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Essay, Paragraph or Speech on “Rural Development” Complete Essay, Speech for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

Rural Development

Essay No. 01

Rural India is where three-fourths of our countrymen live. The nation can therefore be strong and prosperous only when all villages are freed from backwardness and poverty. The Government of India is committed to the cause of bringing about rapid and sustainable development in the rural areas.

The Ministry of Rural Development is engaged in implementing a number of schemes which aim at enabling rural people to improve their living standards. Education, removal of poverty and speedy socio-economic progress is the goal with which the development programmes are being implemented through a multi pronged strategy, reaching out to the most disadvantaged sectors of society Huge priority is being accorded to provide clean drinking water, rural housing and road. The social security programmes are being implemented for providing assistance to the destitute and downtrodden. Assistance and encouragement to voluntary agencies and training of functionaries forms part of the emphasis on accelerated rural development. The ministry is constantly endeavouring to empower the Panchayt Raj institutions in terms of functions, power and finance. In the new initiative the Gram sabha has become the most significant institutions. Non-Government Organisations self help group and Panchayati Raj institutions have been accorded adequate role to make participating democracy meaningful and effective. Development of waste lands desert and drought prone areas has also been undertaken along with land reforms.

By way of holistic approach to the task of ensuring a sustainable development of land Rural Development Ministry has created two department viz. Department of Land Resources and Department of Drinking Water Supply in addition to the Department of Rural Development. This will facilitate coordinated policy interventions as well as quality improvement in the related development schemes.

Keeping in view the betterment of backward and the most backward sections of the society in rural areas of the country, Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme has been implemented through a parliamentary Act. Under the scheme, a person under a village household will get 100 day employment work with a wage of Rs. 60 on daily basis. All the existing employment schemes of the central government will merge into this mega scheme. Initially this scheme has been implemented in 200 districts of the country.

To ensure that maximum benefits of the programmes accrue to the people in villages the ministry has adopted a four pronged strategy of creating awareness about the programmes, ensuring transparency in them encouraging peoples participation in the development process and promoting concept of social audit for accountability.

The allocation of funds for rural development has been stepped up from Rs. 30,000 crore in the Eight Plan to Rs. 42,874 crore in the Ninth Plan. The Ministry has a plan allocation of Rs. 12,265 crore of the year 2001-200. This includes Rs. 9,205 crore for the schemes of the Department of Rural Development, Rs. 900 crore for those of the Department of Land Resources and Rs. 2,160 crore for the schemes of the Department of Drinking Water Supply.

Rural PovertyPoverty levels in the country are expected to come down to less than 20% at the end of the 10th plan period.

However since each and every state is not expected to add to the growth at the national average, Bihar together with Jharkhand and Orissa have nearly 50% of the country’s poor.

According to planning commission estimates, some 10 crore people who are below the poverty line would be living in undivided Bihar and Orissa. Total number of people who fall into the category of poor would be 22 crore at the end of the 10th plan period.

There are states which together with undivided Madhya Pradesh, undivided Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and West Bengal would account for a little more than 80% of the poor in the country at the end of the 10th plan period. Poverty levels would continue to reign high in these four states despite substantial reduction in the percentage of poor population.

Rural poverty will continue to be higher than urban poverty. The national average for rural poverty has been pegged at 21.07% while urban poverty is estimated to 15-5 at the end of the 10th plan period.

Considering that a significant portion of India lives is rural areas, in absolute numbers about 17 crore people in rural areas would remain poor in 2007. In comparison the number for urban areas is pegged at a little under 5 crore people. States such as Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Delhi would have higher ratio of urban poor than rural poor in 2007.

Improvement of Village PanchayatsThe 73rd constitutional amendment in 1992, which conferred constitutional status on the Panchayti Raj Institution was considered to be means of decentralization and more effective delivery of rural development initiatives. A decades down the line through the required institutional framework has been put in place in nearly all the states but the extent of decentralization attained is only modest.

The issue is partly related to the peculiar aspects of the fiscal position of local bodies. While they are expected to take up a largest share of development activities in a decentralised framework, their own revenue mobilisation capacity does not grow correspondingly. Apart from this fiscal issue the autonomy of local body gets affected by the inadequacy of powers transferred to them by the state government. A working group of the planning commission for the Tenth Plan period also observed that through the progress on political devolution the PRIs in terms of election has been well established. The Gram Sabha in most Panchayti Raj acts have been entrusted with only ceremonial functions. Thus the goal of decentralised planning is still far from being realised.

The working group has therefore suggested that the powers and functions of the local bodies should be enlarged significantly. It has also recommended greater power of taxation and avenues for non-tax revenue to these bodies and provision of united grants.


Essay No. 02


Rural Development

Rural lives in villages. About.70% of its population lives in villages, scattered all over the country like stars in the night sky. About 96% of India’s geographical area is covered by villages. The vast majority of India living in rural areas cannot be taken lightly in any planning aimed at socio-economic development of the country.

It is now increasingly being felt that no planning can be successful unless more and more attention is paid to rural development schemes and poverty alleviation programmes. Therefore, many new schemes to ameliorate the conditions of the rural population are being launched, and the old ones are being completed expeditiously. That this rural bias and thrust has registered a success is evident from the fact that the poverty line has come down significantly, from over 57% in 1961 to 26% in 1999-2000. The implementation of various community development programmes in the first three Five Year Plans and specific poverty alleviation and unemployment removal programmes during the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth and Ninth Five Year Plans have gone a long way in the upliftment of the masses in the villages. The quantum of financial assistance and allocation under the Ninth Five Year Plan was raised substantially and many major structural changes have been effected to achieve the targeted goals of rural development, poverty alleviation and employment generation schemes. Consequently, the number of beneficiaries is rising rapidly. The Constitutional sanction granted to gram panchayats, etc. has further boosted the morale of rural institutions.

Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP) is a major instrument to alleviate rural poverty. The main objectives of IRDP are to raise families of the identified target group above the poverty line and create substantial opportunities of self-employment in the villages. The funds for this programme are shared 50:50 between the Centre and the states. In case of the Union Territories, complete financial assistance is provided by the Centre. The scheme is being implemented through the District Rural Development Agency (DRDA) and block level functionaries at the grass root levels. At the level of the state, there is a co-ordination committee headed by the chief secretary to look after its overall implementation. IRDP was first launched in 1978-79 in 2,300 blocks and, was extended to cover all the 5,011 blocks of the country from October 2, 1980.

The scheme, meant to improve the social and economic condition of the poorest of the rural poor, is being evaluated through research conducted by independent and government institutions. According to the report of January-December 1989, about 20% of the old families crossed the poverty line of Rs. 3,500 and 28% of the revised poverty line of Rs.6,400. However, about 78% of the families had incremental income. Nearly 34% of the assisted families belong to destitute and 46%, very poor groups. The major impact of the scheme is that it benefits the poorest and the most deprived sectors of the society. The families eligible for help under the scheme are those where the annual family income is less than Rs. 4,800 per year. It also includes families of small and marginal farmers whose operational holding is less than 5 acres of land. The final selection of these poor families is done through grain panchayats and gramsabhas. Special attention is being paid to women. They are organised in groups for productive activities. These groups are given training and provided with suitable monetary help for increasing their family income.

Then there is the National Scheme of Training of Rural Youth for Self-Employment (TRYSEM), launched as a centrally-sponsored scheme on 15 August, 1979. The main emphasis of the scheme is on equipping rural youth, in the age group of 18-35 years, with necessary skills and technology to take up vocations for self-employment in agriculture and allied activities, industry, services and business. There are some special schemes to improve the lot of rural women and children, under which groups of 5-10 rural women are formed for carrying on income generating activities. Each group is sanctioned a revolving fund of Rs. 15,000. In case of states, the fund is shared equally by the Centre, state government and UNICEF, while in the Union Territories, the Centre bears Rs. 10,000 per group and the balance is borne by UNICEF. UNICEF also bears the expenditure on the staff component for a period of six years. The scheme has taken significant strides since its beginning in 1982.

Similarly, various pilot projects have been launched to generate employment. These include Crash Scheme for Rural Employment (CSRE), Pilot Intensive Rural Employment Programme (PIREP) and National Rural Employment Programme. These schemes and programmes specifically aim at generating additional gainful employment opportunities, creation of durable community assets and improvement of overall quality of life in the rural areas. To improve the lot of landless labourers, the Rural Landless Employment Guarantee Programme (RLEGP) was launched in 1984. The programme guarantees employment to at least one member of every landless labour family up to 100 days in a year. The Jawahar Rozgar Yojana is an ambitious programme being implemented through the village panchayats. It seeks to guarantee employment to at least one person in a rural household living below the poverty line. It was launched in 1989. Swaranjayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana, launched in April 1999, is a new scheme for rural development.

The budget for the year 1995-96 was again a village-oriented one: in which many gifts were given to the rural masses. It envisaged establishment of Rural Infrastructure Development fund, a technological development and modernisation fund for small scale industries, with Rs.200 crores initial capital, a National Social Assistance Scheme to give a minimum old age pension and lumpsum survivor benefits to the poor and maternity benefits to poor women, among many other schemes. It also proposed to set up an exclusive line of credit of Rs. 400 crores to co-operative and regional, rural banks to meet the needs of scheduled castes and tribes in a 100-odd predominantly rural, tribal districts. There is also a proposal to begin a Group Life Insurance Scheme of the LIC to be implemented by the panchayats in rural areas. The liberal package for the rural poor and vulnerable sections of the village society is laudable, but the main problem is that all the benefits do not reach the targeted poor people. Much of the funds are misappropriated by intermediaries responsible for the implementation of these packages.


Essay No. 03

Rural Development

“Even after 56 years of independence, right from the Nehru era to the Vajpayee era, the rural India of today still short of basic amenities, as in drinking water, electricity, roads, housing, food and clothing.”

India is a vast country containing more than five lakh villages. Seventy percent of the population of India lives in villages. Therefore, the welfare of our country lies in the welfare of our villages. Our country cannot develop as long as our villages remain backward. It is a matter of shame that even after more than forty years of independence, our villages continue to be backward and under-developed. Our villages do not have even the basic amenities of life. There are no good schools, no hospitals and no good roads. Even drinking water and electricity are not available there. There is no sanitation. Most of our villages have no drains. People continue to live in the most unhygienic condition. They fall an easy prey to various diseases and die unattended in the absence of sufficient medical facilities. They live in dirt, misery and poverty. They are illiterate and ignorant. They are badly exploited by the money-lenders, the so-called men of religion and unscrupulous politicians. All this must change now.

Our economy is developing fast, industries and big corporate are going globalised, with liberalization, tremendous changes are being felt in Information technology, manufacturing, service\ sector, but nobody thinks of the rural development to make it as fast as in these sectors. Then what all this progress and development means. Benefitting to 30% of the total population, already developed and above poverty does not mean actual development. The National Literacy Mission was launched in 1988 with the intention of bring about total literacy by 2005. Under Total Literacy Campaign 80 million people in 417 districts have been covered and 18.44 million people have been covered in 178 districts under the Post Literacy Campaign. Most of the marginal farmers have taken to dairying and have become a part of the white revolution in India. Dairy Development has helped the country’s programme of rural development. Amul in Gujarat is the success story of co-operative dairying, which has enabled large number of villagers in Gujarat in raising their standards of living through economic growth. The establishment to rural bank has been “to fulfill the aims of institutionalizing the credit structure and enhancing its area and coverage.” They are intended to save the rural population from banking on the money lenders. Funds would be allocated at low rates of interest to rural entrepreneurs to start small scale industries.

The present government realized the gravity of the situation and has taken some important measures to develop infrastructure in the country side. The Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) launched on Dec 25, 2000, seeks to provide road connectively through good all weather roads to all unconnected habitations having a population of more than 1000 persons by the year 2003 and those with a population of more than 500 persons by the end of the Tenth plan i.e. 2007. An investment of about Rs. 38000 crore has been made so far in the water supply sector. According to government have been covered by the provision of drinking water facility. The revised rural water supply programme envisaged:

  1. The involvement of the people in the choice of scheme designs, control of finances and management arrangements.
  2. Shifting the role of government from direct service delivery to that of facilitator.
  3. Partial cost sharing either in cash or kind or both.
  4. 100% responsibility of operation and maintenance by end users.

Under the Pradhan Mantri Gramodaya Yojana (PMGY), it is proposed to tackle quality related problems like fluorides, arsenic and iron contamination, blackishness and also sustainability of drinking water services. The states are also being encouraged to promote schemes of water conservation, rain water harvesting ground water recharge in respect of regions where programmes such as Desert Development Programmes, Drought Prone Area Development Programme are running.

SGSY (Swaranajayanti Gram Swarojagar Yojana) was also launched on April 1, 1999 to support the family income of rural poor. The scheme aimed at establishing a large number of micro enterprises for individuals or group or self help groups, in order to bring every assisted family above the poverty line. Four or Five activities identifiedin each block based on the resources, occupational skills of the people and .he availability of markets with the start of SGSY, all the old rural development programmes like IRDP, DWCRA, TRYSEM etc. have ceased to operate. In addition to discussed programmes and schemes there are so many other programmes like Employment Assurance Programme, Jawahar Gram Samridhi Yojana, National Social Assistance Programme, Annapurana Scheme and the like, for the development of the rural area.

Recently several new schemes were introduced to strengthen the rural infrastructure. The Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF), RIDF-V was allocated Rs. 3500 crore. The Annapurna scheme intends to provide 10 kg of food grains free to senior citizens in the rural areas. Under a new Education Guarantee Scheme, new school would be opened with in 1 km radius of habitants, in the coming years. The existing Jawahar Rozgar Yojana was modified and renamed as Gram Samridhi Yojana. All funds under the scheme would be placed at the disposal of Gram Panchayat, to be used with the sanction of the Grams Sabha. All the existing self-employment schemes were merged into a single programme called the Swaran-Jayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana. Similarly all the existing schemes of housing for the poor were merged to form the Samagra Awas Yojana, under which 140 lakh houses would be constructed for the homeless in the next few years. The Ninth plan accords priority to agriculture and rural development with a view to generating productive employment and eradication of poverty. As India resides in villages sincere effects must be undertaken by our national leaders for the decentralization of powers. Short sigh tedness, lack of understanding and determination have already led to the poor plight of the rural population. The political leaders should realize their responsibilities and apply their foresight to achieve the objectives of rural development.

Though a lot of initiative has been taken by the present government to improve the economic conditions of rural people and providing infrastructure to boost the rural economy, yet much more is required keeping in view the peculiarity of our rural areas in the field of education, electrification, drinking water, health and hygiene sector etc. The implementation is to be properly checked to bring the needed results.


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