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MGNREGA was launched in the year 2005. It guarantees to provide 100 days of employment to the rural population, belonging to the legally defined working population. The main objective of this program is to increase the purchasing power of the rural poor and reduce distress migration. It also aims to strengthen women and the backward classes.

The salient features of the act are:
  • Adult members of a rural household, willing to do unskilled manual work may apply for registration with the local Gram Panchayat.
  • The Gram Panchayat will issue a Job Card after verification which will bear the photographs of all adult members of the household willing to work under MGNREGA.
  • The Job Card will be issued within 15 days of submitting the application.
  • The Gram Panchayat will issue a dated receipt of the written application for appointment, against which the guarantee of providing employment within 15 days operates.
  • If employment is not provided within 15 days, daily unemployment allowance as per the act has to be paid by the state government.
  • Work should ideally be provided within the 5 km radius of the village. In case work is provided beyond the 5 km range, extra wages of 10% are payable to meet additional transportation and living expenses.
  • At least one-third of the beneficiaries should be women who have registered and requested for work under the scheme.
  • Work site facilities such as crèche, drinking water and shade have to be provided.
  • At least 50% of the works will be allotted to Gram Panchayats for execution.
  • Permissible works predominantly include water and soil conservation, afforestation and land development works.
  • The Central Government bears the 100% wage cost of unskilled manual labor and 75% of the material cost including the wages of skilled and semi-skilled workers.
ICDS had its inception on October 2nd, 1975 in accordance to the National Policy for Children. It was launched with the objective to ensure the holistic development of children. The major concern was breaking the vicious cycle of malnutrition, morbidity, reduced learning capacity, mortality and challenges of pre-school education. Its objectives are:
  • To improve the nutritional and health status of children in the age group 0-6 years.
  • To lay the foundation for proper psychological, physical and social development of the child.
  • To reduce the instances of mortality, morbidity, malnutrition and school dropouts.
  • To achieve the effective co-ordination of policy and implementation amongst the various departments to promote child development.
  • To enhance the capability of the mother to look after the normal health and nutritional needs of the child through proper nutrition and health education.
The objectives were achieved through the following services:
  • Supplementary nutrition
  • Immunization
  • Health check-ups
  • Referral services
  • Pre-school non formal education
  • Nutrition and Health education

Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) has the overall responsibility of monitoring the ICDS scheme. Immunization, Health check-ups and Referral services are delivered through the Public Health Infrastructure under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.

ICDS is a centrally sponsored scheme implemented through State Governments/UT Administrations. The ICDS team comprises of Anganwadi Workers, Anganwadi Helpers, Supervisors, Child Development Project Officers (CDPO’s) and District Program Officers (DPO’s).

The government of India partners with the following international agencies to supplement interventions under ICDS:

United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF)

Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere (CARE)

World Food Programme (WFP)

Living a shelter less life is one of the hardest misfortunes. In India, a huge proportion of the population is struck by this misfortune. In order to meet the housing needs of the rural poor Indira Awaas Yojana (IAY) was launched during 1985-86 as a sub-scheme of Jawahar Rozgar Yojana (JRY), since its launching from April, 1989. It has now been delinked from JRY and has been made an independent scheme with effect from January 1st, 1996.

The IAY aims at helping rural people below the poverty line belonging to the SC/ST’s, free bonded laborers and non-SC/ST categories in constructing of dwelling units and up gradation of existing unserviceable kutcha houses by providing assistance in the form of full grant. From 1995-96, the IAY benefits have been extended to widows or next-of-kin of defense personnel killed in action. Benefits have also been extended to ex-servicemen and retired members of paramilitary forces as long as they fulfill the normal eligibility conditions of IAY. 3% of funds are reserved for the disabled persons living below the poverty line in rural areas. Since 2006-07, IAY funds are also being earmarked for minorities.

The funding pattern of IAY is shared between the Centre and State governments in the ratio 75:25, for North-Eastern states this ratio is 90:10. In the case of UT’s, entire funds of IAY are provided by the Centre.

The financial assistance provided for new construction in the form of grants is Rs.45, 000/- per unit for the plain areas & Rs.48, 500/- for hilly/difficult areas. The assistance for up gradation of unserviceable house to pucca/semi-pucca house is Rs.15, 000/-. The assistance for credit-cum-subsidy scheme is Rs, 15,500/- per unit. Maximum of 20% of IAY allocation can be utilized for up gradation or/& credit-cum-subsidy scheme. Furthermore, an IAY beneficiary can avail top up loan up to Rs.20, 000/- under the Differential Rate of Interest (DRI Scheme) from any nationalized bank at an interest rate of 4% per annum.

While determining the number of IAY houses to a particular state/UT, reduction of homelessness is the primary objective. As a result 75% weight age is given to housing shortage and 25% to the poverty ratios prescribed by Planning Commission for state level allocation. For district level allocation, 75% weight age is again given to housing shortage and 25% to SC/ST population of the concerned districts. On the basis of allocations made &targets fixed, District Panchayat/Zilla Panchayat/District Rural Development Agencies (DRDA’s) decides the number of houses to be constructed/upgraded panchayat-wise under IAY, during a particular financial year.

Rural road connectivity is one of the most significant aspects of rural development. Connectivity plays a major role in eradicating poverty by providing access to improve employment opportunities and increased agricultural incomes. About 40% of the habitations in the country are still not connected by all-weather roads. It is well known that even where connectivity has been provided, the roads constructed are of extremely poor quality due to lack of maintenance. In the light of such conditions, Pradhan mantra Gram Sadak Yojana was launched on August 15th, 2000 to connect every village with a population of over 1000 through a good all-weather road in the succeeding three years and similarly to connect every village with a population of over 500 by the year 2007.

Although construction of new roads was the primary focus, but up gradation of existing roads was equally important also. The states distribute the amount allocated to the districts as follows: 80% of the amount is provided on the basis of road length required for providing connectivity to unconnected habitations and 20% of the amount on the basis of road length required for up gradation under the PMGSY. The district-wise allocation of funds is also communicated to the Ministry/National Rural Road Development Agency (NRRDA)/ and State Technical Agency (STA) every year by the State Government.

JAWAHARLAL NEHRU NATIONAL URBAN RENEWAL MISSION (JNNURM) In order to meet the challenges of growing urbanization and to enable Indian cities to develop to global standards, a comprehensive programme called Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission was launched on December, 2005 to last for a period of 7 years. This project is run by the Central Government in order to develop urban infrastructure and services in urban areas. As a result these cities have to follow the mandate reforms. The emphasis is on making Indian cities more livable and inclusive. Large projects like Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS), water supply projects, drainage systems, and desalination plants etc. are some of the programs being undertaken. The total Central Government funding has been Rs.50, 000 crores. In addition, after including the contributions of the state and municipalities, the amount has gone up to Rs.125, 000 crores over the period of 7 years. It is a project which works for the redevelopment of the cities. This scheme is currently implemented in 63 cities.

The five year JNNRUM-2 began in 2012 and addresses states that have done well under the first stage of the scheme. 28 more cities have been added under this scheme.

Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan has been initiated by the Central Government to achieve Universalization of Elementary Education (UEE) in a time-bound manner. It aims to provide free and compulsory education to children in the age group of 6-14 years.

SSA is being implemented in partnership with state governments to cover the entire country and address the needs of 192 million children in 1.1 million habitations. The objective of this program is to set up schools in areas which don’t have schooling facilities and to strengthen the existing school infrastructure through provisions of additional classrooms, drinking water facilities, toilets etc. Under the 11th five year plan, this scheme lays emphasis on the education of the girl child and children with special needs. The aim was to increase the adult literacy rate to 85% and reduce the drop-out rate by the end of the five year period.

The fund sharing pattern between the centre and states, originally approved for SSA for the duration of the 11th plan was on a sliding scale viz 65:35 during the first two years of the 11th Five Year Plan, 60:40 in the third year, 55:45 in the fourth year and 50:50 thereafter (90:10 for North-East states).This has been replaced with a new funding pattern of 65:35 applicable since the financial year 2010-11 (90:10 for North-East states) for a period of five years.

This programme aims at providing free lunch to school children on all working school days. The target is to feed around 1.3 million children covering around 8000 schools in 8 states across India.

The main objectives of Mid Day Meal Programme are to save children from hunger, increase their attendance and participation, improve socialization among children of different castes, reduce malnutrition and improve social empowerment by employing more women.

All children studying in Government/Local Body, Government Aided schools and centers run under the Education Guarantee Scheme (EGS) and Alternative Innovative Education (AIE) are eligible to participate in the Mid Day Meal Programme.

For children in classes’ I-V, a meal with a nutritional value of 450 calories and 12 grams of protein is provided. For children in upper primary classes, a meal containing 700 calories and 20 grams of protein is provided. In addition to rice/chapattis, the meal includes pulses, vegetables depending on local availability. Some states also provide eggs, fruits etc. The weekly menu is decided by the local authorities i.e. village panchayat, self-help groups etc. The Central Government provides free food grain at 100 grams per child per school day for primary classes and 150 grams for upper primary classes.

The mid day meal programmes have not only increased the enrollment of children in schools but also improved daily pupil attendance.

National Rural Health Mission is an initiative launched by the Central Government for improving healthcare across rural India (2005-2012). The program was launched on October 12th, 2005. It is intends to improve the health, hygiene and sanitation infrastructure of the rural population throughout the country with particular focus on 18 states, which have weak public health indicators and/or weak infrastructure including 8 Empowered Action Group (EAG), the North-East states, Jammu Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh.

The mission of NRHM is to establish functional health facilities through renewal and renovation of the existing infrastructure or replace the existing one if required.

Out of NRHM’s total expenditure 33% is spent on high focused states and 25% in case of low focused states for the construction of health centers.

Total Sanitation Campaign was started by the government in 1999 as a part of restructuring of Central Rural Sanitation Program (CRSP), which was launched in 1986. TSC is mainly focused on providing better drinking water and sanitation facilities in rural areas. It is run by the Ministry of Rural Development. It lays strong emphasis on Information, Education and Communication (IEC), social marketing for demand generation of sanitation facilities, set up a delivery system through Rural Sanitary Marts (RSMs) and Production Centers (PC) and a thrust on school sanitation. District is considered as the basic unit of operational coverage where the main goal is to get rid of open defecation practices highly prevalent among the rural population. The focus is on Individual Household Latrines (IHHL), School Sanitation and Hygiene Education (SSHE), Community Toilet Complexes and Anganwadi Toilets.

The funding pattern of various sub-programs under TSC is as shown below:

Category Government of India share State Government share Beneficiary Contribution
IHHL 60% 28% 12%
SSHE 70% 30% 0
Anganwadi Toilet 70% 30% 0
Community Sanitary Complex 60% 20% 20%

Nirmal Gram Puraskaar is given under this program to those Gram Panchayats, blocks or districts which

  • Have achieved 100% sanitation coverage of individual households
  • Have achieved 100% school sanitary coverage
  • Are free from open defecation
  • Have achieved clean environment maintenance
The scheme was launched with a purpose to provide minimum social security assistance to the citizens. Its objective is to ensure minimum standards of social security to the citizens by the state. The scheme covers the following five plans under it:
  • Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (IGNOAS): Under this scheme the centre provides a beneficiary (a male or female 65 years of age or above) a pension of Rs.200/- per month. The states are advised to add an amount of around Rs.200/- to this, so that the beneficiary can receive a minimum amount of Rs.400/- per month.
  • Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme (IGNWPS): Under this scheme a BPL widow falling in the age group of 40-64 is entitled to receive an amount of Rs.300/- from the central government. The state government is recommended to contribute Rs.200/- from its resources.
  • Indira Gandhi National Disability Pension Scheme (IGNDPS): This scheme entitles a person with multiple or severe disabilities, falling in the age group of 18-64, to receive an amount of Rs.300/- as central assistance.
  • National Family Benefit Scheme: This scheme provides a grant of Rs.10, 000/- to a BPL family, in case of death of the primary breadwinner of the family.
  • Annapurna: This scheme provides 10 kg of grain to a senior citizen who is entitled to receive benefits under the old age pension scheme but remains uncovered.
The National Rural Water Supply scheme is the revised version of the Accelerated Rural Water Supply Program (ARWSP) launched in 1972-73.

The goal of the scheme is to provide every rural person with adequate safe water for drinking, cooking and other domestic needs on a sustainable basis.

The main objectives of the scheme are:
  • To provide permanent drinking water security in rural areas.
  • Measures to improve and increase existing water resources through sustainable methods planned by community/local governments.
  • To encourage communities, Panchayat Raj institutions to manage and monitor their own resources.
  • Ensure access to safe drinking water in schools and anganwadis.
The main components which are covered for allocation under this scheme are: Coverage, Sustainability, Water Quality, Desert Development Program, Natural Calamity, Support Activities, Operation and Maintenance. The centre-state sharing of funds varies on the components. The department of drinking water supply allocates 10% of the total central outlay of the scheme to the North-East states.

The following activities are entrusted to the states as per the eleventh schedule of the Constitution, which states rural drinking water supply is a state subject:
  • The Support Component: This component of the scheme includes support activities like communication, information, education, water quality surveillance, setting up of water testing laboratories etc. for which the government needs funds on a timely basis.
  • Provisions for SC’s/ST’s: At least 25% of the funds by NRDWP are earmarked to be utilized for supply to SC-ST dominated habitations.
  • Sustainability: 20% of the allocation is made available to the states for working out sustainable ways like rain water harvesting etc.
  • Education and Communication Activities: States are also supposed to undertake educational activities to make communities understand the health hazards related to unsafe drinking water etc.
Swarnajayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY) was restructured and redesigned into National Rural Livelihood Mission in the year 2001. It is one of the largest initiatives undertaken by the Indian government to reduce poverty among rural BPL by promoting diversified and gainful self-employment and wage employment opportunities which would lead to an appreciable increase in income on a sustainable basis.

NRLM aims to benefit around 350 million people in 12 states which constitute about 85% of India’s rural poor. Women are given special consideration by creation of Women SHG’s to build their skills. The mission is expected to bring about transformational impact in the socio-economic conditions of the rural poor.

There is an independent 3-tiered structure. At the apex of the structure, NRLM is under the Ministry of Rural Development; at the state level there will be an umbrella organization under the State Department of Rural Development, which is responsible for implementing self-employment/ rural livelihood promotion programs.

NRLM is a centre sponsored scheme and the financing of the program is shared between the centre and states in the ratio 75:25 (90:10 in case of North-East states including Sikkim). The allocation is earmarked based on the poverty levels in the states.

The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act aims at enhancing the livelihood security of people in rural areas by guaranteeing hundred days of wage-employment in a financial year to a rural household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work.

The salient features of the act are:
  • Adult members of a rural household, willing to do unskilled manual work, may apply for registration in writing or orally to the local Gram Panchayat.
  • The Gram Panchayat after due verification will issue a Job Card. The Job Card will bear the photograph of all adult members of the household willing to work under NREGA and is free of cost.
  • The Job Card should be issued within 15 days of application.
  • A Job Card holder may submit a written application for employment to the Gram Panchayat, stating the time and duration for which work is sought. The minimum days of employment have to be at least fourteen.
  • The Gram Panchayat will issue a dated receipt of the written application for employment, against which the guarantee of providing employment within 15 days operates.
  • Employment will be given within 15 days of application for work, if it is not then daily unemployment allowance as per the Act, has to be paid liability of payment of unemployment allowance is of the States.
  • Work should ordinarily be provided within 5 km radius of the village. In case work is provided beyond 5 km, extra wages of 10% are payable to meet additional transportation and living expenses.
  • Wages are to be paid according to the Minimum Wages Act 1948 for agricultural labourers in the State, unless the Centre notifies a wage rate which will not be less than Rs. 60/ per day. Equal wages will be provided to both men and women.
  • Wages are to be paid according to piece rate or daily rate. Disbursement of wages has to be done on weekly basis and not beyond a fortnight in any case.
  • At least one-third beneficiaries shall be women who have registered and requested work under the scheme.
  • Work site facilities such as crèche, drinking water, shade have to be provided.
  • The shelf of projects for a village will be recommended by the gram sabha and approved by the zilla panchayat.
  • At least 50% of works will be allotted to Gram Panchayats for execution.
  • Permissible works predominantly include water and soil conservation, forestation and land development works.
  • A 60:40 wage and material ratio has to be maintained. No contractors and machinery is allowed.
  • The Central Government bears the 100 percent wage cost of unskilled manual labour and 75 percent of the material cost including the wages of skilled and semi skilled workers.
  • Social Audit has to be done by the Gram Sabha.
  • Grievance redressal mechanisms have to be put in place for ensuring a responsive implementation process.
  • All accounts and records relating to the Scheme should be available for public scrutiny.
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