(Info) Development Schemes of Special Relevance to Bundelkhand



Development Schemes of Special Relevance to Bundelkhand

Among the plethora of government poverty alleviation or social welfare schemes, a few are of particular relevance to backward regions. Also of relevance to Bundelkhand is the UP Bundelkhand Vikas Nidhi and Bundelkhand Development Authority set up in MP.  

Apart from the schemes discussed below briefly, districts get funds from the central and state finance commissions appointed every five years. While the central commission recommends distribution of revenue between the Union government and the states, including grants for urban local bodies and panchayati raj institutions, the state commission recommends devolution of state funds to panchayati raj institutions.

(Note: All schemes listed below are substantially or fully funded by the Central government. State government schemes, such as the District Poverty Initiative Programme in MP, are not listed below. The listing also does not cover schemes which involve direct cash transfers or other benefits to individuals, such as old age and widow pension schemes, and the public distribution system. Environment-related Programmes and the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, which is the largest source of development funds for backward regions, are discussed separately).

Integrated Child Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS)

ICDS seeks to provide supplementary nutrition, health care and pre-school education to children below the age of six. The programme also covers adolescent girls, pregnant women and nursing mothers. ICDS services are provided through centres known as anganwadis. Under a Supreme Court order of December 13, 2006, in the Right to Food case, in settlements that have at least 40 children under the age of six and no anganwadi, anganwadis should be set up within three months of rural communities and slum dwellers making such a demand.

Mid-day Meal Scheme

The Mid-day Meal scheme is the result of a  November 28, 2001 order of the Supreme Court in the Right to Food case, directing state governments to provide cooked mid-day meals in all government and government-assisted primary schools. The meals should provide at least 300 calories and 8-12 gm of protein to each child, each day of school for a minimum of 200 days in a year. In drought-affected areas, mid-day meal should be supplied even during summer vacations.

Swarnajayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY)

SGSY is meant to promote entrepreneurship among rural poor by organising them in self help groups (SHGs), and providing income-generating assets through a mix of bank credit and government subsidy, so that the poor rise above the poverty line. Loans and subsidies are given both to groups and individual members ('swarozgaris') of SHGs. Training, establishment of marketing linkages and infrastructure are also key elements of the scheme. The central government provides 70% of the funds for implementation of the scheme in a state; the state government is to provide the rest. Lead banks are responsible for identification of economic activities and disbursement of credit. At least 40% of  swarozgaris are to be women and at least 50% of the beneficiary groups should be of SC/ST persons.

Indira Awas Yojana (IAY)

IAY provides a grant of up to Rs 20,000 to scheduled caste and below poverty line (BPL) households for construction of houses, or improving kaccha dwelling units. Households have to be selected by gram sabhas.

Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA)

SSA aims to provide useful and relevant elementary education for all children in the 6-14 years age-group, bridging social, regional and gender gaps, and with the participation of communities in management of schools. SSA also supports pre-school learning in ICDS and other centres. SSA provides funds for making the schooling system useful and absorbing; it also supplements resources for building elementary education infrastructure.

Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC)

TSC is a demand-driven programme that gives a cash incentives for construction of toilets by poor rural households and baby-friendly toilets in anganwadis. It also gives a 60% grant for construction of community toilets and toilets in schools; the rest of the money has to come from the state government and village communities. TSC provides an 80% grant to NGOs, panchayats and other agencies for setting up 'rural sanitary marts' or  production centres (PCs) for manufacture and sale of low-cost materials required for construction of latrines, soakage and compost pits, vermi-composting, washing platforms, and other rural sanitation and hygiene hardware.

Accelerated Rural Water Supply Programme (ARWSP)

ARWSP supplements efforts of state governments to provide safe drinking water in all rural habitations. Priority should be given to habitations with 'no safe source' of water, and inhabited largely by SC/ST groups. Panchayati Raj institutions have to be involved in selecting locations of supply points, spot sources, operation and maintenance and fixing of water tariff. The programme has various components, with varying percentage of grants from the central government.

Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY)

PMGSY provides 100% funds for constructing all-weather roads to unconnected habitations in rural areas. The scheme also funds construction of necessary culverts and drainage structures..

Backward Region Grant Fund (BRGF)

BRGF, set up in 2006 under the Union ministry of Panchayati Raj, provides a good opportunity to identify challenges and opportunities in backward districts and make realistic plans with involvement of people and elected representatives up to the district level. Covering 250 districts of the country, including all districts of Bundelkhand except Jhansi, Datia and Sagar, the fund has two components: a capacity building component for training elected members of panchayati raj institutions and an 'untied' development component that can be used to 'fill critical gaps vital for development by panchayats and urban local bodies'. These critical gaps have to be identified by people and their elected representatives,

'Eligible' districts do not automatically get funds under the scheme. State governments have to first set up district planning committees (DPCs); funds are transferred to the district directly from the Union Ministry of Panchayati Raj, on the basis of district development plans drawn by panchayats and DPCs, and approved by state governments. Many states including UP have been laggard in forming DPCs. As a result, all 'eligible' districts in UP Bundelkhand could not get any funds from BRGF in 2007-08.

Urban Infrastructure Development Scheme for Small and Medium Towns (UIDSSMT)

UIDSSMT partially helps small and medium towns get over chronic resource problems. UIDSST provides funds for water supply, sewage and solid waste management schemes; re-development of old, congested areas and construction of roads and parking spaces. The central government provides 80% of  the funds for projects apprised by a state-level implementing agency. Some measures have to be taken to get funds; these include increasing revenue from property tax and levy of user charges. With such reforms there is also good scope for private-public partnerships.

Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY)

RKVY, launched in 2007, provides 'additional central assistance' to Central government and state schemes related to agriculture. Among the projects funded by RKVY is region-specific agriculture research and preparation of district agriculture plans, taking into account local needs and conditions.

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Courtesy : bundelkhandinfo.org