Sample Material of Our IAS Mains Sociology Study Kit
Subject: Sociology (Optional)
Topic: Rural And Agrarian Transformation In India
PROGRAMMES OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT
Rural development became a planning concern as it became
clear that the strategies adopted in developing countries remained largely
ineffective in alleviating poverty and inequalities in rural areas. It became
increasingly clear that apart from an effort to increase agricultural and
industrial production, it was also necessary to address directly the problems of
education, health services and employment and to attack the problem of poverty
in rural area. The increasing interest in rural development is a result of the
realization that a systematic effort is necessary to create better living
conditions in the rural areas where the vast majority of populations of
developing countries reside.
During the 1950s and 1960s, development policy makers sought
to increase productivity and per capita incomes through advances in the
manufacturing sector. In the realm of agricultural production, growth in output
during the first two decades after independence was achieved mainly by
increasing the area under cultivation, supported by expansion in public
investment in supporting infrastructure. It was soon realized, however, that the
gains from these methods reached, to a large extent, only a small minority -
mainly those who were already better off and privileged. In fact, the gains made
as a result of these efforts are believed to have further accentuated inequality
in incomes in rural areas.
By the 1970s it became clear that there were serious problems
in the way the issues and problems of development were being tackled. In
particular, the hope that the problems of unemployment and poverty in rural
areas would get addressed adequately was certainly not realized.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PROJECTS AND PROGRAMMES
It is important to distinguish between rural development
projects and programmes. Rural development projects are micro level efforts to
bring about change in rural areas. These changes can take many forms ranging
from efforts to increase literacy to attempts to increase agricultural
productivity. The effects of these projects are not generally widespread in the
sense that they concern only a small number of people. Rural development
programmes involve a number of projects each, which are aligned to one another
so that they influence the various facets of rural economic and social life.
Therefore, rural development programmes attempt to bring about changes in a
wider area impacting a greater number of people.
Rural development programmes are more difficult to implement
because of the problem of scale. This is particularly so in the case of a
country like India where the rural population is large, widely dispersed and
with varied socio-economic and natural endowments.
Because of these problems, adequate planning in launching and
completing rural development programmes is of great significance. Also,
appropriate monitoring and evaluation agencies and mechanisms are important in
order to ensure that these programmes meet their objectives in costeffective
ways. India’s experience in these respects is quite instructive
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME
The Planning Commission has defined the community development
programme in these words: “Community development is an attempt to bring about a
social and economic transformation of village life through the efforts of the
people themselves.” In this way, the community development programme indicates
those projects for social and economic reconstruction in the villages which are
implemented with the co-operation of the public itself. In the words of A.R.
Desai. “The community development project is the method through which Five Year
Plans seek to initiate a process of transformation of social and economic life
of the villages”. In this way, community development project is a process
controlled by the community itself. Here community implies rural community.
Elucidating the aims of community development project has been laid down in
India 1973, published by the Government of India, “The community development
programme, launched on 2 October 1952, aims at bringing about an integrated
development of rural society covering the social, cultural and economic aspects
of community life”. Prof. S.C. Dube, writing in his book India’s Changing
Villages has recognised the following two aims of community development
The Community Development Programme (CDP) initiated in the
1950s intended to involve popular participation in rural development. It laid
emphasis on the building of infrastructure in rural areas with the participation
of rural communities.
The CDP sought to promote rural development in a phased
manner in different parts of the country. A block of villages was identified as
the development unit and an infrastructure of technical and administrative staff
provided to implement development programmes in different sectors.
The present set up of the schemes under Community Development
Programme is based on old community development concept, which aims at the
development of community with the initiative and participation of the community
itself. The grant-in-aid is being provided to the Panchayat Samitis under the
head Social Education and General Education for developmental activities in the
social educational fields. Funds are provided to the Blocks for the
construction/ completion of staff residential buildings and Gram Sewak huts.
Besides, the funds are also provided for completion of on-going office
buildings. Provision of funds is made for providing staff salary of the
employees posted at various levels. Grants are also provided for the promotion /
strengthening of Mahila Mandals, incentive awards to Mahila Mandals and
organisation of awareness camps for non-officials etc.
AIMS OF COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
1. To manage or achieve an adequate increase in the country’s
agricultural produce and a progress in the means of communication, rural health
and cleanliness, and rural education.
2. To initiate and to direct a process of synthetical cultural change aimed at
transforming the social and economic life of the village.
The following major aims have been recognised in the Ministry
of Community Development of the Government of India publication A Guide to
1. To create a change in the mental outlook of the masses.
2. To develop responsible and active leadership in the village.
3. To make the villagers self-dependent and progressive.
4. To modernize agriculture on the one hand and to develop cottage industries on
the other in order to raise the economic status of the villagers.
5. To improve the condition of the women and families of villagers in order to
make the suggested improvements practicable.
6. To develop properly the future citizens of the nation.
7. To protect the interests of rural educators.
8. To raise the standard of health among the rural populace and to protect them
1. Short Term Objectives: The aims of the community
development project have been divided into two parts: Short-term objectives and
Long-term objectives. The short-term objectives are the following:
1. To maximize increase in agricultural production.
2. To solve the problem of unemployment in the villages.
3. To develop the means of communication in the villages.
4. To improve the centres of primary education, public health and recreation in
5. To improve the conditions of houses. 6. To encourage industries and
2. Long Term Objectives: The long-term objectives of
community development projects is the complete planned development of all
physical and human resources. In it, arrangements will be made to provide all
villagers with full employment. The goal of community development project is the
development of villages in such a way that the citizens of the country may not
lack anything, which is the ideal of a welfare state and that everyone should
get adequate food and that every one should progress socially, morally and
financially. In this way, in brief, community development projects aim at the
integral development of the government.
IMPORTANCE OF COMMUNITY PROJECTS\
Describing the importance which the community projects have
for rural life, the Planning Commission has written in the Second Five Year
Plan. “It is a problem, briefly, of changing outlook of 70 million families
living in the countryside, arousing in them enthusiasm for new knowledge and new
ways of life and filling them with ambition and the will to live and work for a
better life”. Extension services and community organizations are among the
principal sources of vitality in democratic planning, and rural development
projects are the means by which, through co-operative selfhelp and local
effort, villages and groups of villages can achieve in increasing measure both
social changes and economic progress and become partners in the national plan.
Social development projects will involve improvement in all
the aspects, social, economic and others, of rural life. The main effects which
development projects have had upon rural life are the following:
1. Agricultural Development: Agriculture is the
foundation of rural economic life. The happiness and the prosperity of the
village depend upon the progress of agriculture. The main cause of the poverty
in the Indian villages is the backward condition of agriculture. The main
problems of Indian agricultural are old techniques of agriculture, dearth of new
tools, absence of manures and fertilizers, excessive subdivision of land, dearth
of the means of irrigation, shortage of good seeds, etc. The community
development projects have made efforts to solve all the problems which beset
Indian agriculture. New techniques of farming are exhibited in the villages and
manures, seeds, tools and fertilizers distributed. The community projects also
undertake and repairing of old wells, supplementing them by sinking new wells in
order that the farmers have the necessary facilities available for irrigation.
Efforts are made to protect the land from soil erosion and other maladies.
2. Economic Progress: The greatest problem of rural
life in India is its poverty. The. community development projects have
encouraged cottage industries and handicrafts. Unemployed people are provided
with work through auxiliary and useful services. Although these efforts are as
yet quite inadequate, it is hoped that a continuous increase in them will lead
to rural life in India becoming more prosperous in the future.
3. Development of Quality of Animals: Another major
problem and obstacle of progress in Indian villages is the deplorable condition
of the animals which are even today employed in ploughing the fields. The ox is
used for this purpose. In order to improve the strain of the species the
community development projects have made use of good oxen. Improved poultry have
also been arranged for the development of poultry farming.