Rashtriya Panchayati Raj Day falls on 24th April 2018, and this was the day when Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan was launched. The scheme’s primary objective was strengthening Panchayats to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by empowering the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) in 117 Aspirational Districts. The plan has been approved with a total budget outlay of Rs.7255.50 crores, out of which the State share will be Rs.2755.50 crores, and the Central claim will be Rs.4500.00 crores. The scheme is extended to all States and Union Territories, including areas where Panchayats do not exist.
Components of the Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan
The scheme consists of central and state components. The main element includes (i) national level activities such as the National Scheme for Technical Assistance (NPTA) including NPMU), Collaborating with Educational Institutions/ Institutes of Excellence of NIRD and PR Hyderabad for various activities of Capacity Building and Training for PRIs (ii) Mission Mode Project (MMP) on e-Panchayats and (iii) Promotion of Panchayats. In addition, state Component Activities are to be undertaken by State Governments for capacity building and training and capacity building of Panchayats. Such as capacity building and training, training infrastructure and human resource support for training, strengthening of Gram Sabhas in PESA areas, distance education facility through SATCOM, support to Innovations, Technical Support for PRIs, Financial Data and Analysis Cell, Panchayat Bhawan, E-Enabling of Panchayats, Project-Based Financing for Economic Development and Income Augmentation, IEC and PMU. The sharing pattern for the State component is in the ratio of 60:40 except for the North Eastern States, where the Central and State sharing is in the proportion of 90:10. For all UTs, the central share is 100%.
The target of the program of Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan is basic orientation training for the elected representatives of Panchayats within six months of their election for a phased saturation mode and ensure refresher training within two years RGSA will have thrust for SHG-PRI convergence to ensure effective community mobilisation and greater public ownership of flagship programs of the Government. In addition, there will be enhancement of e-governance and technology-driven solutions at the Panchayat level to achieve administrative efficiency, better service delivery and greater accountability.
The scheme aims to enable PRIs to implement RGSA in a meaningful, concrete and result-oriented manner; a framework/framework for implementation of RGSA has been prepared and shared with the States.
During the year 2018-19, the Ministry has approved Annual Action Plans (AAPs) of 32 States/UTs, and under this scheme, Rs 598.21 crore has been released to the states and implementing agencies etc.
In addition, to the speedy implementation of the plan and to achieve the set objectives progressively, this Ministry has taken the initiative of granting advance approval by the Central High Powered Committee of RGSA to the Annual Action Plans for the year 2019-20 of all the States/UTs. , So that the States/UTs have a full year to implement their approved activities. For this, the 3rd meeting of the CEC of RGSA was held on 22nd, and 23rd February 2019 and Annual Action Plans of 33 States/UTs were approved for the year 2019-20. Accordingly, the meeting minutes have been sent to the respective States/UTs and the participants.
The objective of Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan
- The scheme’s objective is to increase the capacity and effectiveness of panchayats and gram sabhas, promote the participation of the common person in panchayats, enable Panchayats to make decisions democratically and take responsibility.
- It also aims to strengthen the institutional framework of Panchayats for knowledge and capacity building of Panchayats.
- The other purpose of the Abhiyan is delegation of rights and responsibilities to Panchayats following the spirit of the 73rd Constitutional Amendment, public participation under the Panchayati Raj system.
- The scheme also focuses on ensuring transparency and accountability.
- The Government wants to strengthen the Gram Sabhas and empower the Panchayats in the constitutional system.
The scheme will ensure the below things :
- The representative should get basic training within six months of his election period.
- After every two years, there is going to be refresher training.
- There is precision in rural areas concerning the Panchyati system.
Focus Area of RGSA
Here are some bullet points on the top focus areas of Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan (RGSA) in India:
- To develop and strengthen the Panchayati Raj System across India in rural areas and enable them to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
- To enhance the capabilities of Panchayats for inclusive local governance with a focus on optimum utilization of available resources and convergence with other schemes to address issues of national importance.
- To enhance the capabilities of Panchayats to raise their own sources of revenue and promote devolution of powers and responsibilities to them according to the spirit of the Constitution and PESA Act 1996.
- To strengthen Gram Sabhas to function effectively as the basic forum of people’s participation, transparency and accountability within the Panchayat system.
- To develop a network of institutions of excellence to support capacity building and handholding for PRIs and strengthen institutions for capacity enhancement of PRIs at various levels.
- To promote e-governance and other technology-driven solutions to enable good governance in Panchayats for administrative efficiency and improved service delivery.
- To recognize and incentivize PRIs based on performance.
- To ensure basic orientation training for the Elected Representatives (ERs) of Panchayats, within 6 months of their election and refresher trainings within 2 years.
- To bridge gaps in capacity building and training, Gram Panchayat infrastructure, use of IT for distance learning and e-enablement of Panchayats, institutional support for innovations, gap filling support of economic development and income enhancement.
- To provide handholding support by academic institutions or institutions of excellence to GPs for Gram Panchayat Development Plan (GPDP) formulation.
- To provide support for technical manpower at GP level and facilitate electronic fund transfer, public finance management system, use and geotagging of assets in Gram Panchayats.
- To strengthen the Panchayat – SHG partnership and the welfare of women as one of the focus areas of RGSA.
Benefits of RGSA
Here are some bullet points on the top benefits of Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan (RGSA) in India:
- RGSA is a unique scheme developed to advance the Panchayati Raj system throughout India, particularly in the rural arena. Its main goal is to promote rural India, which would benefit the nation.
- RGSA aims to strengthen the capacities of institutions for rural local governance to become more responsive towards local development needs, prepare participatory plans leveraging technology, and efficiently utilize available resources for realizing sustainable solutions to local problems linked to SDGs.
- RGSA enables Panchayats to function effectively to achieve SDGs and other development objectives that require significant capacity building efforts.
- RGSA enhances the capabilities of Panchayats for inclusive local governance with a focus on optimum utilization of available resources and convergence with other schemes to address issues of national importance.
- RGSA enhances the capabilities of Panchayats to raise their own sources of revenue and promote devolution of powers and responsibilities to them according to the spirit of the Constitution and PESA Act 1996.
- RGSA strengthens Gram Sabhas to function effectively as the basic forum of people’s participation, transparency and accountability within the Panchayat system.
- RGSA develops a network of institutions of excellence to support capacity building and handholding for PRIs and strengthens institutions for capacity enhancement of PRIs at various levels.
- RGSA promotes e-governance and other technology-driven solutions to enable good governance in Panchayats for administrative efficiency and improved service delivery.
- RGSA recognizes and incentivizes PRIs based on performance.
- RGSA provides support for technical manpower at GP level and facilitates electronic fund transfer, public finance management system, use and geotagging of assets in Gram Panchayats.
- RGSA strengthens the Panchayat – SHG partnership and the welfare of women as one of the focus areas of RGSA.
Expansion program of Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan
Implementation of the scheme will be done in all the states and union territories of the country. According to the guidelines given under the Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan / Rajiv Gandhi Panchayat Empowerment Scheme, out of the various works mentioned in the said scheme, the State Government will prepare a plan according to its needs and the annual action plan for the first year and the long-term plan for the 12th five year plan period. The State Election Commission and the State Finance Commission will also prepare their projects and submit them to the Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Government of India, which can be considered in consultation with the State Government.