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Path to Progress... Shyamaprasad Mukharjee Rurban Mission

by Madhavi Mihir Bhuta (National Executive Member, BJP Mahila Morcha)
Mar 25, 2021
Path to Progress... Shyamaprasad Mukharjee Rurban Mission, Knowledge, KonexioNetwork.com

In pre-independence era, there was hardly any industrial development in nation. Britishers, who ruled Bharat, used Bharatiya soil as the source of raw material and market place for selling finished British goods. 

The world famous cottage industry of Bharatiya handicrafts was systematically tarnished to lose its glitter and glory.
The majority of the population (almost 80 % ) depended on agriculture for their livelihood and were settled in villages.
Post-independence, the then Congress Government adopted to the path of industrialisation, since the first five year plan. Unfortunately, this blind adoption of industrialisation ignited the inflow of people towards the urban areas, emptying the rural areas.

The villages, which were self sufficient in supporting its population suddenly turned into unattended wastelands.

The development of last Six plus decades has more or less remained concentrated in the urban areas. The villages were deprived of progressives modules and growth promoting infrastructures. Hence, the Common Man rushes in search of better prospects to the cities. 

The cities were under-equipped to provide sustainable growth engine to its people. 

The vicious circle continued and the gap between updated  Urban areas and underdeveloped rural areas widened.

Eventually, such demarcation reflected on the economic disparity  and minute affluent class grabbed use of resources of growth machinery.

Hon. Prime Minister’s childhood was spent in small village of Gujarat. He was accustomed to unavailability of growth machinery. Hence, he was determined to decrease the polarity between rural and urban areas and create a Rurban economic structure.

The NDA Government led by Narendra Modi ji, after attaining power in 2014, worked ceaselessly for it.

On 21st February 2016, the Govt. of Bharat launched Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Rurban Mission (SPMRM) under the Ministry of Rural Development.(MoRD) to provide integrated project based infrastructure in the rural areas, which also includes development of Skill Development and Economic Activities in the area.

The Mission’s key objective is bridging the rural-urban divide-viz: To stimulate  local economic development, enhance technological and related facilities and services and create well planned Rurban clusters.

It emphasises on reduction of poverty and unemployment by spreading economic activities and attracting investments.

A ‘Rurban cluster’ would be a cluster of geographically contiguous villages with a population of about 25000 to 50000 in plain and coastal areas and with a population of 5000 to 15000 in desert, hilly or tribal areas.

Large parts of rural areas in the country are not stand -alone settlements but part of s cluster of settlements, which are in relative proximity of one another. These clusters typically illustrate potential for growth, have Economic drivers and derive locational and competitive advantages.

These clusters, once developed can be classified as ‘Rurban’.

The vision of National Rurban Mission (NRuM) is to develop a cluster of villages that preserve and nurture the essence of rural community life with focus on equity and inclusiveness without compromising with the facilities perceived to be essentially urban in nature, thus creating s cluster of ‘Rurban Villages’.

There are two categories of clusters under this mission. 

Tribal and Non-Tribal. 

For identification of tribal clusters, the Ministry would select the leading sub districts falling within the top 100 tribal districts of the country, based on the Scheduled tribe’s population.

The selection of these sub-districts would be based on parameters such as 
a. Decadal growth in Tribal Population.
b. Current tribal literacy rate
c. Decadal growth in Non-Farm work force participation.
d. Decadal growth in Rural Population 
e. Presence of Economic Clusters.-

For selecting Non-Tribal clusters, the Ministry would provide a list of leading sub districts to each state, within which the clusters could be identified.
The following parameters would be considered for identifying Non-Tribal clusters:

a. Decadal Growth in Rural Population.
b. Decadal Growth in Non-Farm work force participation.
c. Presence of Economic clusters.
d. Presence of places of Tourism and Pilgrimage significance.
e. Proximity of Transport Corridors. 

The state government could select the cluster and lay emphasis on inclusion of following performance parameters.
a. Decadal Growth in Rural Population.
b. Rise in Land Values.
c. Performance in Swacch Bharat Abhiyan (Gramin)
d. Good governance initiative by Gram Panchayat. 
e. Decadal Growth in Non-Farm work force participation.
f. Percentage Enrollment of girls in Secondary Schools. 
g. Percentage households with Bank accounts under PradhanMantri Jan Dhan Yojna.

Under the mission, 300 Rurban clusters are envisaged to be developed in a timebound manner.
SPMRM is a core Centrally Sponsored Scheme and the Mission has two fund streams. 

1) Convergence through various Central sector schemes, especially centrally sponsored schemes, state sectors/sponsored schemes, CSR funds etc.
2) Critical Gap Funds (CGF)

It provides for 30 Crores for Non-Tribal clusters and upto 15 Crores per cluster for Tribal and Hilly State clusters.

Infrastructure planned in these clusters includes provision of 24/7 piped water supply to all households, Solid and Liquid Waste Management facilities, provision of inter and intra village roads within the cluster, adequate street lights and public transport facilities using Green technologies. 

Economic amenities in a cluster comprise various thematic areas in the sectors of Agri Services and Processing, Tourism and Skill Development to promote Small and Medium Enterprises.

SPMRM  clusters also  focus on selecting interventions from the following components depending on locally felt need: 
a) Sanitation b) LPG Gas connection c) Digital Literacy d) Agri-Service processing and Allied Activities e) Environment f) Sports Infrastructure g) Access To village streets with Drains h) Employment generation and SHG Formation I) Citizens Service Centres j) Tourism Promotion k) Social Infrastructure l) Rural Housing m) Social Welfare

Integrated cluster Action Plan (ICAP) has been prepared and approved for every cluster which is the key document outlining the requirements of the cluster and the intervention needed to address these needs.

DRP- Details Project Report (DRP) is prepared under every ICAP which comprise the work-wise technical details, estimates and approvals for implementation.
Atleast 70% of the total investment is through convergence of various Central or State Government schemes.

Critical Gap Funds (CGP) constitute for 30% of total fund.

The mission was  allocated an outlay of 5142.08 Crores on September 2015, before its launch.
Till March 2020, on completion of five year period, the total Central share funds released is Rs. 1842.97 Crores. 
Critical Gap Fund (CGF) till March 2020, has crossed 1200 Crores.
The preferred mode of delivery is through Public-Private partnership  (PPPs) while using various scheme funds for financing.
Imagine, when a person is compelled to be uprooted from his  own soil and shift elsewhere as the required growth mechanism is unavailable!
To overcome this sheer misfortune , it was essential to create the similar infrastructure and facilities in villages, thus to prevent brain drain.
The story of Saptmalli cluster of Tamilnadu is enchanting. 
Implementation of SPMRM has blessed the cluster with variety of components such as  Pucca roads with street lights, Education facility, pipeline for drinking water and Sewage system, Skill Development units.
The women of Saptmalli have formed Self Help Groups to train themselves in Bakery, Dairy products, Pottery, Terracotta and Readymade Garments. 
The aid under SPMRM have doubled their income and they do not need to migrate out of their village in search of employment and livelihood.
Mahatma Gandhi too, had envisaged a Rurban Bharat, post independence, where rural areas would be self sufficient economy. 
Fulfilling this dream of Mahatma, Hon. Prime Minister initiated Shyamaprasad Mukharjee Rurban Mission with a vision of the Naya Bharat of “आत्मा गाँवों की, सुविधा शहरो की”.