Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana: Government to put onus on MPs to develop villages

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Economic Times, October 08, 2014

The government is preparing to launch an ambitious village development project under which each Member of Parliament will take the responsibility of developing physical and institutional infrastructure in three villages and turn them into model villages by 2019.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will unveil the blueprint of the scheme, called Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana, on October 11, the birth anniversary of social activist Jaiprakash Narayan, who led the mid-1970s political movement against the then prime minister Indira Gandhi. Official documents, reviewed by ET, show that if each MP adopts three villages, the scheme will be able to develop 2,379 ‘gram panchayats’ over the next five years. The Lok Sabha has 543 MPs and the Rajya Sabha 250, 12 of which are nominated.

“A gram panchayat would be the basic unit. It will have a population of 3,000-5,000 in plain areas and 1,000-3,000 in hilly, tribal and difficult areas,” an official note said. “The MP would be free to identify a suitable gram panchayat for being developed as Adarsh Gram, other than his/her own village or that of his/her spouse.” There are 2,65,000 gram panchayats in India. “Primarily, the goal is to develop three Adarsh Grams by March 2019, of which one would be achieved by 2016.

Thereafter, five such Adarsh Grams (one per year) will be selected and developed by 2024,” the note added. The scheme, based on Mahatma Gandhi’s concept of rural development, revolves around creating model villages for transforming swaraj (self rule) into su-raj (good governance). “The goal of Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana is to translate this comprehensive and organic vision of Mahatma Gandhi into reality, keeping in view the present context,” the note said. The main objective of the scheme is to ensure holistic development of the identified gram panchayats.

This includes personal development, human development, social development economic development and environmental development, in line with Gandhi’s vision of a model village. This will be done using the programmes of the Centre and states, aided by constituency development funds (MPLADS) of the MPs. The scheme will be implemented through a village development plan that would be prepared for every identified gram panchayat with special focus on enabling every poor household to come out of poverty.

The government will set up two national-level committees for monitoring the implementation of the scheme. One committee will be headed by the rural develoment minister and have ministers in-charge of planning, programme implementation and other key ministries as may be decided. The second committee will be headed by the rural development secretary with representatives from at least a dozen ministries.

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