Discuss the economic and political reasons for the current government to strengthen the rural economy. Throw light on certain steps taken in this regard over last few years.

Analysing the recent elections in Gujarat show that BJP is not the most favoured party of the rural areas. Congress dominated with 62 seats as against BJP’s 43 seats. India is a country with almost 70% rural population. Satisfying the urban populace alone wouldn’t lead to success in the upcoming general elections of 2019. Steps must be taken by the current government to improve its foothold over the rural areas to give a strong fight in the 2019 elections. 
The economical reasons are many. Strengthening the agriculture sector would add to the GDP of the nation, export of agro products will rise, encouraging non-farm activities will generate income, skill development to generate income, etc. 
Rural development has been a matter of importance in India for decades. Sustainable improvement of the quality of life in rural areas is the keystone in many programmes the government undertook. Social welfare schemes like Sarva sikha Abhiayn, PM gram sadak yojana, Anthyodaya Anna Yojana, PM Awas Yojana, etc. proved beneficial to improve the state of rural living. 
The government introduced many schemes to lift the rural economy and make the rural population economically strong. They include

  • Deen Dayal Upadhyay Grameen Kaushal Yojana: A skill development scheme targeting the rural youth. It provides the youth with skills other than agriculture thus helping the rural youth to branch out with the available resources.
  • Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Generation Scheme (MGNREGS): Revered as the largest employment scheme, MGNREGS is helping to put forward the right to work. It is also empowering women as it is mandatory that 50% of the workers to be women. It guarantees rural population with work for 100 days in a year.
  • National Livelihood Mission(Ajeevika) : This scheme is mainly targets women self help groups in the rural areas. Government provides subsidised loans to encourage the women self help groups. 
  • Rurban Mission: one of its kind scheme which aims to improve the economic development in the villages by infrastructure development. Launched with an aim to develop a cluster of 300 smart villages in three years.The scheme aims to bridge the urban- rural divide. Improved facilities also attracts investments there by improving the villages economically.

Rural welfare should always be the corner stone in a country like India. Thus, it is time for government to take steps in uplifting rural India and there by gain politically as well as economically. 

Question for UPSC Mains:
Discuss the economic and political reasons for the current government to strengthen the rural economy. Throw light on certain steps taken in this regard over last few years. [Live Mint]

Published: January 3, 2018 | Modified:June 27, 2019

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