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Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan to Develop Villages

Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan (RGSA), for developing governance capabilities of Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was launched by Prime Minister, Narendra Modi at Ramnagar in tribal-dominated district of Mandla in Madhya Pradesh on the occasion of National Panchayati Raj Day on Tuesday April 24, 2018 along with unveiling road map for development of tribal areas. Speaking at a gathering, Modi said, “Bapu (Mahatma Gandhi) always highlighted the importance of villages and spoke about ‘Gram Swaraj’.” “Today we pledge to boost development of villages. Indian culture motivates us to live for the nation”.  RGSA aims at making rural local bodies self-sustainable, financially stable and more efficient and seeks to strengthen the country’s panchayati raj system and address critical gaps that hinder its success.

Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi had given its approval for restructured Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan on April 21, 2018. The Scheme will be implemented during the period from 01.04.2018 to 31.03.2022 at the total cost of Rs. 7255.50 crore with the Central Share of Rs. 4500 crore and that of State Share of Rs. 2755.50 crore, of which Central Share and State shares for 2018-19 would be Rs. 969.27 crore and Rs. 585.51 crore respectively:

  • This scheme will extend to all States and UTs of the Country and will also include institutions of rural local government in non-Part IX areas, where Panchayats do not exist,
  • The scheme will have both, Central Component – National Level activities including “National Plan of Technical Assistance”, “Mission Mode project on e-Panchayat”, “Incentivisation of Panchayats” and State component – Capacity Building of PRIs.
  • Centre: State funding pattern for State Component will be 60:40 for all States, except North East and Hill States where Centre: State funding pattern will be 90:10.  For all Union Territories (UTs), the Central share will be 100%.
  • The implementation and monitoring of the activities of the scheme will broadly be aligned for achieving the SDGs with main thrust on Panchayats identified under Mission Antyodaya and 115 Aspirational districts as identified by NITI Aayog.
  • As Panchayats have representation of Schedule Castes, Schedule Tribes and women, and are institutions closest to the grass­roots, strengthening Panchayats will promote equity and inclusiveness, along with Social Justice and economic development of the community.
  • Mission Antyodaya has been integrated into this scheme.
  • The scheme will help more than 2.55 lakh PRIs to develop governance capabilities to deliver on SDGs through inclusive local governance with focus on optimum utilisation of available resources.
  • Increased use of e-governance by PRIs will help achieve improved service delivery and transparency.
  • The scheme will strengthen Gram Sabhas to function as effective institutions with social inclusion of citizens particularly the vulnerable groups.
  • It will establish the institutional structure for capacity building of PRIs at the national, state and district level with adequate human resources and infrastructure.
  • Panchayats will progressively be strengthened through Incentivisation on the basis of nationally important criteria which will encourage competitive spirit among them.
  • The key principles of SDGs, i.e. leaving no one behind, reaching the farthest first and universal coverage, along with gender equality will be embedded in the design of all capacity building interventions including trainings, training modules and materials.
  • Priority will be given to subjects of national importance that affects the excluded groups the most, e.g. poverty, primary health services, nutrition, immunization, sanitation, education, water conservation, digital transactions etc.
  • Sunset date for RGSA will be 31.03.2030.

Modi addressing the gathering while launching RGSA appealed to the villagers to focus on the education of their children, “This is essential for the child’s future… education for all is a top priority for a central government”..

Modi said that with Jan Dhan, Vann Dhan, Gobar Dhan, we can bring a great change in a village’s economic status and elaborating on the essence of each of the three initiatives, he said, “Ensure that people have Jan Dhan accounts and insurance coverage under the government schemes. If there is a neem tree today, its branch can provide source of income for the village women. Today, cow dung is not used scientifically in villages. Gas and electricity can be produced from it. This can be done without monetary aid, but will need the help of the government schemes”.

“Let us pledge that by 2022, we develop our villages along the lines of what Mahatma Gandhi had once wished for”.

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