Meaning Of Integrated Rural Development Program
After independence, many development programs and plans were started in India, like Adult Education Plan, Family Planning and Health Program, and programs for the development of rural and, small industries. etc. But, due to the diversity of these plans and the differences in their implementation, areas, and objects, there was a lack of mutual integrity and coordination due to which many difficulties and administrative problems arose. Though the various programs had their own achievements yet due to lack of integrity and coordination the need for a wide and comprehensive rural development program was felt.
It was realized that the roots of the poverty problem in India are so deep in rural areas that to eradicate it, a powerful, integrated, wide, and comprehensive program is required. For the fulfillment of this requirement, an Integrated Rural Development Program was implemented in 1978-79. In the beginning, this program was started in 2300 development blocks, but on 2nd Oct 1980, it was started in all 5011 blocks of the country.
Objectives of the program
The main objective of this program was to bring the very poor families of rural areas, above the poverty line. The major work area of this program is the 30 crore people living in rural areas who are below the poverty line.
This program has the following main objectives
- To bring the families living below the poverty line, above this line and increasing their incomes.
- Increase the employment opportunities of poor people and provide them all kinds of help and resources.
- More agricultural productivity and investing more in small industries and other related works.
It is estimated that 60 crore people in the country are below the poverty line of which 50 crores are living in rural areas.
Progress Of The Integrated Rural Development Program
In the beginning, the housing scheme was started in 2300 blocks and each year 300 more blocks were included in this. But on 2nd Oct 1980, it was started in all the blocks of the country. Under the Integrated Rural Development Program, each year 600 families are provided help, of which 400 families are related to agriculture and related fields, 100 families to rural and cottage industries, and 100 families, to employment areas. First, each poor family is selected and then an appropriate plan is prepared with their consultation, which is partly carried out with the help of subsidy and partly by bank loan.
The 65% of resources required to complete this plan are received from Cooperative Banks or Commercial Banks. The right to accept the plans under the Integrated Rural Development Program is given to the state government. The acceptance of the plans of the block is done by the state-level coordination committee, which consists of representatives of the Central Rural Development Directorate. This committee meets from time to time and gives directions. Different agencies work at district and block levels. At the district level, a three-member committee is formed, which has one economist, one investment planning official, and a cottage industry official. The work of this committee is to prepare detailed plans for each block and establish integrity between them.