(Last Updated on : 28/01/2016)
Ministry of Rural Welfare is responsible for looking to the economic betterment of the people as well as bringing about social transformation. In order to provide the rural people with better prospects for economic development, increased participation of people in the rural development programmes, decentralization of planning, better enforcement of land reforms and greater access to credit are envisaged. The beginnings of the Ministry date back to 1974. It finally became the Ministry of Rural Development in 1999.
Organisation of Ministry of Rural Welfare
The Ministry consists of the following three Departments: Department of Rural Development, Department of Land Resources and Department of Drinking Water Supply.
The Department of Rural Development implements schemes for generation of self employment and wage employment, provision of housing and minor irrigation assets to rural poor, social assistance to the destitute and Rural Roads. Apart from this, the Department provides the support services and other quality inputs such as assistance for strengthening of DRDA Administration, Panchayati Raj institutions, training and research, human resource development, development of voluntary action etc. for the proper implementation of the programmes. The major programmes of the Department of Rural Development are Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, (PMGSY), Rural Housing (RH) Sampoorna Gramin Rozgar Yojana (SGRY) and Swaranjayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY).
Department of Land Resources implements schemes to increase the bio-mass production by developing wastelands in the country. Department also provides the support services and other quality inputs such as land reforms, betterment of revenue system and land records. It also undertakes development of desert areas and drought prone areas in the country. The major programmes of the Department of Land Resources are Drought Prone Area Programme (DPAP) The Desert Development Programme (DDP) the Integrated Wasteland Development Programme (IWDP) and Land Reforms (LR). These aim at increasing the soil and moisture conservation and productivity of the wasteland of the degraded lands thereby increase the income of the people.
The provision of Drinking Water Supply and extension of Sanitation facilities to the rural poor are the main components of the activities of the Department of Drinking Water Supply. The major programmes of the Drinking Water Supply Department are The Swajaldhara, the Accelerated Rural Water Supply Programme (ARWSP) and the Total Sanitation Programme (TSP).
This Ministry is a nodal department for the two international organizations viz., the Centre on Integrated Rural Development of Asia and the Pacific (CIRDAP) and the Afro-Asian Rural Development Organization (AARDO).
Functions of Ministry of Rural Welfare
This Ministry has been acting as a catalyst effecting the change in rural areas through the implementation of a wide spectrum of programmes which are aimed at poverty alleviation, employment generation, infrastructure development and social security. Over the years, with the experience gained, in the implementation of the programmes and in response to the felt needs of the poor, several programmes have been modified and new programmes have been introduced. This Ministry's main objective is to alleviate rural poverty and ensure improved quality of life for the rural population especially those below the poverty line. These objectives are achieved through formulation, development and implementation of programmes relating to various spheres of rural life and activities, from income generation to environmental replenishment.
The Ministry has focussed its activities in the areas of health education drinking water, housing and roads. To impart greater momentum to the efforts in these sectors the Government had launched the Pradhan Mantri Gramdoya Yojana (PMGY) and the ministry of rural development was entrusted with the responsibility of implementing drinking water, housing and rural roads component of PMGY Self Employment Programmes have been revamped by merging the Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP), the Development of Women and Children in Rural Areas (DWCRA), the Supply of Improved Tool-Kits to Rural Artisans (SITRA), the Training of Rural Youth for Self Employment (TRYSEM), the Ganga Kalyan Yojana (GKY) and the Million Wells Scheme (MWS) into a holistic self-employment scheme called Swarnjayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY). The Ministry is also vigorously pursuing with the State Governments for expeditious devolution of requisite administrative and financial powers to Panchayati Raj Institutions as envisaged under 73rd amendment act of the Constitution of India. On 25th December 2002, under Drinking Water Sector, a new initiative 'Swajal Dhara' empowering the Panchayats to formulate, implement, operate and maintain Drinking Water Projects has been launched.