Department of Rural Development deals with: -
(a) All matters pertaining to rural employment or unemployment such as working out of strategies and programs for rural employment including special works, wage or income generation and training related thereto;
(b) Micro level planning related to rural employment or unemployment and administrative infrastructure therefore.
(2) Integrated rural development, including small farmers development agency, marginal farmers and agricultural laborers, etc.
(3) Rural housing including Rural Housing Policy and all matters germane and incidental thereto under country or rural planning, in so far as it relates to rural areas.
(4) All matters relating to panchayati raj and panchayati raj institutions.
(5) Minimum Needs Program in rural areas in the field of elementary education, adult education, rural health, rural electrification and the nutrition programmes.
(8) All matters relating to rural roads including those under the Minimum Needs Programme in the rural areas.
All matters relating to cooperation with the Center for Integrated Rural Development of Asia and Pacific (CIRDAP) and the Afro-Asian Rural Reconstruction Organization (AARRO).
Salient Features and the Physical and Financial Achievements under various Schemes
1. SAMPOORNA GRAMEEN ROZGAR YOJANA (SGRY)
The Sampoorna Grameen Rozgar Yoajana (SGRY) was launched on 25th September 2001 by merging the on-going schemes of Employment Assurance Scheme (EAS) and the Jawahar Gram Samridhi Yojana (JGSY) with the objective of providing additional wage employment in the rural areas as also food security, alongside the creation of durable community assets in the rural areas.
The programme is self-targeting in nature with special emphasis on women, Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and parents of children withdrawn from hazardous occupations.
The cash component is shared between the Centre and the States in the ratio of 75:25. Foodgrains are provided free of cost to the States/UTs. The Centre makes the payment of foodgrains directly to FCI at economic cost. However, the cost of the transportation of foodgrains from the FCI godown to the work-site/ PDS and its distribution are the responsibility of the State Governments. Minimum wages are paid to the workers through a mix of minimum five kg of foodgrains and at least 25 percent of wages in cash.
The Gram Pancvhayats can take up any work with the approval of the Gram Sabbha as per their felt need and within available funds. Fifty percent of the funds earmarked to the Gram Panchayats are to be utilized for infrastructure development works in SC/ST localities. 22.5% resources must be spent on individual beneficiary schemes meant for SCs/STs out of District Panchayat and Intermediate Panchayats’s share of resources.
Contractors are not, permitted to be engaged for execution of any of the works and no middlemen/intermediate agencies can be employed for executing works under the scheme.
The programme is regularly monitored and is also being evaluated through impact studies conducted by reputed institutions and organisations sponsored by the Central/State Governments.
2. NATIONAL FOOD FOR WORK PROGRAMME (NFFWP)
The National Food for Work Programme has been launched in November, 2004 in 150 most backward districts of the country, identified by the Planning Commission in consultation with the Ministry of Rural Development and the State Governments.
The objective of the programme is to provide additional resources apart from the resources available under the Sampoorna Grameen Rozgar Yojana (SGRY) to 150 most backward districts of the country so that generation of supplementary wage employment and providing of food-security through creation of need based economic, social and community assets in these districts is further intensified.
The scheme is 100% centrally sponsored. Foodgrains are also provided to the States free of cost. The transportation cost, handling charges and taxes on foodgrains are however, the responsibility of the States.
The Programme is self-targeting and any person desirous of doing unskilled manual work can opt to work for any of the ongoing NFFWP works.
The wages under the NFFWP both for skilled and unskilled labour are not less than the minimum wages fixed by the State Government for agricultural labours. The wages are normally paid through a mix of cash and food grains. The food grains so provided to the workers, as wages are calculated at BPL rates.
The Programme focuses on water conservation, drought-proofing and land development as a first priority. Flood control measures, rural connectivity in terms of all-weather roads and other productive works for ensuring economic sustainability can also be included depending upon local needs. The works are executed according to a Five Year Perspective Plan through line departments/ PRIs/ reputed NGOs/ Self Help Groups. The Panchayat concerned have the right to inspect and review the progress of any work under the scheme in its jurisdiction. A Committee of the local beneficiaries is also constituted for each work to monitor the progress and quality of work and submit report to the Gram Sabha.
3. NATIONAL RURAL EMPLOYMENT GUARANTEE ACT (NREGA)
- A new initiative to provide legal guarantee to work and to transform the ‘Geography of Poverty’
The ‘ National Rural employment Guarantee Act’ 2005 has been passed for securing the livelihood of the people in rural areas by guaranteeing 100 days of employment in a financial year to a rural household. The Act was notified on 7th September 2005. Hon’ble Prime Minister of India has consented to launch the NREGA on 2nd February 2006 for the first phase of 200 Districts.
A path – breaking law, guaranteeing employment to the rural households, the NREGA provides a social safety net for the vulnerable groups and an opportunity to combine growth with equity. The main provisions of the Act are:
i. Employment to be given within 15 days of application for work.
ii. If employment is not provided within 15 days daily unemployment allowance in cash has to be paid.
iii. Employment within 5 km radius, else extra wages to be paid.
iv. At least 1/3rd beneficiaries have to be women.
v. Gram Sabha will recommend works.
vi. Gram Panchayats to execute at least 50% of works.
vii. PRIs have a principal role in planning and implementation.
viii. Transparency, public accountability, social audit will be ensured through institutional mechanism at all levels.
viii. Grievance redressal mechanism will be put in place for ensuring a responsive implementation process.
The NREGA marks a paradigm shift from all earlier and existing wage employment programmes because it is a Act and not just a scheme. It provides a legal guarantee to work.
After the launching of NREGA, the rural households in the 200 Districts will have the right to register themselves with the local Gram Panchayat as persons interested in getting employment under the Act. The Gram Panchayat after proper verification will register the household and issue a job card to the registered household. The job card is the legal document that entitles a person to ask for work under the Act and to get work within 15 days of the demand for work. The launch on the 2nd February confers the legal rights to the rural communities to be invoked by them in the 200 Districts.
The Planning Commission has decided the 200 Districts identified for the first phase. These include 150 Districts already under the NFFWP, 45 Rashtriya Sam Vikas Yojana (RSVY) Districts where NFFWP was not in operation and 5 Learning Impact Districts chosen to assess the impact of the NREGA (List of 200 Districts is annexed). Within five years, the NREGA will extend to the whole country.
The Ministry of Rural Development has adopted a participatory process towards the operationalzing of the Act. To begin with the Ministry sought suggestions from a wide quarter in formulating the Operational Guidelines for the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005. The Ministry has also received useful suggestions contributing towards making a transparent and accountable operational framework for the act. Based on this wide consultation, Draft Guidelines for operationalzing the Act were formulated. Draft Guidelines were shared with the State Governments, and with the Ministries of the Central Government concerned with the Act so that their responses may guide further improvement of the Draft.
The ongoing Programmes of SGRY and NFFWP will be subsumed with the NREGA in the 200 identified Districts in the initial stage. Detailed instructions have been issued to State Governments for stock taking of the on going SGRY and NFFWP works and fund utilization to ensure timely completion of works under these programmes and a smooth transition to the Employment Guarantee Scheme ( EGS) since these schemes would be merged with EGS.
Detailed instructions have also been issued to State Governments to initiate preparatory action for NREGA. These include the following:
i. Intensive information dissemination campaign to be launched
ii. Sensitizing of PRIs and officials
iii. Preparation of State works manual
iv. Positioning of key personnel and supporting staff
v. Preparation of perspective plans for works
An amount of Rs. 305 crore has ben released to undertake preparatory work in the additional 50 Districts. The funds of the 150 NFFWP Districts are already available with State Governments.
The Plan proposal for 2006-07 for implementation of the NREGA in 200 Districts at the initial stage is proposed to be Rs. 16419 crore.
The Act is a very bold step of the Government to efface poverty from rural India and flourish in the era of liberalization and globalization.
4. SWRNJAYANTI GRAM SWAROGAR YOJANA (SGSY)
The Swarnjayanti Gram Swarozgar Yonana(SGSY) is a major self-employment programme for the rural poor under implementation since 1.4.1999. The Swarnjayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana(SGSY) is a holistic programme covering all aspects of self-employment such as organization of the poor into Self Help Groups(SHG), training, credit, technology infrastructure and marketing. The SGSY has definite objective of improving the family incomes of the rural poor and, at the same time, providing for a flexibility of design at the grassroots level to suit the local needs and resources. The objective of the SGSY is to provide assistance to the rural poor through bank credit and government subsidy to acquire an income-generating asset.
The SGSY focuses on organization of the poor at grassroots level through a process of social mobilization for poverty eradication. Social mobilization enables the poor to build their own organization called Self-Help Groups (SHGs) in which they participate fully and directly and take decisions on all issues concerning poverty eradication.
The SGSY also envisages promoting micro-enterprises by following cluster approach in identified key activities. The Panchayat Samitis at the block level and Zilla Parishad/DRDA at the district level and the banks and other financial institutions are closely associated and involved in implementation of the programme.
SGSY seeks to lay emphasis on skill development through well-designed training courses. Those, who have been sanctioned loans are assessed and given necessary skill development training. The design., duration of training and the training curriculum is tailored to meet the needs of the identified activities. The DRDA is entitled to meet the expenses incurred by the training institutions for both basic orientation and skill development ,training out of the SGSY fund
5. RURAL HOUSING
· To meet the shortage of housing in rural areas, the Indira Awaas Yojana (IAY) was launched in May 1985 as a sub-scheme of Jawahar Rozgar Yojana (JRY). It is being implemented as an independent scheme since 1 January 1996.
· The Agenda of the National Common Minimum Programme of the UPA Government states, “Housing for the weaker sections in rural areas will be expanded on a large scale”.
· Rural Housing is also a part of the Bharat Nirman package, which is a business plan, designed to substantially augment the rural infrastructure base of the country.
·The Indira Awaas Yojana aims at providing assistance to rural people below the poverty-line belonging to Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes, freed bonded labourers and non- Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes categories in construction of dwelling units and upgradation of existing unserviceable kutcha houses by providing grants-in-aid. From 1995-96, the IAY benefits have been extended to widows or next-of-kin of defence personnel killed in action. Benefits have also been extended to ex-servicemen and retired members of the paramilitary forces as long as they fulfil the normal eligibility conditions of IAY. Three per cent of funds are reserved for the disabled persons living below the poverty line in rural areas.
·As per 2001 census, the Housing shortage in the rural areas is about 148 lakhs. Under IAY for the last three years on an average about 14-15 lakh houses are being constructed every year whereas the annual requirement is about 40 lakh houses per annum, if shortage has to be addressed within next 4 years
·Under IAY the District Panchayat/District Rural Development Agency (DRDA) on the basis of the allocations made and targets fixed decide the number of houses to be constructed/upgraded under IAY, during a particular financial year. Accordingly, the targets are intimated to the Gram Panchayats concerned. Thereafter, the Gram Sabha selects the beneficiaries under the list of eligible BPL households, restricting this number to the target allotted as per the programme Guidelines. Selection of beneficiary by the Gram Sabha is final. No approval by the higher body is required. Zilla Parishads/ DRDAs and Block Development Officers are informed accordingly to provide assistance to selected beneficiaries.
· Under the Scheme, allotment of the house is to be done in the name of the female members of the households or in the joint names of husband and wife. A minimum of 60 per cent of funds is to be utilized for construction of houses for SC/ST. Sanitary latrine and smokeless chulhas are also to be provided to the beneficiaries. Selection of construction technology,materials and design is left entirely to the choice of beneficiaries.
·The ceiling on assistance for construction of new houses is Rs.. 25,000/- per unit for the plain areas and Rs. 27,500/- per unit for the hilly/difficult areas . The upper limit in respect of conversion of kutcha houses into semi-pucca houses (Upgradation) is Rs. 12,500/- per unit. This ceiling came into effect from 1.4.2004.
· Ministry of Rural Development and Ministry of Power have reached an understanding to provide free power connections in the IAY houses all over the country by dovetailing with the Rajiv Gandhi Gramin Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY).
· Initiatives have already taken for the preparation of a Permanent IAY Waitlist, which will be displayed at a prominent place in every Gram Panchayat. Hence, the selection process will now be more transparent.
·The progress under the Scheme is now being monitored at an advanced, micro level. Now, the details of the achievement will be available not only at district level and block-level but also at Panchayat and beneficiary levels for the completed houses.
· The present monitoring system under Bharat Nirman will be online process, where DRDAs upload progress data on a monthly basis into the Website of the Ministry.
7. DRDA ADMINISTRATION
·A Centrally-sponsored scheme District Rural Development Agency(DRDA) Administration was launched on 1April 1999 with the objective of strengthing the DRDAs and making them more professional in their functioning. The funding pattern of the DRDA Administration is in the ratio of 75:25 between the Centre and the States.
· The primary objective of the Scheme of DRDA Administration is to professionalise the DRDAs so that they are able to effectively manage the anti-poverty programmes of the Ministry of Rural Development and interact effectively with other agencies.
· The DRDA is visualised as a specialised agency for managing the anti-poverty programmes of the Ministry on the one hand and to effectively relate these to the overall efforts of poverty eradication in the District.
· DRDAs develop capacity to build synergies among different agencies involved for the most effective results. The role of the DRDA is therefore distinct from all the other agencies.
· The principle to be followed is to ensure that actual execution of programmes is handled outside the DRDAs and that DRDA`s role is to facilitate the implementation of the programmes, to supervise/oversee and monitor the progress, to receive and send the progress reports as well as to account for the funds.
· In respect of such States where DRDA does not have a separate identity, a separate cell is created in the Zilla Parishad which maintains a separate identity and separate accounts, so that the accounts can be audited separately.
8. WATERSHED DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMMES
· The Department of Land Resources in the Ministry of Rural Development is administering three area based watershed programmes for development of wastelands/degraded lands namely Drought Prone Areas Programmes (DPAP), Desert Development Programme (DDP) and Integrated Wastelands Development Programme (IWDP).
· DPAP was launched in 1973-74 to tackle the special problems faced by those areas that are constantly affected by drought conditions. DDP was launched in 1977-78 to mitigate the adverse effects of desertification. . IWDP has been under implementation since 1989-90. The projects under the IWDP are generally sanctioned in areas that are not covered under DDP or DPAP.
· Department of Land Resources has brought out a new initiative called Hariyali with an objective of empowering PRI’s both financially and administratively in implementation of Watershed Development Programmes. Under this initiative, all ongoing area development programmes namely, Integrated Wastelands Development Programme (IWDP), Drought Prone Areas Programme (DPAP) and Desert Development Programme (DDP) are to be implemented through the PRIs. New projects under the aforesaid area development programmes are being implemented in accordance with the Guidelines for Hariyali from 1.4.2003. Projects sanctioned prior to this date continue to be implemented as per the Watershed Development Guidelines of 2001.
· In the new arrangement, the Gram Panchayats implement the projects under the overall supervision and guidance of Project Implementation Agencies (PIAs). An intermediate Panchayat is the PIA for all the projects sanctioned to a particular Block/Taluka. In case, these Panchayats are not adequately empowered, then the Zilla Panchayat either act as PIA itself or appoint a suitable Line Department like Agriculture, Forestry /Social Forestry, Soil Conservation etc. or an Agency of the State Government/ University/ Institute as PIA. Failing these options, the ZP/DRDA may considers appointing a reputed Non-Government Organization (NGO) in the district with adequate experience and expertise in the implementation of watershed projects or related area development works as the PIA after thoroughly examining their credentials.
· The Project Implementing Agency (PIA) provides necessary technical guidance to the Gram Panchayat for preparation of development plans for the watershed through Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) exercise, undertake community organization and training for the village communities, supervise watershed development activities, inspect and authenticate project accounts, encourage adoption of low cost technologies built upon indigenous technical knowledge, monitor and review the overall project implementation and set up institutional arrangements for post-project operation and maintenance and further development of the assets created during the project period.
9. LAND REFORMS
· Two Centrally Sponsored Schemes viz. (i) Computerization of Land Records (CLR) and (ii) Strengthening of Revenue Administration & Updating of Land Records (SRA&ULR) are being administered by Land Reforms Division in the Department of Land Resources.
i) COMPUTERISATION OF LAND RECORDS (CLR)
·The Centrally Sponsored Scheme on Computerization of Land Records (CLR) was started in 1988-89 with 100% financial assistance on a pilot project basis in eight Districts viz; Rangareddy (A.P.), Sonitpur (Assam), Singhbhum (Bihar), Gandhinagar (Gujarat), Morena (M.P.) Wardha (Maharastra), Mayurbhanj (Orissa) and Dungarpur (Rajasthan) to remove the problems inherent in the manual systems of maintenance and updating of Land Records and to meet the requirements of various groups of users. It was decided that efforts should be made to computerize Core data contained in land records, so as to assist development planning and to make records accessible to people/planners and administrators. During the year 2005-06 budget allocation of Central share is Rs. 100 crore against which Rs. 54.03 crore has been released up to 31.12.2005.
ii) STRENGTHENING OF REVENUE ADMINISTRATION AND UPDATING OF LAND RECORDS (SRA & ULR)
· With a view to assisting the States/UTs in the task of updating of land records, a Centrally Sponsored Scheme for Strengthening of Revenue Administration and Updating of Land Records (SRA & ULR) was started in 1987-88. Initially, the Scheme was approved for the States of Bihar and Orissa and extended to other States/UTs, during 1989-90. The Scheme is being implemented by the State Governments through their Revenue/Land Reforms Departments. The Centre and the States on 50:50 sharing basis finance it. However, Union Territories are provided full Central Assistance.
·Under this Scheme, financial assistance is given for purchase of Modern Survey Equipments like Global Positioning System (GPS), EDM, Total Stations, Theodolites, Work Stations, Aerial Survey, Office equipments like Photocopiers, Laminating Machines, Binding Machines and basic facilities to improve work efficiency of lower staff of the Revenue Departments, construction of office-cum-residence of Patwaries, construction/repair/renovation of Training Institutes and equipments for Training, etc.
·During the year 2005-06 budget allocation of Central share is Rs. 40 crore against which Rs. 32.37 Crore has been released up to 31.12.2005.
10. RURAL WATER SUPPLY PROGRAMME
·Drinking water facilities to rural habitations are provided under state-sector programme. The central government endeavors to supplement the efforts of the state by providing assistance under the Centrally-sponsored Accelerated Rural Water Supply Programme. Powers have been delegated to the states to plan, sanction and implement the rural water supply schemes.
i) Accelerated Ruarl Water Supply Programme (ARWSP)
· In consonance with the objectives of National Common Minimum Programme (NCMP) for providing drinking water to all, the budget allocation under ARWSP was increased from Rs. 2900 crores in 2004-05 to Rs. 4050 crore in 2005-06.
·Bharat Nirman has been launched from 2005-06, which has been conceived as a plan to build rural infrastructure within four years period (2005-06 to 2008-09). Rural Drinking Water supply is one of the six components of Bharat Nirman and the proposed coverage under this component is coverage of
1. The left over habitations of Comprehensive action Plan (CAP) of 1999
2. The quality affected habitations
3.Habitations that were earlier covered with the drinking water supply, but have been slipped back to NC/PC.
· The Department of Drinking Water Supply has also taken initiatives for coverage of all rural schools with drinking water supply.
· The Government of India has been emphasizing the need for taking up community based rural water supply programmes and with this end in view a beginning was made in 1999 by sanctioning Sector Reform Pilot projects on experimental basis. With the experience gained, the reform initiative in the rural drinking water supply has now been scaled up throughout the country by launching the Swajaldhara programme on 25th December 2002. Under Swajaldhara, Government of India make State-wise allocation of funds and the State Governments in turn make District wise allocation.
· During the current year against the allocation of Rs. 4050 crore Rs. 2875.60 Crore has been released up to 31.12.2005 under Rural Water Supply Programme.
11. CENTRAL RURAL SANITATION PROGRAMME
· Rural Sanitation is a state subject. The efforts of the states are supplemented by the central government through technical and financial assistance under the Central Rural Sanitation Programme (CRSP).
· The Programme was launched in 1986 with the objective of improving the quality of life of rural people and providing privacy and dignity to women. The concept of sanitation was expanded in 1993 to include personal hygiene, home sanitation, safe water, and disposal of garbage, human excreta and wastewater. The components of the Programme included construction of individual sanitary toilets for household below poverty-line (BPL), conversion of dry latrines to water-pour flush toilets, construction of village sanitary complexes for women, setting up of sanitary marts and production centres, intensive campaign for creating awareness and health education, etc.
· Keeping in view the experiences of the central and state governments, NGOs and other implementing agencies and the recommendations of the Second National Seminar on Rural Sanitation, the strategy for the Ninth Five Year Plan was revised and the programme was restructured from 1 April 1999. The restructured programme moves away from the principle of state-wise allocation of funds, primarily based on poverty criteria, to a demand driven approach in a phased manner. Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC) was introduced and the allocation-based programme was phased out by 31 March 2002. TSC is community-led and people-centred. There was a shift from a high subsidy to a low subsidy regime. The TSC approach emphasized awareness-building component and meets the demand through alternate delivery mechanism. School sanitation has been introduced as a major component to encourage wider acceptance of sanitation among rural masses. The States/UTs are required to formulate project proposals under the TSC in order to claim central government assistance.
·Government has also taken a decision to ensure availability of sanitation facilities in Government schools and anganwadis in the rural areas of the country by 2006-07.
·To add vigor to sanitation drive, Government of India has initiated an incentive scheme for open defecation free Gram, Block and District Panchayat called, Nirmal Gram Puraskar, a community based incentive scheme for best performing PRI from all over India. About 1500 PRIs have applied for the award in the current financial year.
· During the current year 2005-06 under Rural Sanitation Programme against the allocation of Rs. 700 crore Rs. 438.99 crore has been released up to 31.12.2005.
12. PURA, CAPART, TRAINING & NIRD
i) PROVISION OF URBAN AMENITIES IN RURAL AREAS (PURA)
The scheme of PURA was announced by the Hon’ble Prime Minister in his speech on 15th August 2003 on the concept promoted by the Hon’ble President of India to bridge the rural-urban divide and achieving balanced socio-economic development.
·Ministry of Rural Development has been designated as the nodal Ministry. The Government is implementing Provision of Urban Amenities in Rural Areas schemes in seven States viz, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Maharashtra, Orissa, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh on pilot basis so that based on experiences of the pilot phase, the design of the scheme and its detailed guidelines can be worked out.
· During 2004-05, Rs. 10 crore was released to these States for road connectivity. States have reported that works are in progress. Meetings are being organized at the Ministry level with different Departments and other concerned organizations apart from obtaining feedback from the concerned States for soliciting their views and support for converging their schemes with that of PURA.
The Council for Advancement of People’s Action and Rural Technology ( CAPART) is an autonomous organization under the Ministry of Rural Development established in 1986 to promote voluntary action towards implementation of projects for the enhancement of rural prosperity and to act as catalyst for development of technologies appropriate for rural areas. CAPART is playing an important role in the following areas:
· Advancement of Rural Technology Scheme
· Public Cooperation Scheme
· Watershed Development Programme
· Organization of Beneficiaries Scheme
· Disability Action Programme
· International Funding
· Innovative Rural Housing Scheme
· Marketing Development
CAPART has nine Regional Committees/Centres at Jaipur, Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Bhubaneswar, Patna, Chandigarh, Hyderabad, Guwahati and Dharwad. The Regional Committees are empowered to sanction project proposals to voluntary agencies up to an outlay of Rs.25 lakhs in their respective regions.
The main objective of the scheme is to impart training in the field of Rural Development to Rural Development functionaries and elected representatives of PRIs at National, State, District, Block and Sub-Block levels and to strengthen and assist the various training institutions so as to enable them to carry out their mandate in an effective and efficient manner. The National Institute of Rural Development (NIRD) is the Apex Institute for training at National level . At the State level State Institutes of Rural Development (SIRDs) are the apex institutes. Extension Training Centres (ETCs) also impart training.
The National Institute of Rural Development (NIRD) is the apex Institute for training at National level for training, research and consultancy in Rural Development. It is fully funded by the Ministry of Rural Development. NIRD has one Regional Centre at Guwahati (Assam) to orient training and research activities of NIRD to meet the needs and problems of the North Eastern Region of India.
13. MONITORING AND EVALUATION
·The Ministry of Rural Development lays great emphasis on monitoring and evaluation of all rural development programmes in general, and poverty alleviation and employment generation schemes in particular in various States/UTs.
·It is well recognized that the success of the programmes largely depends on the effective delivery system and efficient implementation at the grass roots level so that the programme benefits reach the rural poor in full measures. In order to ensure this, the Ministry has evolved a comprehensive multi-level and multi tool system of Monitoring and Evaluation for the implementation of its programmes.
·The Monitoring mechanism includes, inter-alia, the Performance Review Committee, Review meetings by the Minister of Rural Development and Ministers of State with the Chief Ministers/Ministers of Rural Development and Officers of the States, the Area Officer Scheme, Periodic Progress Reports, Audit and Utilization Certificates, Video Conferencing and Field Visits. The Ministry also conducts evaluation of all major programmes.
· The Vigilance and Monitoring Committees at State and District Levels in all States/UTs to monitor the implementation of programmes and introduce greater transparency in the same have been reconstituted. These Committees, inter-alia, include MPs/MLs, representatives of Panchayat Raj Institutions and NGOs. The Member of Parliament (Both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha) have been assigned a central role in the reconstituted V & M Committees, and they have been nominated Chairman/Co-chairman of the District Level V & M Committees.
· The Ministry has also taken initiatives to strengthen the monitoring mechanism and quality of implementation of programmes by introducing District Level Monitoring (DLM) System in 130 Districts of 27 States through external agencies, which include monthly reporting of physical and financial performance, qualitative reporting about policy and implementation environments in the district and physical verification of the assets created under various programmes of the Ministry.
· In order to Strengthen the Monitoring mechanism, the Ministry has a panel of about 300 National Level Monitors(NLMs) by involving Ex-servicemen, and Retired Civil Servants to monitor and furnish periodic reports to the Ministry on the implementation of programmes in selected districts including verifying facts of the cases and complaints if any, which may be referred to them. Four Regional Workshops were held this year for the NLMs to discuss with them the reports of their visits in their specified areas for taking corrective measures.
· In order to assess impact of the Rural Development Programmes, the Ministry of Rural Development undertakes concurrent evaluation, impact assessment studies and quick evaluations from time to time, through reputed and independent research institutes/ organizations. The main objectives of these studies are to evaluate the performance of the schemes at the field level, and to assess the impact of the programmes and to identify the problems in course of implementation so as to make mid-course corrective measures, wherever necessary
Information curtsey: Press information beaureau and http://rural.nic.in/d3.htm