Dr. Banarsi Lal and Dr. Vikas TandonIn India over 65 per cent population still lives in the rural areas.All the great personalities of India such as Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam always advocated the need of transforming the villages as the villages are the keys for the inclusive development of the country. So there is great need to concentrate in the rural areas of the country. Presently government is striving to improve the infrastructure in the vilages such as roads, sanitation, power and water to develop the villages.It is easy to say to develop the villages but to transform them is really a herculean task.But a well knit strategy with adequate financial support can transform the vilages of India. A scheme known as Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission has been started by the government of India which is a reflection of former President of India,Dr.APJ Abdul Kalam’s idea of PURA(Providing Urban Amenities in Rural Areas). This scheme is focusing on the infrastructure development in the rural areas. It is also including skill development and economic development in the villages. Presently government is endevouring to end the rural-urban divide by the idea of rurban and providing the urban amenities in the rural areas. There is need to revamp the rural areas. There is also need to concentrate on agriculture, rural infrastructure development, skill creation, employment and health to boost the path of development in the villages. Government has launched Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY). This scheme instills certain values in the village to foster mutual cooperation, self-help and self-reliance, enabling the poorest person in the village to come out of poverty and achieve well-being, preserving and promoting local cultural heritage. According to this scheme, every Member of Parliament would adopt a village Panchayat to be developed through government schemes and local initiatives. Some selected Panchayats have started getting priority for developing infrastructure under existing schemes like National Health Mission, MGNREGS, ICDS and now Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. This plan envisages a model village with the schools that have toilets, computers, health facilities, yoga centres, gym, solid and liquid waste management, drinking water etc. This scheme can make the villages self-reliant and self-sufficient. There is also need to develop the social and physical infrastructure of the rural areas. PURA (Providing Urban Facilities in Rural Areas) aims to reform the rural economy. This can also reduce the rural migration towards populated cities. There is dire need to concentrate on agriculture, value addition in food, healthcare and education, Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) etc. so that income and employment in rural areas can be enhanced. The poverty can be eradicated with the proper strategy. Skill India Mission is another significant scheme for rural development. Through this scheme entrepreneurship in rural areas can be developed. It is an ambitious scheme.The National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship aims at empowering the those who left out from the mainstream education system by imparting the skill development training to them.This can open new avenues of employment on a large scale.Krishi Vigyan Kendras(KVKs) can play a significant role in imparting the skill development trainings to the rural people on the areas such as mushroom cultivation, beekeeping,poultry farming,dairy farming,commercial floriculture etc.This can open new avenues of employment and income in rural areas.India can play the role of human resource capital if China is acting like manufacturing factory.Information and Communication Technologies(ICTs) can play an important role in benefitting the rural people.Farmers of one place can learn new things in agriculture from the farmers of another place.They can also see the weather forecasting and can also find out the marketing channels of their farm produce.The village problems and their solutions can be mitigated under Unnat Bharat Abhiyan.100 per cent rural electrification can also play a great role in the villages transformation.Rural roads are being constructed under Pardhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana at a speedy rate.Roads can help to transport the farm produce of villagers to the urban areas.The job scheme Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarnantee Scheme(MGNREGS) has also been accorded priority.This scheme is playing a twin role of job creation and economic development in the areas. It has been observed that water scarcity is incresaing due to poor monsoons. Government is striving to mitigate the problem of irrigation under MGNERGA.For that purpose more funds and efforts are needed. Setting up of 300 Rurban Clusters under Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Rural Mission and strengthening of the Krishi Vigyan Kendras(KVKs) are steps in the right direction.Now some districts are getting two KVKs to mitigate the farming needs of the farmers. KVKs provide technical knowledge on agriculture to the farmers. There is need to increase the crops yield in the rain-fed areas and also to increase the agricultural credit. There is also need to ease the burden of loan repayment of the farmers so that there stress can be reduced. The government is making special endevours towards agricultural sector and has set the target to double the farmers income by 2022. Doubling the farmers income by 2022 is quite challenging and agricultural scientists and farmers need to make their best efforts to achieve this target. The efforts towards doubling the farmers income should be applauded and announcement on doubling the farmers income really shows the government concern in this aspect.
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