In a bid to create a thriving economic model in rural India, the Centre is planning to facilitate select gram panchayats’ partnership with private companies and social organisations under its Mission Antyodaya. Around 50,000 gram panchayats across the country have been mapped and ranked for the purpose; most of them have bare minimum economic capital, such as the presence of women self-help groups (SHGs), basic banking infrastructure, and households with savings account. Under Mission Antyodaya, the government aims to alleviate the lives of one crore households over the next 1,000 days through multiple means that include poverty reduction, improvement in health facilities, economic well-being, etc. “We won’t give any subsidy or funds to the private sector for setting up appropriate economic infrastructure in the villages, but will only act as a facilitator,” a senior government official said. Besides economic capital, which carries maximum weight, social and infrastructural gaps in these gram panchayats would also be mapped and ranked.
This will facilitate targeted interventions through existing central schemes like Ujjwala for villages with maximum percentage of households without electricity, and Swachh Bharat Mission for those which have a large percentage of households without toilets.“Suppose we find that in a gram panchayat, the percentage of children in the age group of 0-3 who are underweight, stunted or wasted is the highest, we would focus more on improving the nutritional requirement there,” the official explained. The gram panchayats have been selected by respective states after an extensive exercise, using the Census 2011 data, data from Socio-Economic Caste Census -2011 and also Centre’s own skills programme to map the skills gap. Around 30 per cent weightage of the gram panchayats is on infrastructure and access to services like all-weather roads, households getting power for 12 hours daily, and agricultural land giving two crops or protective irrigation. Another 30 per cent weightage is on the level of social development and protection, such as the percentage of children fully immunised, and children are underweight, wasted or stunted. The maximum weightage would be given to economic development and diversification of livelihoods, like percentage of households with bank loans, households engaged in non-farm employment with skills and bank linkages, etc. Once all the 50,000 gram panchayats are mapped and ranked according to set parameters, it would provide the government and also the private sector a ready reckoner about the village which would then be used to provide targeted interventions. “For any private sector and also social sector, this is wealth of information, which would help them make a tangible difference on ground,” a senior official said. He said the data on economic development and diversification of livelihood will be shared with private companies to enable them to set up businesses in that area.
Government's plan in brief
- Alleviate the lives of one crore households in 50,000 gram panchayats over a period of 1,000 days
- No fund allocation for private sector or incentives; Centre to facilitate private players to quickly identify economic gap in villages and provide services thereafter
- Various social sector schemes like the Swatch Bharat Mission and the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, among others would be converged to provide holistic development
- Gram panchayats will be mapped using SECC-2011 data, Census numbers and other available data sources