What is ‘Vibrant Villages’ programme?

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced in her budget speech that, government is set to work on improving connectivity across northern border under the Vibrant Villages Programme.

What is Vibrant Villages Programme?

  • Minister did not provide details on this programme. However, as per reports the Vibrant Villages programme will be launched to improve infrastructure in villages along India’s border with China. Infrastructure will be improved in states like Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, and Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Under the programme, residential and tourist centres will be constructed.
  • It will also provide for improvement in road connectivity and development of decentralized renewable energy sources.
  • Apart from that, direct access of Doordarshan and education related channels will be provided. Support will be provided for livelihood.

Significance of the programme

The announcement to launch Vibrant Villages Programme is significant in light of increasing China’s presence along the Himalayan frontier with India. China is actively constructing dual-use infrastructure. It has sparked concerns among government, strategic circles and security forces, and strategic circles. China has undertaken large-scale construction since 2017, along the border. It is building border villages in Tibet in a bid to strengthen their presence along the frontier.

Objectives of the programme

The vibrant villages programme will be launched with the objective of upgrading the housing facilities. This objective will be met by strengthening infrastructure across villages located near the Line of Actual Control (LAC). It seeks to prevent migration.

China’s model villages

China has developed model villages across border areas of Bhutan and Nepal along with India in recent years. India’s Vibrant Villages Programme is being considered as a response to China’s model villages.

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