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Gist of Kurukshetra- Rural Prosperity

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  • Published
    10th Oct, 2019

The Government is taking various initiatives to accelerate growth in rural India thereby catalysing the growth of the Indian economy. About 70 per cent of India resides in its villages. Undoubtedly, the growth of rural sector is central to the overall development of the country.

The Government is taking various initiatives to accelerate growth in rural India thereby catalysing the growth of the Indian economy. About 70 per cent of India resides in its villages. Undoubtedly, the growth of rural sector is central to the overall development of the country.

The Government has been investing in vital areas such as energy, electricity, health, women empowerment, agricultural initiatives and several social security schemes to build a strong foundation for the sustainable growth od India’s rural sector. Hence, Rural development is fundamental to the country’s progress.

Livelihood Development and Diversification-

The last 4 years have seen a considerable stepping up of financial resources for improving rural infrastructure,diversifying livelihoods, reducing poverty and thereby improving the well-being of poor households in terms of allocation for Programmes of Department of Rural Development.

  1. Annual expenditure in 2017-18 is more than double of what it was in 2012-13.
  2. Major sources of funds for addressing Rural Poverty during this period were:-
    1. From 2017-18, under the Housing Programme, additional resources were mobilized through Extra Budgetary Resources (EBRs).
    2. The transfer of funds under the 14th Finance Commission has registered a significant increase compared to the allocations earlier under 13th
    3. There has been increase in the allocations of Ministry of Agriculture and other Infrastructure and Livelihood Programmes for the poor; thus, the total transfer of financial resources to Rural India has been very significant.
  3. MGNREGS focused on durable assets and Water Conservation, and also provided for livelihood generating individual benefits like farm ponds, dug wells, goat shed, etc.

Social Security:

  • It has been recognised as an instrument for social transformation and progress and must be preserved, supported and developed as such.
  • Social security is increasingly seen as an integral part of the development process which helps to create a more positive attitude and not just to a structural and technological change but also the challenge of globalisation and to its potential benefits in terms of greater efficiency and higher productivity.
  • Social security may refer to social insurance, where people receive benefits or services in recognition of contribution to an insurance programme.
  1. Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana(PMJDY)
    • To make affordable access to financial services such as bank accounts, remittances, credit, insurance and pensions.
    • It aims to bring banking services to large rural areas.
  2. Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana
    • Available to people between 18 and 50 years of age with bank accounts.
    • It has an annual premium of Rs. 330 and GST is exempted on it.
  3. Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY)
    • To ‘fund the unfunded’ by bringing such enterprises to the formal financial system and extending affordable credit to them.
    • It enables a small borrower to borrow from all Public Sector Banks such as PSUs, RRBs, MFI and NBFCs.
  4. Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana
    • It is a pension scheme exclusively for the senior citizens aged 60 years and above.
    • Provides an assured return of 8 percent p.a payable monthly for 10 years.
  5. Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana
    • It is a government-backed accident insurance scheme.
    • It is available to people between 18 and 70 years of age with bank accounts.
  6. Atal Pension Yojana
    • It is a government-backed pension scheme, primarily targeted at the unorganized sector.
    • Under this scheme, all subscribing workers below the age of 40 are eligible for pension up to Rs. 5000 per month on attainment of 60 years of age.

Two aspects of Social Security by Amartya Sen and Jeane Dreeze:

  • “Protection” and “Promotion”
While the former denotes protection against a fall in living standards and living conditions through ill health, accidents, the later focuses on enhanced living conditions, helping everyone overcome persistent capability deprivation.

Rural health in India has made progress in terms of services and infrastructure in the last seven decades. The period of 2002-17 has been argued as the first major health system reforms since India’s independence. The period of 2017-19 has many similarities with the period of 2002-05 and has potential to become the second wave of health reforms in India.

  • Two-third of India’s population lives in rural areas. Health of rural population is vital for the overall health and development of nation.

    National Health Policy 2017:

    • Proposal that Govt. would be sole provider of Primary health care services.
    • Provision and attention on special populations such as Tribal health.
    • Increasing Government spending on health to 2.5 per cent of GDP by 2025.
    • Two-third or more govt. spending on health for primary health care.
    • State governments to increase spending from 5 per cent to 8 per cent of state budget.

NITI Aayog strategic plan for new India(2018-22)

  • Universal health coverage,
  • Comprehensive primary health care,
  • Human resources for health; and
  •      Public health care and management.

New health initiatives by Government for newborns and adolescents:

  1. Rashtriya Shishu Suraksha Karyakaram (RSSK)
  2. Rashtriya Bal Suraksha Karyakaram (RBSK)
  3. Rashtriya Kishor Suraksha Karyakaram (RKSK)
  4. Kayakalp
  1. Recruit and Post Community Health Providers (CHP) in Rural Areas: The CHP could be an opportunity for rural India, for changing health services from doctor-centric to a team-based approach, where a mix of healthcare providers is decided, as per the service required at that level.
  2. Establish Toll-free Call Number for both Curative and Diagnostic Services: A dedicated toll-free call centre number of health needs of population can be established. Population should be made aware about this number and the call can be directed to qualified doctors, for appropriate advice.
  3. Make Rural Health Facilities Ready for Disasters and Emergency Situation: There is an urgent need to make health facilities disaster and natural calamity resilient. This is an action which needs to be taken and coordinated at national level as well as by all states.
  4. Start many small non-health initiatives for bigger health impacts: For example, better access to electricity at rural health facilities and improved access to motorable roads in rural habitation that would contribute to improved access and utilisation of health services in India.
  5. ‘Grand Convergence’ of Public Service Delivery in Rural India: To explore the idea of government service delivery hubs at Panchayat level, where all basic services can be located in single compound, identified and owned by Panchayats.

Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana

  • Beneficial for small and marginal farmers and in geographies where water sources are available.
  • Ensure ‘more crop per drop’ which will cover 28.5 lakh hectare area under irrigation.
  • 5000 crore fund for micro-irrigation has been made available .
  • Also, encouragement for farmers to install solar pumps for irrigation.

Credit for Farmers

  • Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana is the biggest risk cover and safety net provided by the government.
  • Under the interest subvention scheme, short-term crop loans up to 3 lakh with interest rate of 7 per cent per annum has been made available.Soil Health Card
  • Government has dispatched more than 13 crore Soil Health Cards from 2015-18.
  • Soil Health Cards carry crop-specific recommendations for nutrients and fertilizers to help farmers improve their productivity.

Neem Coated Urea

  • To boost the growth of wheat and paddy, and curb the black marketeering and hoarding of urea.
  • Government of India has made use of neem-coated urea mandatory.

Marketing the Farmers Produce (e-NAM)

  • It has integrated 585 markets across 16 states and 2 union territories.
  • 22,000 Rural Haats will turn into Gramin Agriculture Market which will benefit 86 per cent small farmers.
  • Address price volatility of perishable items like tomato, potato and onion.

Micro Irrigation Fund (MIF)

  • To facilitate the States in mobilizing the resources for expanding coverage of Micro irrigation.
  • Bringing additional coverage through special and innovative initiatives by State Governments.

Agriculture Contingency Plan

  • ICAR has prepared district level Contingency Fund to tackle the monsoon situations leading to drought and floods, extreme events affecting crops, livestock and fisheries.

Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY)

  • To promote organic farming in the country
  • To improve soil health and increase net income of the farmer so as to realise premium prices.

Facts and Data:

  • Agriculture consumes 60 per cent of available water resources.
  • 47 percent of agricultural land area is under irrigation.
  • The private sector constitutes less than 2.5 percent share in total investments in agriculture.
  • About 14 percent of gross value added in agriculture is invested in the sector.
  • Corpus of Rs 10,000 crore has been set up to create infrastructure in fisheries, aquaculture and animal husbandry.
  • Agriculture production in 2017-18 with 279.51 million tonnes of foodgrain production

There is a need to introduce reforms, creating necessary infrastructure and systems through innovation and enhancement for the betterment of the masses. This includes necessities like electricity, clean energy, agriculture technology among other areas of the rural sector.

As agriculture is the main source of India’s national income and pivotal for rural development, it is necessary to improve the condition of farming community. The country has witnessed record foodgrain production in 2017-18 due to initiatives like Pradhan Mantri Sinchai Yojana, Soil Health Card Scheme, credit facilities for farmers, e-NAM and various other schemes.

Question - Rural development is a necessity for India and key to National Development. In the light of this statement, discuss how rural transformation can be made more inclusive? Also, what are the key initiatives taken by Government in this regard?


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