Afolabi, M. (2008). Women's contribution to food production in rural Nigeria. Journal of Agricultural Extension, 12(1), 50-60.
  • Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). (1995). Women in agriculture: Closing the gender gap for development. Retrieved from http://www.fao.org/3/v9776e/v9776e00.htm
  • Ampaire, E. L., & Kansiime, M. K. (2016). Factors influencing women's participation in agricultural production and decision-making in Uganda. Gender, Technology and Development, 20(3), 207-227.
  • Mba, S. (2010). The role of women in agricultural production: A case study of rural women in Southeast Nigeria. Journal of Sustainable Development, 3(4), 246-252.

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Importance of Rural Development

As the topic suggests, rural development in India is the overall progress in the economic and social conditions of Indians residing in rural areas. It is not an objective but a constant process in itself. As a result, this process actively contributes to the economic growth of a rural region and the country as a whole. Conversely, the economic development in an area leads to rural development. 

Therefore, the objectives of rural development include providing opportunities for earning a respectable livelihood. Consequently, the rural population will be able to relieve themselves of poverty and economic backwardness. The policy-makers in India attempt to introduce modern education, health standards, and land reforms to offer the rural inhabitants a standard of living. 

What is Rural Development in India? 

With the passage of several decades since independence, the Indian government has stressed the need for rural development in India.

The task for You: Find out how rural development fuels the overall economic growth of India? 

To begin with, rural development stands for the increase in income opportunities for people living in rural areas. According to the Population Census of 2011, the percentage of people residing in rural areas is close to 69% of the Indian population.

It roughly translates to about 83.3 crore Indians who are settled in rural areas. Thus, rural development also includes the measures implemented by government bodies to curb the poverty rate in such areas. 

As per another report by the Government of India, the percentage of the Indian population that was situated Below the Poverty Line (BPL) in 2011-2012 amounted to 21.9%. Needless to say, people affected by rural poverty contribute to a large chunk of the percentage. Therefore, the development of rural areas in terms of economy and viability of professional options is much needed. Through this progress, a sizable portion of the Indian population will find themselves out of the BPL group.

The task for You: Are the markers of rural development and urban development the same?

What is Required?

As a result, the rural population requires long-lasting reforms and consistent projects on rural development in India in sectors such as agriculture, education, and health. With necessary steps and measures, it is thus possible to introduce development in rural landmasses that will stand the test of time.

However, before all this, it becomes important to determine which areas fall under rural India. With this focused study, it becomes easier to point out the areas which need development in every aspect of economic and non-economic activities. 

What are Rural Areas? 

Besides the obvious definition, there is a lot more to know about exactly which areas stand for rural India. By knowing the rural area's meaning, students will be able to distinguish between economic activities occurring in distinct geographical areas. 

As per the Planning Commission of India (PCI), rural meaning refers to the geographical area where the maximum population of Indians is 15,000. In addition, it can also be an area where the population density remains 400 people per square kilometer. Therefore, these areas are usually placed within the spectrum of Tier 3 to Tier 6 cities. 

As far as governing bodies are concerned, rural areas are equipped with panchayats that act as local decision-making entities. Therefore, a rural area lacks a municipal board. Simply speaking, rural areas include the countryside and villages that we commonly encounter.

Moreover, the importance of rural development lies in the fact that the government aims to increase rural expenditure. Therefore, the objectives of rural progress involve boosting the contribution of rural expenditure to the total national monthly expenditure from the current 55%. 

What are the Objectives of Rural Development in India? 

With the concept of rural development explained, let’s move on to what rural development aims to achieve. First of all, decision-making entities ensure positive durable changes to boost the economy of a rural area. As a result, dedicated areas will witness a long-lasting growth pattern that is likely to reduce poverty rates. 

However, the primary objectives of rural development include the following – 

To promote economic growth among the rural population through adequate access to food, shelter, clothing, education, and employment. With proper opportunities proportional to the same in urban areas, individuals residing in rural areas will be able to get a level ground for income options.

To introduce modern techniques for agriculture in rural areas to contribute to an increased productivity rate. As a result, the role of rural development is to establish sustainable and affordable technology to increase production in a national market. 

To ensure consistent rural infrastructure development in India. In addition, this process should involve all local rural populations. Consequently, they will gain the agency to make large-scale economic decisions that lead to area-based financial development. 

To bridge the gap between local governing bodies and the Central administration for better economic communication. On top of that, rural development aims to provide executive powers to panchayats for carrying on the policies framed by experts. 

Finally, the objective of rural development is to use natural resources within a territory to ensure maximum economic benefit for inhabitants. This also includes important land reform measures to boost the agricultural output and productivity of every individual involved. 

Now that we know what the concept of rural development in India aims to achieve, let’s progress to the elements that impact rural growth.

What are the Factors that Affect Rural Development in India? 

Multiple factors contribute to the urban development of India. However, in-depth knowledge of knowledge and knowledge development will certainly help students understand the ingredients of rural progress.

As a result, they will be able to pinpoint the nature of factors that have a direct impact on rural development. 

Therefore, factors affecting the rural development in India are duly stated below – 

Infrastructure – The infrastructural condition of a rural area has a direct link with its scale of development. Primarily, infrastructure consists of pucca roads, a consistent supply of electricity, and availability of transport.

With these factors, governing bodies have been able to reduce connectivity issues related to these areas. As a result, there has been an increase in the efficiency of the supply of agricultural output to mainland markets all over India. Therefore the opportunity of income increases among the rural residents. 

Education – It is quite obvious that the level of education plays an integral role in the overall progress of rural areas. First of all, education introduces one to new and innovative ideas to improve his/her social condition. Educating the rural population at an early age ensures that there is no discrimination between the urban and rural populations. Therefore, they are open to countless employment opportunities from multiple sectors and industries. 

Healthcare – Needless to say, healthcare is an important part of rural development in India. The rural population is often susceptible to diseases that can be avoided with proper healthcare measures. Besides, this contributes directly to their productivity.

As a result, they will be able to participate in healthy competitions in the market. Proper healthcare systems also reduce the mortality rate, thus ensuring a healthy and meaningful life. 

Technology – The role of technology in rural development is indisputable. First of all, modern production techniques in various sectors can actively increase their rate of production, which allows for a remarkable rise in the scale of economic activities in rural areas. On the other hand, the technology significantly reduces irrigation and quality issues. Therefore, the presence of appropriate technological means such as pumps, tractors is the make-or-break factor of rural development. 

In addition, access to clean drinkable water and sanitation is a must for the development of rural areas. In this way, rural residents will be able to benefit from equal income opportunities and sustainable healthcare services. 

How to Ensure the Rural Development of India? 

The Government of India has launched multiple projects on rural development in India over the decades. The keys to sustainable rural development in terms of economic situation include the following – 

Proper presence of advanced facilities for irrigation to all land types in India. As a result, farmers can boost their agricultural output and create economic opportunities for themselves. 

Credit facilities on access to the necessary ingredients of farming such as fertilizers, pesticides, and seeds. Subsidies on electricity used for farming purposes ensure that the rural population saves more than it spends. 

Combat with social inequalities and discrimination in rural areas to create a sense of unity. This sense of social unity will lead to the formation of an economic class whose aim is to boost production and ensure rural development. 

Make sure that there are adequate training sessions for farmers to equip them with modern agricultural measures. Besides, farmers should also be aware of agricultural policies, land reforms, and market prices for the best use of their resources. 

In addition, any improvement in current agricultural markets also makes sure that they can accommodate the economic contribution of the rural population. In these ways, one can ensure a sustainable growth curve and desirable rural development of India. 

For an in-depth insight into the factors that determine rural progress in India, go through the study materials available on our website. You can also install the Vedantu app to help you with your classes.

Scope of Rural Development

Since times immemorial India has been continuing to be and will remain in the future land of village communities. That is why Mahatma Gandhi rightly stated that" India lives in villages"If the village Perishes India will too Perish. Most of the people in India live in rural areas and any strategy of social-economic development in India that neglects rural people and rural areas cannot be successful. It is a sine -qua -non of the development of India.

Rural development is a result of interchanges between various physical, technical, economic, social, cultural, and institutional factors. Rural development is continuously designed to improve the economic and social well-being of rural people. 

Contents of Rural Development

1.1 Scope of rural development 

1.2 Rural demography

1.3 Rural unemployment

1.4 Rural credit and indebtedness 

1.5 Rural industrialization 

1.6 Rural development programs 

1.7. Institution for rural development 

1.8 Rural migration

1.9 Rural labor.

Strategy and Approaches to Rural Development

The multipurpose method

The minimum package method 

The target group approach

The area development approach

Integrated rural development approach.

In the rural economy of India, there are broadly two sectors namely

Agricultural sector

Nonagricultural sector 

Rural development means the development of agriculture and rural nonagricultural sectors. that sector are divided into some sub-sectors as shown in the following table.

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Programs for Fastest-Growing Rural Development

The Indian government has launched extensive programs for rural development areas. Below is the list of the development programs which are carried out by the government for the upliftment of the weaker section,s in rural areas:

Rural works program 

Marginal farmers and agricultural laborers Development Agency 

Small farmers Development Agency 

Integrated dryland Agricultural Development 

Agro services centers

Area development schemes

Crash program for employment food for work program

Pilot intensive Rural Employment 

Projects minimum needs programs

Common area development 

Desert development program 

Drought-prone area program 

Integrated rural development program

National Rural Employment program 

Training rural youth for self-employment rural and less employment guarantee program

Jawahar Rozgar Yojana 

Indira Mahila Yojana 

Indira Awas Yojana

Rural area council for Advancement of people's action and rural technology

Prime Minister Rozgar Yojana 

Modernization of Agricultural Green Revolution 

Development of Agriculture High-value

Credit banking cooperative societies

Land Reforms promotion of rural industrialization 

Integrated rural energy program 

Social development programs 

Dryland and rainfed farming 

Watershed development program

Horticulture development

Capital development 

Dairy development

Operation Flood fisheries and development.


FAQs on Rural Development in India

1. Why is India still considered as a  rural economy?

The people residing in rural areas have so many problems. The basic problem is that they depend only on agriculture and its allied activities for their living. Agriculture is subsistence in nature. They have other problems like, they are not well educated. so because of lack of education, they are unaware of facts which leads them to poverty.

2. What is the development of an economy?

Development of the economy is a very comprehended term .it not only includes development in one area but it is overall development in all existing areas of an economy. It might be development in per capita income of a country, the standard of living, reduction of poverty, availability of services to removing inequalities between poor and rich, economic establishment, etc. All these factors together comprise the development.

3. How India is converting to a developed country from a developing one?

India is an emerging and developing country among the Asian nations. It is the world's largest democracy, and one of the world's fastest-growing economies. The main reason for classifying India as a developing economy is a lower per capita income and lack of modern infrastructure and technology. If India wants to transform itself into a developed nation following areas should be developed.

Increase in per capita income.

Increasing  literacy rate,

Raising  the standard of living,

Increase in employment rate and most important some strict rules for the increasing population.

4. What are some of the institutional drawbacks in Indian agriculture?

Indian agriculture is not advanced as it involves outdated techniques of farming. The farmers are poor and they don't have enough money to do commercial cropping. So we need to involve the small and marginal farmers and the landless labor in arising benefits of gained agricultural exports through merged co-operatives. The present credit system is very weak as the farmer's use of money is not appropriate as they use this money for their personal uses rather than for agriculture.

We also need to make efforts to develop new technologies for the farming sector and make them available for small farmers so that they may diversify their production towards high-value commercial and export commodities.

5. What is Rural Development?

Rural development refers to the economic and social progress in the lives of people residing in rural areas. This also includes providing equal opportunities for income and respectable livelihood to the rural population.

6. What is the importance of Rural Development?

Rural development is important in every country because it reduces economic discrimination and provides financial opportunities to individuals. Through these opportunities, the rural population can alleviate their poverty.

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Essay on Agriculture and Rural Development in English for Children and Students

essay on rural development

Table of Contents

Today, urbanization has made people from rural areas to shift to cities and towns, for better opportunities and facilities. This trend isn’t specific to a particular region of the globe, but is witnessed almost in every country. Despite this huge population shift from rural to urban centers, agriculture has remained a significant source of income and livelihood for one-third of the world population. Agriculture, at the grass root level functions as a family run business, by the farmers. Nearly 70-80% of total world’s poor people rely on agriculture for livelihood, including the farmers. Hence, the role that agriculture plays in Rural Development is significant.

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Long and Short Essay on Agriculture and Rural Development in English

We have given below Short and Long Essay on Agriculture and Rural Development in English under varying word lengths.

After reading these short and long agriculture and rural development essay, you will know what role does agriculture plays in rural development, the world statistics on agriculture; facts and figures around the world; what role does agriculture plays in economy; importance/significance of agriculture; components of rural development; Indian statistics on agriculture and rural development; steps taken by the government of India for rural development etc.

These Agriculture and Rural Development essays are especially beneficial for the students of senior secondary level and help them in essay writing, debate or other competitions.

Agriculture and Rural Development Essay – 1 (200 Words)

Nearly 45% of the total world population resides in villages, that is roughly 339 Crores. By and large, nearly 60% of the global population depends on agriculture and allied businesses. Villages primarily are agriculture based economies, not only in developing but also in developed nations around the world.

Development in rural areas, up to a large extent depends on Agriculture, as it constitutes the prime source of livelihood and food for farmers and other villagers. But, the statement also hold true, the other way round, that is agricultural in a village also depends hugely on the infrastructure developments and scientific advancements in farming.

That is, better roads, 24/7 dedicated electricity supply for farms, irrigation canals, introduction of modern farming technologies are some of the areas of rural development which in turn will mutually benefit the agriculture industry.

Agriculture and Rural Development are directly proportional to each other and a development in any one will consequently lead to the improvement of other. On the other hand a poor state of any one of them will adversely affect the other.

Agricultural economy of a village will suffer in absence of good roads and electricity, hence, stalling the overall economical as well as social development of a village.

Agriculture and Rural Development Essay – 2 (300 Words)


Agriculture plays a significant role in rural development by way of employment creation, food production and livelihood. Almost 60% of world’s population i.e. 450 Crores (roughly) depends directly on agriculture and its allied sectors for their living. Agriculture plays a significant role in rural development by making the villages self sustainable. With better agriculture yield and growth prospects in a village, development is evidently the next natural thing to happen.

World Statistics of Agriculture

Agriculture is an industry which has the potential to end poverty and misery around the world. A little more than half of the world’s population i.e. 450 Crores depends on agriculture for livelihood. Studies reveal that agriculture is the prime source of income for 65% of the world’s poor adult population. Also, agriculture contributes to 6.4% of world’s total economic production, which roughly sums up to $5,084,800 million.

On the contrary, despite such huge potential of agriculture in improving economy and eliminating poverty, rural population in most parts of the world faces slow social and economic development. The farmers, who provide food for almost the entire world population has very low or no access to modern amenities as in urban centers. They considerably lag behind in education, health and other sectors.

Nearly 80% of population in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa that also supports the livelihood of 2.5 billion people, face economic and social marginalization.

Agriculture and Rural Development are two different aspects, yet they are also co-related. While agriculture hugely contributes in sustaining rural economy and strengthening its social structure, reducing poverty etc; rural development on the other hand, includes the developments in agriculture sector as well as other sectors like, health, education, roads, industrialization and others. Agriculture sector is obviously benefited by infrastructure development, because of better accessibility to markets and urban trade centers.

Agriculture and Rural Development Essay – 3 (400 Words)

Agriculture sector has a huge potential for transforming rural economy by making it, self sustainable. Growth in agriculture produces consequently leads to economical development and poverty eradication. It makes the village economy self sustainable; however, the overall development of a rural area depends on wide number of factors other than agriculture. The two however are closely co-related in some aspects as we will know in the following essay.

Facts and Figures

Approximately 45% of World’s population lives in rural areas, that is in terms of numbers 3.4 billion people. Also, nearly 2 billion people have agriculture as their primary source of income. Agriculture sector also employs nearly 866 million people across the globe. Out of which, approx 75% (656 million) are in south-East Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. Around 80% of world food is produced by over 500 million farms run by a family.

Agriculture and Rural Economy

Agriculture is an integral part of many world economies, especially the developing ones, and hence plays a significant role in rural development. It helps the villages to be self reliant by creating new job opportunities, eradicating poverty and improving rural society.

Economic development of a rural area primarily depends on the state of agriculture in that particular area. A decline in agriculture produce will adversely affect the economy. However, over dependency of rural areas on agriculture and allied sectors for employment generation is also a challenge for rural economy.

Though, agriculture is self reliable, it is also vulnerable to natural calamities like drought, flood, storms and pollution. A year of unexpected less rain or drought could put the whole village economy on back foot in terms of economy.

The challenge is therefore to make rural economy more independent of agriculture, by introducing sectors like fish farming, honey bee farming etc.

Agriculture plays a great role in overall development of rural areas; though, it is not the only factor on which rural development depends. Overall rural development includes development in agriculture along with other sectors, like development in education, health facilities, transportation, basic amenities like water and electricity, proper infrastructure etc. There is no doubt that the development in terms of infrastructure, water and electricity will support agriculture sector and hence the village economy.

Agriculture and Rural Development Essay – 4 (500 Words)

Agriculture sector around the world is a major player in sustaining rural economy and development. It is the largest employer in rural areas and hugely contributes in its overall development. Nearly 80% of world population depends on agriculture for its livelihood by supplying food to the rest of the world. Rural development and agriculture are also co-related in more than one way, as we will find out in the following essay.

Significance of Agriculture

The contribution of agriculture in improving rural economy is immense. It sustains village economy by generating food, employment and other related means of livelihood. Agriculture sector is the huge employment provider in rural areas. It provides employment to daily wage labours as well as skilled work force in fields as well as other agriculture related activities.

Agriculture sector is also a mass producer of food, necessary for sustaining human nutritional needs. With low yield or declining agricultural activities, signs of hunger and malnutrition start showing up within no time.

Components of Rural Development

Social, economic and overall development of a rural area depends on a wide number of factors like agriculture, better planning, employment generation etc. We will discuss in brief some of the chief components of rural development below-

1) Employment Generation

Employment Creation is the main component of rural development. Though, in rural areas, agriculture sector is the largest employer. Therefore, to generate employment opportunities in villages, there is a need to strengthen agriculture sector and also setup other industries.

2) Better Planning

Better planning must be done by the government, to boost up local economy of a village by employing development model conducive to its growth. A village economy largely depends on agriculture and hence any positive changes made in the latter will automatically improve the state of former.

3) Better Roads

Better road connectivity is a major sign of rural development which also improves the agriculture sector. Better roads and connectivity to urban trade centers mean that the farm produces reach the market early and fetch good price, hence, aiding in agricultural economy as well.

4) Modern Techniques

Introducing modern techniques in agriculture and allied industries will automatically improve the overall development of villages. Using genetically modified seeds and organic fertilizers for better yield will consequently lead to overall development of rural areas.

5) Basic Amenities

Availability of basic amenities like water and electricity is also a major component of rural development. It also improves crop yield by ensuring that the field never run dry even when the natural rain is scarce. Similarly, continuous electricity supply is also beneficial for agriculture.

Agriculture and Rural Development are the backbones of the economy of a nation. This becomes more befitting in case of developing and underdeveloped economies of the world. In an agrarian economy, the more better the state of agriculture is the better will be the development around rural areas. On the other hand, rural development in terms of infrastructure and other sectors creates an environment conducive to the growth of agriculture sector.

Agriculture and Rural Development Long Essay – 5 (600 Words)

India is primarily an agriculture based economy and a large portion of its population still resides in villages. Therefore, for developing rural India, it is imperative to develop the agriculture sector by introducing new reforms and policies. In the following essay we will go through the state of agriculture and rural development in India, discussing prospects of their improvement.

Agriculture Statistics – India

Nearly 75% of India’s total population (133 Crores) depends primarily on agriculture sector for its livelihood, which roughly sums up to approximately 100.4 Crores people. Agriculture sector in India contributes around 16% of the total GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of India. It is only in third place preceded by service sector and industrial sector at first and third place respectively. Indian economy is the fastest growing economy of the world and is expected to consistently improve.

Role of Agriculture in Economy

Agriculture sector is one of the primary sectors of the Indian economy. Though, the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) contribution of agriculture has consistently declined in past six to seven decades, it still employs nearly 53% of Indian population.

Agriculture also plays a significant role in making the village economy self sustainable and independent. Rural India is still far away from industrialization and the prime source of employment for rural people is the agriculture sector.

Agriculture sector therefore is the main player in Indian economy as it sustains not only farmers but also other small businesses and vendors those rely on it. Agricultural produces are transported to markets, in turn providing employment in transport sector.

While the products breach markets, small vegetable vendors, shop keepers purchase the products for direct selling, thereby generating tremendous employment opportunities. Needless to say that agriculture sector employs skilled and unskilled labours at all levels and in all allied sectors.

Initiatives for Rural Development

1) Five Year Plan

Beginning in 1951, the Government of India has been framing and implementing five year plan, after every five year, to improve the overall development of the country, primarily in the rural areas. Under the five year plan dams had been built, irrigation canals constructed, agricultural reforms introduced etc.

2) Increased Budgetary Allocations for Agriculture

Government has in the subsequent years increased spending on agriculture and related sectors in a bid to make them independent and self reliant. The money is spent on improving agriculture sector right from the production stage to marketing stage.

3) Road Connectivity

Good roads are the most significant symbols of rural development and also the most important one. They not only reduce the distance between villages and cities but also boost up the agricultural industry by providing fast and easy transportation.

4) Giving Agricultural Credit

Giving agricultural loans at reasonable rates to small and poor farmers will also aid in rural development. When a poor farmer is given credit to purchase fertilizers, farm equipments etc, it will consequently improve village economy and development.

5) Rural Job Guarantee Schemes

Rural job guarantee schemes like MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) which guarantees job on daily basis to rural population do a commendable job in improving the village economy. It provides job not only in agriculture sector but also in other fields such as road and building construction etc.

Indian economy is largely dependent on agriculture, while the latter depends on rural development. It is also true that economic and social development of Indian villages is primarily dependent on agriculture sector. Therefore, it wouldn’t be wrong to see agriculture and rural developments as two sides of one coin, where one depends on or is affected by changes in other.

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  • Meaning Of Rural Development

Rural Development in India

Rural development usually refers to the method of enhancing the quality of life and financial well-being of individuals, specifically living in populated and remote areas.

Traditionally, rural development was centred on the misuse of land-intensive natural resources such as forestry and agriculture. However today, the increasing urbanisation and the change in global production networks have transformed the nature of rural areas.

Rural development still remains the core of the overall development of the country. More than two-third of the country’s people are dependent on agriculture for their livelihood, and one-third of rural India is still below the poverty line. Therefore, it is important for the government to be productive and provide enough facilities to upgrade their standard of living.

Rural development is a term that concentrates on the actions taken for the development of rural areas to improve the economy. However, few areas that demand more focused attention and new initiatives are:

  • Public health and Sanitation
  • Women empowerment
  • Infrastructure development (electricity, irrigation, etc.)
  • Facilities for agriculture extension and research
  • Availability of credit
  • Employment opportunities

Importance of Rural Development

Rural development is important not only for the majority of the population residing in rural areas, but also for the overall economic expansion of the nation.

Rural development is considered to be of noticeable importance in the country today than in the olden days in the process of the evolution of the nation. It is a strategy that tries to obtain an improved  and productivity, higher socio-economic equality and ambition, and stability in social and economic development.

The primary task is to decrease the famine that exists in roughly about 70 percent of the rural population, and to make sufficient and healthy food available.

The secondary task is to ensure the availability of clothing and footwear, a clean environment and house, medical attention, recreational provision, education, transport, and communication.

Objectives of Rural Development

The objectives composed by the government in the sixth five-year plan for rural development are:

  • To improve productivity and wages of rural people
  • To guarantee increased and quick employment possibilities
  • To demolish unemployment and bring a notable decline in underemployment
  • To guarantee an increase in the standard of living of the underprivileged population
  • To provide the basic needs: elementary education, healthcare, clean drinking water, rural roads, etc.

Solved Questions.

1. Explain rural development and its importance.

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Essay on Development of Rural Areas

Students are often asked to write an essay on Development of Rural Areas in their schools and colleges. And if you’re also looking for the same, we have created 100-word, 250-word, and 500-word essays on the topic.

Let’s take a look…

100 Words Essay on Development of Rural Areas


Rural areas are essential parts of a country’s landscape, often home to agriculture, forestry, and traditional industries. However, they can lack development compared to urban areas.

Importance of Rural Development

Rural development is vital for a balanced and inclusive growth. It improves living standards and reduces poverty. It also ensures food security by boosting agriculture.

Ways to Develop Rural Areas

Rural areas can be developed through education, healthcare facilities, infrastructure, and technology. Providing quality education and healthcare can improve the quality of life.

In conclusion, rural development is crucial for a country’s overall progress. It brings prosperity and reduces inequalities.

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250 Words Essay on Development of Rural Areas

Rural development signifies the actions and initiatives taken to improve the standard of living in non-urban neighborhoods, remote villages, and the countryside. It is pivotal for the balanced and inclusive growth of a nation.

The Need for Rural Development

Rural areas, home to a significant portion of the world’s population, often lag in terms of infrastructure, healthcare, education, and economic opportunities. This urban-rural divide can lead to social inequity, economic disparity, and political instability. Hence, rural development is a pressing necessity.

Strategies for Rural Development

The development of rural areas should be multi-dimensional, encompassing various sectors. Firstly, infrastructure development is crucial. This includes building roads, providing electricity, and improving water supply. Secondly, the agricultural sector should be modernized and diversified to increase productivity and income.

Education and Healthcare

Education and healthcare are two pillars for the development of any society. Rural areas often lack quality educational institutions and healthcare facilities. Investment in these sectors can lead to a healthier and more educated rural populace, thus fostering development.

Economic Opportunities

Creating economic opportunities is another significant aspect of rural development. This can be achieved through promoting small-scale industries, agro-based enterprises, and providing vocational training to the rural workforce.

In conclusion, rural development is a complex, multifaceted process that requires a comprehensive and integrated approach. It is not just about economic growth, but also about enhancing the quality of life for rural inhabitants. Therefore, it is essential for the inclusive and balanced growth of a country.

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500 Words Essay on Development of Rural Areas

Rural development is a critical component of comprehensive and inclusive growth of a nation. It involves enhancing the quality of life and economic well-being of people residing in rural areas. Despite the rapid urbanization, a significant portion of the global population still resides in rural regions, making their development an area of prime importance.

Rural areas often lag behind urban centers in terms of infrastructure, healthcare, education, and economic opportunities. This disparity can lead to a host of issues, including poverty, migration, and social unrest. Therefore, rural development is necessary to ensure balanced growth, social equity, and stability.

Key Aspects of Rural Development

Rural development is a holistic process and involves multiple dimensions. It is not solely about economic progress but also encompasses social, cultural, and environmental aspects.

Economic Development

Economic development in rural areas primarily involves the promotion of agriculture and allied activities. It includes modernizing farming techniques, promoting agro-based industries, and ensuring fair prices for agricultural produce. Additionally, diversifying the rural economy through the promotion of non-farm activities like handicrafts, tourism, and services sector can provide alternate income sources and reduce dependence on agriculture.

Social Development

Social development aims at improving the quality of life in rural areas. It involves enhancing education and healthcare facilities, providing clean drinking water and sanitation, and ensuring access to electricity and good quality housing. Empowering women and marginalized sections of society is also a crucial aspect of social development.

Environmental Sustainability

Rural development should also focus on environmental sustainability. It involves promoting sustainable farming practices, conservation of natural resources, and use of renewable energy sources. This not only protects the environment but also ensures the long-term viability of rural economies.

Challenges in Rural Development

Rural development faces several challenges including inadequate infrastructure, lack of quality education and healthcare, and limited access to credit and markets. Additionally, social issues like caste-based discrimination, gender inequality, and lack of awareness about government schemes often hinder rural development.

Rural development is a complex and multidimensional process. It requires coordinated efforts from the government, non-governmental organizations, and the rural community. While significant progress has been made in several areas, much work remains to be done. The aim should be to create self-reliant and sustainable rural communities that can contribute effectively to the overall growth and prosperity of the nation.

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Essay on Rural Development

essay on rural development

What is Rural Development? Rural Development refers to process of improving or uplifting the living conditions of the people living in rural areas.

The importance of the Rural Development: The people of India live mostly in rural areas (villages). Therefore, it is in the heart of the villages that the nation lives. Indeed, “the soul of India is in the toil of the rural areas”. The welfare of India depends upon the prosperity of the villages.

Ways and Means of Rural Development: After our independence, the conditions of the villages have been improved. The problems of our villages are many and various. For their solution, intelligent guidance of both the government and the people is needed.

The ways and means of rural development:

  • education of the masses
  • establishment of night schools for adults
  • improvement of sanitation
  • provisions for cheap medical aid
  • construction of good roads
  • establishment of co-operative credit societies

Educated people should go to the villages and settle there. Mass education should be introduced to remove the ignorance of the villagers. It should be made both compulsory and free. Night schools should be set up for the adults to teach them elementary Hygiene and scientific methods of cultivation.

For the improvement of sanitation, jungles should be cut down. Arrangements should be made for supply of pure drinking water on a large scale. Tube-wells should be sunk, new wells and ponds should be dug. Every village should be equipped with a hospital and a charitable dispensary for providing proper medical aid to the villagers.

Roads and other means of communication in the rural areas should be improved. The government should teach the farmers scientific methods of cultivation and supply them with implements of agriculture.

Co-operative Credit Societies should be set up to advance loans to the peasants. Arbitration boards should settle disputes and differences. Cottage industries should receive encouragement. Educational films should be exhibited.

Good libraries should be provided in every village. In this way, each village should be developed into a self-sufficient unit. It is a happy sign that our government is doing its best to improve the condition of the villages through various schemes of rural uplift. It’s the progress hitherto made has not been up to the mark.

School and college students can do a lot of work for rural development.

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Brief essay on rural development in india (696 words).

essay on rural development


This essay provides information about rural development in India!

The concept of rural development is quite comprehensive and extensive. G. Shah defines rural development as “the development of rural areas, often rural development has meant the extension of irrigation facilities, expansion of electricity, improvement in the techniques of cultivation, construction of school building and provision of educational facilities, health care etc.”


Image Courtesy : youngsocialworker.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/development1.jpg

This is considered to be a lop-sided view of understanding rural development. Of late, rural development signifies a complex and long term process involving fundamental transformation of rural society both at social and economic levels. It represents planned programmes to improve the quality of the life-style of the ruralites.

Components of Rural Development :

Rural development entails some components. They are as follows:

1. Rural development seeks to transform all the sectors of rural economy – the primary sector, the secondary sector and the tertiary sector.

2. It is concerned with the improvement of the standard of living of the ruralites through the provision of health and medical facilities, employment opportunities including vocational training, educational facilities etc.

3. It brings about significant improvement in the socio-economic conditions of the scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, the landless agricultural labourers and the marginal and small fanners.

Essential Aspects of Rural Development :

The essential aspects of rural development are as follows:

1. Agricultural development constitutes the crucial aspect of rural development. Agricultural development is possible through the use of better seeds, adequate fertilisers, manures, and pesticides, adequate supply of water and effective implementation of land reform measures.

2. By effecting changes in the socio-economic institutions, rural development seeks to change the socio-economic structure of the rural community.

3. The effectiveness of the rural development programmes necessitates political non-interference. The persons associated with these programmes should be given adequate freedom to carry out their plans and programmes with undivided attention.

4. The success of the rural development programmes depends on the co-operative orientation and attitude among the ruralites. The functioning of the co-operative societies goes a long way in improving the conditions of the vulnerable sections of the rural set-up.

5. Rural development programmes demand the active participation of the ruralites. While formulating these programmes the opinions, attitudes, drives and interests of the rural people should be taken into account. Further, dedicated and committed village leaders should come forward to guide the masses for bringing about rural development.

Integrated Rural Development:

It is claimed that the concept of Integrated Rural Development was originally propounded by the World Bank. In India the concept was put forward in the year 1976 at the All-India Science Congress by C. Subramanyam, the then Finance Minister of India.

He viewed integrated rural development as “systematic, scientific and integrated use of all our natural resources and as a part of this process enabling every person to engage himself in a productive and socially useful occupation and earn an income that would meet at least the basic needs.”

He holds the view that the use of natural resources is possible only through the application of science and technology. Further, proper application of science and technology results in the fulfilment of basic social needs.

G. Parthasarathy refers to four ‘routes’ in the context of integrated rural development: (i) the institutional route of Gunnar Myrdal, (ii) the ‘New Economics’ route, (iii) the Neo-Marxian route and (iv) the Gandhian route. V.K.R.V. Rao defines integrated rural development as “the optimum utilization of the natural and human resources of a given rural area for the enrichment of the quality of life of the population.”

The concept of integrated rural development addresses itself to various rural problems like widespread poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, exploitation, inequitable distribution of land, poor health conditions etc. It signifies that various facets of rural development are integrally connected.

It is a holistic concept rather than a sequential one. K. Om Prakash and G. Satyanarayan rightly observe that integrated rural development embraces all the activities of enrichment and betterment of the overall quality of rural life through appropriate development of man power, resources, infrastructural facilities and provisions of minimum needs and livelihood. It has far-reaching socio­economic and political implications for the life of the ruralites.

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Rural Development

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Essay on Rural Development Programme in India

essay on rural development

In this essay we will discuss about Rural Development Programme in India. After reading this essay you will learn about: 1. Introduction to Rural Development Programme in India 2. Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP) 3. National Rural Employment Programme (NREP) 4 . Rural Landless Employment Guarantee Programme (RLEGP) 5. Jawahar Rozgar Yojana (JRY) and Others.

  • Essay on the Present Scenario of Rural Development Programme in India.

Essay # 1. Introduction to Rural Development Programme in India:

The majority of population in India (about 73 per cent) is living in rural areas. Living conditions of the rural people are very poor. Under such a situation, development of rural areas must receive adequate attention in various schemes designed for the development of Indian economy.

Accordingly, since the inception of economic planning in India, the First Plan introduced the Community Development Programme and on 2nd October, 1952, first 55 Community Development Projects were inaugurated where each project was covering three Development Blocks.


With the passage of time, more and more such projects were developed and at the end of the Fifth Plan, about 5,028 Blocks were developed to cover almost all villages of the country, The community development programmes had undertaken ambitious schemes for alround development of rural areas which included improvement of agricultural techniques, exploring supplementary sources of employment, extension of minor irrigation facilities, improvement of transportation facilities, provision for social services and development of co-operatives and panchayats.

Till the end of Fifth Plan, about Rs. 671 crore were spent on these community development projects.

Inspite of these attempts, the Community Development Programme could not make much headway as it failed to enthuse the villages into the spirit of self-help, self-reliance and co-operative effort. Thus, the planners were worried about the failure of this community development programme as it failed to attract more and more rural people within its fold.

In the meantime lot of changes have taken place. At the Centre, the Ministry of Community Development and Co-operation was abolished and was replaced by a New Ministry of Rural Development for accelerating the pace of rural development of the country.

Accordingly, since the Sixth Plan onwards, various self employment programmes and wage employment programmes were introduced. In the former category the Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP) was undertaken in 1980.

Again in the later category, the Food for Work Programme (FWP) was initiated in 1977-78 for generating additional gainful employment and to create durable community assets by utilising surplus food-grains accumulated as buffer stocks in the country.

But this FWP created a little impact on the market wage rate, generation of employment etc. Thus later on, this FWP was restructured into the National Rural Employment Programme (NREP) from October 1980.

Thus, from April 1, 1981, the NREP became a regular programme in the economic planning of the country since the Sixth Plan, Later on various other employment programmes were also introduced which include. Training for Rural Youth for Self-Employment (TRYSEM), Development of Women and Children in Rural Area (DWCRA), Jawahar Rozgar Yojana (JRY) etc. Let us analyse some of these programmes in detail.

Essay # 2. Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP):

The Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP) seeks to promote self-employment by developing productive assets and providing inputs to the rural poor through a mix of subsidy and bank credit.

The Sixth Plan proposed to integrate multiplicity of agencies for providing rural employment such as Employment Guarantee Scheme, Small Farmers Development Agency (SFDA), Marginal Farmers and Agricultural Labourers (MFAL) Development Agency, Drought Prone Area Programme (DPAP), Command Area Development Programme (CADP), Desert Development Programme (DDP) etc.

As all these programmes overlap each other and therefore it became essential to integrate these programmes for effective monitoring and accounting. In this programme there was an “integration of sectoral programmes, spatial integration, integration of social and economic process, and above all the policies with a view to achieving a better fit between growth, removal of poverty and employment generation.”

Accordingly, the Sixth Plan introduced the Integrated Rural Development Programme on 2nd October, 1980. This programme was initiated as a multi-pronged attack on the problem of rural development was designed as an anti-poverty programme.

The Sixth Plan (1980-85) in its drafts mentioned that “such multiplicity of programmes for the rural poor operated through a multiplicity of agencies should be ended and replaced by one single integrated programme operative throughout the country.”

Main Objectives:

The process of economic development carried out in a country like India has benefitted mostly the relatively developed areas and also the relatively better off people. Inspite of various attempts the benefits have not reached up to the backward areas and its backward people.

To rectify this situation, designing of special programme for eradicating poverty became urgent. Thus, for the alleviation of rural poverty, poor people should be endowed with productive assets or skills for their fruitful self-employment by which they can earn greater incomes and thus cross the poverty line.

Basic objective of IRDP as introduced in the Sixth Plan was to promote self-employment of the poor households along-with the transfer of productive assets, so that they can earn income sufficient enough to cross the poverty line. Thus, the Sixth Plan (1980-85) conceived and designed IRDP as an anti-poverty programme.

The plan also emphasised that these people were poor because they did not possess any productive assets of their own except their labour, nor did they possess any special skills. Thus, the plan document mentioned, “Any development strategy which aims at improving the lot of the poor must aim at creating new productive assets for them.”

All these assets would normally include sources of irrigation for those possessing some land, bullocks, other farm implements, seeds and fertilizers, animals for dairy and other animal husbandry activities, tools and training for cottage industries, handicrafts, village industries etc.

Sub-Schemes of IRDP for Rural Development:

In recent years, two special sub-schemes of IRDP are also introduced. These include—Training of Rural Youth for Self-Employment (TRYSEM), and Development of Women and Children in Rural Areas (DWCRA).

The Training of Rural Youth for Self-Employment (TRYSEM) is to train rural youth from the target group of families in skills so as to enable them to take up self/wage employment. It has been laid down in this programme that the coverage of youth from SC/ST communities should be at least 50 per cent of total trained rural youth. Out of the total beneficiaries, at least 40 per cent should be women.

The programme of Development of Women and Children in Rural Areas (DWCRA) aims to improve the socio-economic status of the poor women in the rural areas through creation of group of women for income generating activities on a self-sustaining basis.

Table 8.1 shows achievements under such schemes in recent years.

Achievements of Special Employment and Poverty Alleviation Programmes in Rural Areas

Table 8.1 reveals that in 2003-2004, total number of families assisted under IRDP/SGSY was 0.90 million and in 1992-93, total number of families assisted was 2.07 million as against the target of 1.88 million. In respect of TRYSEM, total number of rural youth trained was 0.17 million and 0.28 million in 1998-99 and 1992-93 respectively as against the target of 0.29 million and 0.30 million during the respective period.

In respect of DWCRA, about 50,000 groups in 1998-99 and 9,000 groups in 1992-93 were formed. In respect of JRY/JGSY/SGRY-II, mandays of employment generated in 2003-2004 and 1992 T 93 were 392 million and 782 million respectively. In respect of EAS, SGRY-I mandays of employment generated was 372.8 million in 2003-2004. In respect of PMRY, total employment generated was 1.8 lakh in 2003-04 a5 against the target of 3.0 lakh.


(a) Selection of ineligible families.

(b) Difference between cost and value of asset to the extent of Rs 500 was noticed in 18 per cent cases showing leakages and malpractices.

(c) No training was imparted to majority of the beneficiaries.

(d) No incremental income was generated in 22 per cent cases.

(e) Adequate infrastructure facilities were not available to beneficiaries of the programme.

Essay # 3. National Rural Employment Programme (NREP):

The National Rural Employment Programme (NREP) replaced and restructured the Food for Work Programme in October 1980. NREP was a centrally sponsored scheme implemented with 50: 50 sharing basis between the Centre and the States. The 50 per cent Central assistance was received in the form of food-grains and cash assistance as well. This programme was conceived as wage-employment programme.

Objectives :

The main objectives of NREP were:

(a) Generating additional gainful employment opportunities to the extent of 300-400 million mandays per year for the unemployed and underemployed persons in the rural areas;

(b) To create durable community assets for strengthening rural economic and social infrastructure which includes drinking water wells, community irrigation wells, minor irrigation works, village tanks, rural roads, schools, panchayat houses etc.; and

(c) Bringing improvement in the overall quality of life in rural areas and to improve nutritional standards of the rural poor through supply of food-grains as part of wage.

Overriding objective was to make provision of wage employment for the rural poor. Under this programme, the shelf of projects was prepared on the basis of felt needs of entire rural community. The Sixth Plan in its report observed,

“A large number of people in the rural areas are without assets and need to be provided wage employment. This segment of the rural poor which largely depends on wage employment virtually has no source of income during the lean agricultural period. The National Rural Employment Programme is conceived in the main to take care of this segment of the rural poor.”

The programme was implemented through District Rural Development Agency (DRDA) at the district level. It was decided that at the district level, 50 per cent of the expenditure would be incurred on wage component, 25 per cent be incurred on social forestry and 10 per cent for the benefit of scheduled caste and scheduled tribes.

Progress and Evaluation of NREP under the Sixth Plan:

During the Sixth Plan period a sum of Rs 1,620 crore was allocated under this programme. But the actual total expenditure both by the Central and State Government was to the extent of Rs 1,834 crore.

During this plan period, there was decline in the utilisation of food-grains mainly due to inadequate arrangements of distribution, lower market price of food-grains at open market and preference for coarse grains instead of rice and wheat supplied under this programme.

Considering this situation the government decided to subsidise food-grains by 37 paisa to 40 paisa per kg for its distribution under this programme from January, 1984. Table 8.2 shows the progress of NREP.

Progress of NREP during the Sixth and Seventh Plan

Table 8.2 shows that during the Sixth Plan about 1775 million mandays of gainful employment was generated as against the target of 1,500 to 2,000 million mandays. The utilisation of food grains was to the extent of 20.57 lakh tonnes. But the programme had no clear cut focus about target group of beneficiaries.

Thus “it is not known how much of this has been directed towards those who are landless and the poorest among the poor. To the extent the programme had apparently lacked a direct focus on the target group population for whom it was meant.”

However, the Seventh Plan in its draft observed that the programme had resulted a substantial impact in respect of stabilisation of wages in rural areas, containing prices of food-grains, creating community assets which are expected to raise the level of living of the rural population.

Progress and Evaluation of NREP under the Seventh Plan :

Seventh Plan allocated an outlay of Rs 2,487 crore for NREP and set a target to generate employment to the extent of 1,445 million mandays.

Regarding the progress of work under NREP, Table 8.2 reveals that during the first four years of the Seventh Plan, total actual expenditure incurred was amounted to Rs 2,940 crore as against the target of Rs 2,487 crore for the entire plan period, Again in respect of employment generation about 1,477.53 million mandays of employment was generated during the first four years as against the target of 1,960 million mandays for the entire Seventh Plan period. During first three years, about 30.10 lakh tonnes of food grains were distributed among the rural poor at subsidised rates.

Essay # 4 . Rural Landless Employment Guarantee Programme (RLEGP) :

The Rural Landless Employment Guarantee Programme (RLEGP) was launched on 15th August 1983 with objectives of generating gainful employment opportunities, to create productive assets in rural area and also for the improvement of overall quality of rural life.

In this programme, the guarantee has not been operationalised due to lack of funds. In this programme again, preference in employment was given to landless labourers, women, scheduled castes and scheduled tribes.

This programme is totally funded by the Central Government. While allocating resources to State and Union Territories 50 per cent weightage has been given on the number of agricultural labourers, marginal farmers and marginal workers and the remaining 50 per cent weightage to the incidence of poverty.

The programme also envisaged that wage component of a project should not be less than 50 per cent of the total expenditure on the programme. 10 per cent of the allocations should be earmarked exclusively for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes.

In this programme various projects like social forestry, Indira Awaas Yojana and Million Wells Scheme were included. In 1989-90, the RLEGP and NREP were merged with Jawahar Rozgar Yojana.

Essay # 5. Jawahar Rozgar Yojana (JRY):

Jawahar Rozgar Yojana (JRY) was launched on 28th April, 1989, by the then Prime Minister Late Rajiv Gandhi. In this programme all the existing rural wage employment programmes were merged into JRY. Thus, the NREP and RLEGP were merged within the single programme called JRY. From 1st April 1999, JRY is restructured and renamed as Jawahar Gram Samridhi Yojana (JGSY).

Main features of JRY are as given below:

1. JRY has set a target for reaching every single panchayat.

2. The scheme envisaged to benefit 440 lakh of families lying below the poverty line in India through panchayats.

3. In JRY, the Central assistance component would be 80 per cent and the state’s share would be 20 per cent in 1989-90, the centre made a provision of Rs 2100 crore for JRY.

4. In JRY, the allocation of fund among different states has been done in proportion to the size of population below the poverty line only. Further devolution of funds to the districts has been determined by the criteria of its backwardness.

5. JRY made adequate provision of funds for their village panchayats to run its employment scheme for the rural poor. On an average, a village panchayat with its population 3000-4000 people will receive between Rs 80,000 and Rs 1 lakh every year. It was decided to provide employment to at least one member in each poor family for at least 50 to 100 days annually.

6. JRY reserved 30 per cent of the employment generated particularly for women.

Achievements and Evaluation:

In 1989-90 and 1990-91, total employment generated under JRY was 864 and 875 million mandays respectively. In 1991-92, the achievement of JRY in respect of generation of gainful employment was to the tune of 808 million mandays as against the target of 735 million mandays.

In 1992-93, the achievement was 782 million mandays as against the target of 776 million mandays of employment and in 1999-2000, the achievement was 194 million mandays as against of 375.2 million mandays of employment generated during 1998- 99.

The 1999-2000 budgets provide for an allocation of Rs 1,665 crore and the employment generation has been targeted at 396 million mandays. But the total mandays of employment generated under JRY during 1999- 2000 (up to Feb. 2000) was to the extent of 194.5 million mandays.

Again, in respect of JRY, total number of mandays of employment generated during the Eighth Plan was 4,037.4 million as against the target of 4,040.8 million.

Essay # 6. National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) :

On 15th August, 1995, another social welfare scheme, namely, National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) was announced. This multi-dimensional NSAP for the poor encompasses old age pension, family benefit in case of death of the bread winner and maternity benefit.

The NSAP is a centrally sponsored programme with 100 per cent central funding and it is intended to ensure that social protection to the beneficiaries throughout the country is uniformly available without interruption. The NSAP consists of the following three components :

(a) National Old Age Pension Scheme (NOAPS)—providing a pension of Rs.75 per month to destitutes and above 65 years of age.

(b) National Fiamily Benefit Scheme (NFBS)—providing Rs.5,000 in case of death due to natural causes and Rs.10,000 in case of accidental death of the primary bread-winner to the bereaved household.

(c) National Maternity Benefit Scheme (NMBS)—Providing Rs.300 per pregnancy up to the first two live births. This programme involves an expenditure of Rs.867 crore in a full year. In 1999-2000, an outlay of Rs.725 crore has been provided for this scheme.

Regarding the achievements of NSAP, it is observed that the number of beneficiaries under NOAPS were 5.43 million in 2001-2002 as compared to 6.42 million in 1998-99. Number of beneficiaries under NFBS were 0.16 million in 2001-2002 as compared to 0.26 million in 1998-99. Again, number of beneficiaries under NMBS were 1.45 million in 2000-01 as compared to 1.51 million in 1998-99.

Essay # 7. Rural Group Life Insurence Scheme (RGLIS) :

The Government had launched a new scheme, namely, Rural Group life Insurance Scheme (RGLIS) on 15th August, 1995 in order to provide life insurance coverage to the rural people of the country. The objective of the scheme is to promote social insurance in the rural areas with the active involvement of the Panchayats and to partly alleviate the distress caused by the death of the bread-winner among the rural poor.

The scheme is being administered by the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India and implemented by the Panchayats in the rural areas for the age group of 20-60 years. Under this new scheme, a life cover of          Rs 5,000 is provided to the rural population for an annual premium of Rs 60 to Rs 70 depending upon the age of entry in the Scheme.

As on December 31, 1995, the Scheme has been implemented in 12 states and Union Territories and 50,312 persons under 897 Panchayats have been covered under the scheme.

Essay # 8. Swarna Jayanti Gram Swarojgar Yojana (SGSY)/National Rural Livelihoods:

Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP) and allied programmes such as Training of Rural Youth for Self Employment (TRYSEM), Development of Women and Children in Rural Areas (DWCRA) and Million Wells Scheme (MWS) have been restructured into a single self-employment programme called the Swarnajayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY) from April 1999. 

The following objectives are:

(i) Introducing focussed approach to poverty alleviation;

(ii) Capitalising advantages of group lending; and

(iii) Overcoming the problems associated with multiplicity of programmes.

The SGSY is conceived as a holistic programme of micro enterprises covering all aspects of self- employment which includes organising rural poor into Self Help Groups (SHGs). It integrates various agencies— District Rural Development Agencies, banks, line departments, Panchayati Raj Institutions, non-government organisations and other semi-government organisations. This programme is basically a self-employment programme.

The objective of SGSY is to bring the existing poor families above the poverty line by providing them income generating assets through a mix of bank credit and government subsidy and to ensure that an assisted family has a monthly net income of at least Rs 2,000. Subsidy under SGSY is uniform at 30 per cent of the project cost subject to a maximum of Rs 7,500.

In respect of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, it is 50 per cent subject to a maximum of Rs 10,000. For groups, the subsidy is 50 per cent subject to a ceiling of Rs 1.25 lakh. There is no monetary limit on subsidy for irrigation projects. SGSY is funded by the Centre and states in the ratio of 75: 25.

Regarding the achievements of SGSY, it is observed that the number of families assisted were 0.90 million in 2003-04 as compared to 1.66 million families assisted under IRDP in 1998-99.

Up to November, 2005, the Centre and Status, sharing the costs on 75: 25 basis, has allocated Rs 8,067 crore, of which Rs 6,980 crore had been utilised to assist 62.75 lakh self-employed.

Since inception in 1999 up to 2012-13 (March 2012) 43.34 lakh SHGs have been formed and 14.46 lakh SHGs have taken up economic activities. Moreover, a total number of 179 lakh Swarojgaries have been assisted with a total investment of Rs 46,273.55 crores. Out of total Swarojgaries, 86.26 lakh SC/STs and 109.02 lakh women Swarojgaries have been assisted which constitutes 47.47 per cent and 60.88 per cent respectively.

The SGSY has been restructured as National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM), now renamed as ‘Aajeevika’ in order to implement it in a mission mode in a phased manner for targeted and time bound delivery of results.

The main feature of NRLM is as follows:

“To reduce poverty by enabling the poor households to access gainful self employment and skilled wage employment opportunities resulting in appreciable improvement in their livelihoods on a sustainable basis, through building strong and sustainable grassroots institutions of the poor.”

Every family residing in the rural areas should be out of object poverty and enjoy a decent quality of life.

NRLM Guiding Principles:

The guiding principles include:

a. Social mobilization and building strong institutions of the poor is critical for unleashing the innate capabilities of the poor.

b. An external dedicated and sensitive support structure is required to induce the social mobilization, institution building and empowerment process.

c. Facilitating knowledge dissemination, skill building, access to credit, access to marketing, and access to other livelihoods services enable then to enjoy a portfolio of sustainable livelihoods.

d. Task under NRLM is to reach out to 7 crore rural poor households (35 crore population) and stay engaged with them till they come out of object poverty.

e. Building strong, self managed and self reliant institutions of the poor through dedicated support structures, financial inclusion, sustainable livelihood promotion and partnerships with NGOs, banks, training institutions, private sectors.

Main Components of NRLM:

Main components of NRLM includes universal social mobilisation through formation of SHGs; form strong peoples institutions; universal inclusion furthered through linkage with SHGs, banks for securing credit; capacity building and training; provision of revolving fund; and enuring monitoring, evaluation and transparency.

NRLM would be uniformly extended to all States and Union Territories, except Delhi and Chandigarh. The states have been given the prerogative to decide on the phasing on NRLM in their states.

Essay # 9. Jawahar Gram Samridhi Yojana (JGSY) :

Jawahar Rozgar Yojana (JRY) has been restructured and streamlined with effect from April 1999, and has been renamed as Jawahar Gram Samridhi Yojana (JGSY). This is basically a wage employment programme. The primary objective of JGSY is creation of demand driven village infrastructure including durable assets at the village level to enable the rural poor to increase the opportunities for sustained employment.

The secondary objective is generation of supplementary employment for the unemployed poor in the rural areas. The wage employment under the programme is given to Below Poverty Line (BPL) families.

While there is no sectoral earmarking of resources under JGSY, 22.5 per cent of the annual allocation must be spent on beneficiary schemes for Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribes and 3 per cent of annual allocation is to be utilised for creation of barrier free infrastructure for the disabled. Another objective is to generate supplementary employment for the unemployed rural poor.

Regarding the achievements of JGSY, it is observed that total mandays of employment generated under this programme were 268.32 million in 2000-01 as compared to 375.2 million mandays under JRY in 1998-99.

Essay # 10. Sampoorna Grameen Rozgar Yojana (SGRY) :

Sampoorna Grameen Rozgar Yojana (SGRY) was launched in September 2001. The scheme aims at providing wage employment in rural areas as also food security, along with the creation of durable community, social and economic assets. The scheme is implemented on a cost sharing ratio of 75: 25 between the Centre and the States.

The ongoing programmes like Employment Assurance Scheme (EAS) and Jawahar Gram Samridhi Yojana (JGSY) would subsequently be fully integrated within the scheme with effect from April 1, 2002. In 2003-04, total employment generated under SGRY-I and SGRY-II were 372.83 million and 391.65 million respectively.

In 2005-06, 82.18 crore person days were generated with the centre releasing Rs 5,497 crore as cash component and about 37 lakh tones of food-grains to the States/UTs. Besides, in 2007-08, up to December, 2007, the number of person days generated under SGRY was 11.60 crore, while the Centres’ contribution in terms of the cash and food-grains components up to December, 2007 were Rs 1,142 crore and 9.55 lakh tonnes respectively.

Essay # 11. Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) :

Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) was launched on December 25, 2000, as a 100 per cent centrally sponsored scheme. The primary objective of PMGSY is to provide all-weather connectivity to all eligible unconnected habitations in rural areas of the country having population of 500 persons and above in plain areas and 250 persons and above (as per 2001 census) in special category states, selected tribal and desert areas.

It also permits upgradation of existing rural roads. In 2001-02, an amount of Rs 2,500 crore was allocated for this scheme. Since inception, projects for providing new connectivity to 1, 44,717 habitations with a road length of 5, 44,462 km have been cleared at an estimated cost of Rs 1,82,560 crore including upgradation cost.

A total of 3, 99,979 km. road length has been completed and new connectivity has been provided to over 97,838 habitations upto March 2014. During 2013-14, about 25,316 km of all-weather road including new connectivity to 6,560 habitations has been completed at an expenditure of Rs 13,095 crore. Upgradation selected existing roads has also been taken up.

The programme is funded mainly from the accruals of diesel cess in the Central Road Fund.

In addition, support of the multilateral funding agencies and the domestic financial institutions are being obtained to meet the financial requirements of the programme. National Rural Road Development Agency (NRRDA), an agency of the Ministry of Rural Development registered under the Societies Registration Act, provides operational and technical support for the programme.

Essay # 12. Pradhan Mantri Gramodaya Yojana (PMGY) :

Pradhan Mantri Gramodaya Yojana (PMGY) was introduced in 2000-01 with the objective of focusing on village level development in five critical areas, i.e., health, primary education, drinking water, housing and rural roads, with an overall objective of improving the quality of life of people living in the rural areas.

This scheme constitutes the following programmes within its fold:

(i) Pradhan Mantri Gramodaya Yojana (Gramin Awas):

This scheme is to be implemented on the pattern of Indira Awas Yojana with the objectives of sustainable habitat development at the village level and to meet the growing housing needs of the rural poor,

(ii) Pradhan Mantri Gramodaya Yojana—Rural Drinking Water Project:

Under this programme, a minimum 25 per cent of the total allocation is to be utilised by the respective States/UTs on projects/schemes for water conservation, water harvesting, water recharge and sustainability of drinking water sources in respect of areas under Desert Development Programme and Drought Prone Areas Programme.

(iii) Pradhan Mantri Gramodaya Yojana (PMGY):

PMGY launched in 2000-01 envisages allocation of additional central assistance to the states and UTs for selected basic services such as primary health, primary education, rural shelter, rural drinking water, nutrition and rural electrification. For 2003-04 as well as 2004-05, the annual allocation of additional central assistance for PMGY was Rs 2,800 crore.

Essay # 13. Food for Work Programme, 2001 :

Food for Work Programme was initially launched with effect from February 2001 for five months and was further extended. The programme aims at augmenting food security through wage employment in the drought affected rural areas in eight states, i.e., Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Rajasthan and Uttaranchal.

The centre makes available appropriate quantity of food-grains free of cost to each of the drought affected States as additionality under the programme. Wages to be paid by the State Government can be paid partly in kind (up to 5 kgs of food-grains per manday) and partly in cash. The workers are paid the balance wages in cash, such that they are assured of the notified Minimum Wages.

This programme stands extended up to March 31, 2002 in respect of notified “natural calamity affected Districts.” For 2004-05, Rs 2,020 crore have been allocated for the programme in addition to 20 lakh tonnes of food-grains.

Essay # 14. Annapurna :

The Annapurna scheme came into effect from April 1, 2000 as a 100 per cent centrally Sponsored Scheme. It aims at providing food security to meet the requirement of those senior citizens who though eligible for pensions under the National Old Age Pension Scheme, are not getting the same.

Food-grains are provided to the beneficiaries at subsidised rates of Rs.2 per kg of wheat and Rs.3 per kg of rice. The scheme is operational in 25 States and 5 Union Territories. More than 6.08 lakh families have been identified and the benefits of the scheme are passing on to them.

Essay # 15. National Food for Work Programme (NFFWP) :

The National Food for Work Programme was launched as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) in November 2004 in the 150 most backward districts to generate additional supplementary wage employment with food security. States receive food-grains under NFFWP free of cost.

The focus of the programme is mostly related to work relating to water conservation, drought proofing (including afforestation and tree plantation), land development, flood control/protection (including drainage in waterlogged areas) and rural connectivity in terms of all-weather roads.

In 2004-05, allocation of Rs 2,020 crore and 20 lakh tonnes of food-grains generated 7.85 crore person days of employment. In 2005-06, of the allocation of Rs 4,500 crore and 15 lakh tonnes of food-grains (Revised), Rs 219 crore and 11.58 lakh metric tonnes of food-grains had been released up to January 27, 2006. About 17.03 lakh person-days were generated up to December 2005.

Essay # 16. Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme Act (MGNREGA):

The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGA) was implemented from February 2, 2006 after passing of the NREG Act in the Parliament in September 2005. This scheme is now being launched in 200 identified districts of the country with the objective of providing 100 days of guaranteed unskilled wage employment to each rural household opting for it.

The outgoing programmes of SGRY and National Food for Work Programme (NFFWP) have been subsumed under NREGA in these districts. NREGA will gradually cover all districts of the country within five years. This is for the first time a job guarantee scheme has been introduced in the country.

The NREGA, being a demand driven scheme, has its definite focus on works relating to water conservation, drought proofing, land development, flood control/protection and rural connectivity in terms of all-weather roads.

Of the Rs 11,300 crore allocated for NREGA in 2006-07 (BE), Rs 6,714.98 crore was released up to January 31, 2007. Till January 31, 2007, about 3.47 crore job cards have been issued and of the 1.50 crore households, who have demanded employment, 1.47 crore household have been provided employment under this scheme.

Under this scheme, up to December 2006, of the 53.65 crore person-days of employment generated, 21.13 crore were for women, and of about 5.81 lakh works taken up, 2.34 lakh were completed.

The coverage of scheme was expanded to 330 districts in 2007-08. Again the coverage was extended to all rural districts of the country in 2008-09. At present 619 districts are covered under MGNREGA. During the year 2008-09, more than 4.51 crore households were provided employment under the scheme.

As against the budgeted outlay of Rs 33,000 crore for the year 2013-14, an amount of Rs 5,894.03 crore has been released to the states/UTs.

The number of households covered under the scheme increased considerably from 3.39 crore in 2007-08 to 3.80 crore in 2011-12 and then to 4.78 crore in 2013-14 with an average wage employment of 46 person days.

Out of the 219.72 crore person days of employment created under the scheme during 2013-14, 23 per cent and 17 per cent were created in favour of SC and ST population respectively and 53.0 per cent in favour of women. The average wage rate per day has also been increased from Rs 65 in 2006-07 to Rs 132 in 2013-14.

However, the successful implementation of MGNREGA finally depends on two important factors are:

(i) efficient and regular functioning of Panchayat institutions and

(ii) the proper use of Right to Information Act.

Thus NREGS provides a social safety net for the vulnerable groups of people of our society and thereby made an attempt to attain growth with equity.

Essay # 17. Present Scenario of Rural Development Programmes in India:

Thus, we have seen that under the present Ministry of Rural Development two important schemes, viz., Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP) and Jawahar Razgar Yojana (JRY) are being implemented throughout the country through a mix of government allocation or subsidy and bank credit.

In recent years, two more schemes, viz., Training of Rural Youth for Self-Employment (TRYSEM) and Development of Women and Children in Rural Areas (DWCRA) are also included as two special sub-schemes of IRDP.

Targets and achievements of all these programmes in recent years have already been analysed in Table 8.1. During the Eighth Plan, the rural development programmes will be revamped completely. A decision has been taken to prepare a basket of rural development programmes from which the States can choose suitable schemes.

The States will thus have adequate flexibility in providing rural development programmes to the people.

Achievements of special employment and poverty Alleviation Programmes in Rual Areas

Total budgetary allocation for rural development has been enhanced from Rs 10,956 crore in the Seventh Plan to Rs 30,000 crore in the Eighth Plan showing a three-fold hike in the allocation. Again the total allocation in rural development increased from Rs 6,609 crore in 1995-96 to Rs 11,960 crore in 2002-03 and then to Rs 15,654 crore in 2006-07.

This is no doubt a welcome trend. But through mere increase in budgetary allocation alone the lot of the rural poor cannot be improved. Rather it requires a sincere bureaucratic attempt, timely action, selection of proper schemes and their proper implementation. Moreover, expenditure on rural development as per cent of total government expenditure decreased from 2.69 per cent in 2006-07 to 2.46 per cent in 2007-08.

But the things are not moving so smoothly. On May 4, 1993 a parliamentary committee tabled its report in the parliament where it lambasted the Ministry of Rural Development and expressed deep anguish over the pattern of expenditure incurred by the department on its various development schemes during the past three financial years, i.e., from 1990-91 to 1992-93.

The report revealed that a large chunk of allocation had been shown as spent in the last quarter of each financial year. This amply demonstrated, as the standing committee on urban and rural development commented, that such a pattern of expenditure was a glaring reflection on the “lack of proper planning and implementation leading to wasteful expenditures without any productive results.”

Showing a break-up of the year-wise expenditures, the committee disclosed that 41.8 per cent of the fund was actually utilised in the last three months of 1990-91 followed by 38.85 per cent in 1991-92 and 35 per cent in 1992-93.

What is still more stunning rather than shocking was that not a single rupee was spent till December 1992 out of Rs 10 crore allocated under the rural housing sector and a sum of Rs 5 crore which was sanctioned only in the last quarter.

Considering the above position it can be established that a whopping amount running into crores go down the drain in the fair name of rural development year after year and those responsible for such a lapse go unpunished. Thus, under such a situation, if the department concerned does not shed its inertia no amount of money would help the country to achieve its objective of bringing about a change in the rural scenario.

Thus, the present scenario demands that if the rural development scheme is to be implemented in its right spirit then there should be a sincere and timely attempt on the part of bureaucratic administration, banking administration and political administration.

Moreover, sincere attempt should also be made for proper identification and selection of target group beneficiary, creation of appropriate productive assets, controlling misuse of loan, considering the regional differences for determining the strategy of such programmes, checking leakages and corruption involved in the implementation of programmes and to arrange for growing and spontaneous public participation in every aspect of such programmes.

Moreover, the success of this rural development programme in realising its goal of lifting all the people above the poverty line in truest sense and also in generating the scope of both self-employment and wage employment throughout the country finally rests on arousing the consciousness of the rural people about their rights and benefits involved in all such programmes.

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