The word ‘Rural transformation’ has a broader meaning in itself. Transformation is the process or the event that occurs when something changes from one to another. Likewise the transformation which is not associated with the urban will be referred to as rural transformation. This may contain the uphill movement of the events or sometimes downhill movement, but when we are talking of rural transformation we are more concerned with it’s positive effects which contains the uphill movement. It involves many contexts like economic, physical, mobilization, cultural, political, administrative, sociological and many other aspects. Rural transformation is the need of the hour and it’s taking place in it’s own pace now. for example take percentage of rural employment in agriculture and non agricultural sectors from 1983 to 2003. There has been a considerable decrease in employment in agriculture from 81.49% to 70.08% and 18.51% to 29.92% respectively(NSSO:2005). Also there has been a rise of meager 2% in the field of agricultural outputs but there has been improvement and it may be due to green revolution or technological advances etc., hence rural transformation can be referred to as any events which has transformed from what it was to what it is now and we can see that there is a change in the structure or composition.
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In the positive context we accept the rural transformation as the subject of development and when we consider this within our India, it can be seen that the transformation can be achieved by proper planning with strategic thinking, focusing mainly on the large rural masses, helping themselves to improve their economic conditions through proper agriculture by prioritizing the products in demand at local market, regional integration must be promoted so that conducive atmosphere will be created for the smoother functioning of the economy and also as a strategy for politics, by restrucuting the public authority which includes decentralization and democratization which will ensure the participation of every one so that there will be a balance in the society, engaging on the global stage provides the opportunities for recognizing the linkages of global with the local.(Owen Cylke, Rural transformation: Taking Actions,2010).
Rural transformation is witnessed in India too even though there is an stagnation in agriculture we can observe a lot of improvements and also achievements in the same field. We shall see the regions and the causes for their improved rural transformation:
Green Revolution was successful only in some ares where water was abundant i.e., canal irrigation, good infrastructure and HYV which includes the staes of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, western UP. The people of HP have shifted to fruits cultication from the subsistence farming.
Rajasthan and the state of gujarath has the scarcity of water and they improved a lot on their economy by depending on the available resources. Rajasthan relied on tourism and Gujarath adopted the genetically modifiewd variety of cotton commonly called as Bt. Cotton which has come as a boon to dry areas of gujarath.
The western coast is very rich in diversity and the effective and efficient usage of those by the rural masses in exporting them( spices, coffee, rubber etc) and some are migrating to the western asia.
Bangalore- Chennai belt is generally dry but the connectivity it has and the infrastructure has paved way in exort based agriculture and the opened doors for non agricultural sectors like services and manufacturing.
Coastal Andhra has a high potential of canal irrigation and the rich variety of crops which demand more water can be seen. Returns are high but the return investments are not made and the income through agriculture is highly unpredictable.
These are some regions where the transformation peak is positive but there are some more regions in our country where the satisfactory level of development is not upto the mark and those include the eastern parts of UP, Bihar, north eastern states, Jharkhand, chattisgarh. The displacement activities are more in low agricultural production areas due to increased industrialisation from the mining industry. And In the vast belt of tribal India, the Human Development Index (HDI) is close to that of the poorest countries of the world (Sandip Sarkar, et al, 2006).
The transformation can’t take place by itself and it needs some provokers which acts like catalyst in the transformation and they can be
â€¢ Infrastructure which involve the roads, electricity, irrigation which directly and indirectly contribute in the development of the economy.
â€¢ Technology which involved Green Revolution and telecommunications helped the farmers to increase their yield through the scientific methods of green revolution, more availability of water through canals and tube wells and the knowledge can be accessed by the rural people with the minimum cost and therefore these acts as a drivers in the transformation.
â€¢ Government policies which gives the support to production of staple food grains or the poor grains will rise the hope of farmers and helps in growing those crops which will balance the crops.
â€¢ farmer’s access to markets after the trade reforms of 1990 was announced increased and hence agricultural trade was liberalized which helped them to export the surplus and which lead to the transformation.
â€¢ Access to Dalits and women can be seen as an another major driver for the transformation of rural society. The govt policies and reservation for outcastes has come as a boon to those who were treated as slaves or fully dependent on the lands of others(as wage labour for their livelihood). They now however to manage to get good work through the urban links and their dependency have reduced on the lands as wage labours. The women are taking active roles in agriculture as well as marketing and they are proving their marketing skills through the running the micro credit of the SHG wing. They are proving themselves as a good managers(An overview of rural transformation in India, D N Reddy, Dev and Sharma)
â€¢the introduction of SEZs and industrial establishments in the rural sectors has paved way in creation of many jobs and improve the economy which drives towards transformation. It has both positive and negative implications and we have to take it in such a way that most negatives must be controlled
â€¢ Migration can be seen as another driver for the growth as the rural social patterns and the caste strucutures aree changing and evolving which are paving way for them to go in search of many other opportunities in the sectors of manufacturing and services shifting from agriculture. They are driving the rural economy by holding many white collar jobs. Generally migration refers to the the movement of the masses from rural areas to other areas and this may be classified into,
– Commuting, which is going to workplace which is is in another location and returning back on the same day finishing off his work.
– Circular or seasonal which refers to the migration which involves the movement of the people from their homes into other places in search of their livelihoods when they don’t have work in the agricultural fields for the rest of the season.
– Permanent migration involves the people moving out of their villages permanently by selling off their plots of lands if they have any.
Welfare refers to the state of doing well especially in respect to good fortune, health, happiness and well being. It is generally concerned with the improvement of disadvantaged social groups which are deprieved of many facilities are may be not in a decent living condition and welfare is mainly focused on this whereas transformation has got other meaning where it considers in changing ithe way of living of the people by some measures and schemes. On one hand welfare focuses on improving on the present condition of the people living miserably and on the other hand transformatiuon aims at taking the leap from the present conditions to some other which includes the welfare also.
Policies on rural transformation:
Government has come up with many policies which were suggested by eminent personalities for the rural transformation and some of the main problems that has to be tackled or addressed are the Agriculture, unemployment which is leading to poverty, housing, industrialization and many more. Some of the policies leading to rural transformation and helps in the transforming the lives of the people are, new national agricultural policy, 2000, PURA( provision of urban amenities in rural areas), national rural employment guarantee act, 2005 and many more add to the credit of helping in transforming the4 lives of rural people.
New National agriculture policy.
On 28th july 2000, the above mentioned policy was announced by the uninon government and this policy has been framed so as to the face the challenges of the agriculture which has been planned under the supervision of world trade organization. This stresses on the exports of agricultural produces after the local demand is fulfilled and the other main features of this policy are ,
4% growth rate per annum for the next two decades
Poor farmers are provided land through land reforms
Holdings in all the states of the nation are consolidated
Private investments are encouraged and insurance cover for the crops
Biotechnology and other researchs are promoted which will help in developing new varieties and protect the existing varieties.
New agricultural policy has been described as the ‘Rainbow revolution’ which includes the following ,
Black or brown(non conventional energy sources)
The above policy aims at the aspects of agricultural problems faced by our farmers and the implementation has to be supervised correctly to bring about the efficiency of the same.
PURA ( provision of urban amenities in rural areas)
This is a dream concept of our former president Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam which emphasizes on providing all the facilities of the urban areas to the rural which helps in controlling the migration and also decreases the urban rural divide. This helps in improving the physical and social infrastructure of the village and provide the people with decent standard of living .
Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD), Government of India has re-launched the scheme “Provision of
Urban Amenities in Rural Areas” (PURA) as a Central Sector scheme during remaining period of the XI Plan. MoRD with support from Department of Economic Affairs and the technical assistance of Asian Development Bank intends to implement the PURA scheme under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) framework between Gram Panchayat(s) and private sector partners. The scheme envisages twinning of rural infrastructure development with economic re-generation activities and is the first attempt at delivering a basket of infrastructure and amenities through PPP in the rural areas. It is an effort to provide a different framework for the implementation of rural infrastructure development schemes and harness private sector efficiencies in the management of assets and delivery of services. The scope of the scheme is to select private partners to develop livelihood opportunities, urban amenities and infrastructure facilities to prescribed service levels and to be responsible for maintenance of the same for a period of ten years in select Panchayats/cluster of Panchayats. Private sector entities having experience in development and management of community-oriented infrastructure projects shall be selected through an open competitive bidding process based on rigorous qualifications and evaluation criteria. The selected private partners would be required to provide amenities like water supply and sewerage, roads, drainage, solid waste management, street lighting and power distribution and undertake some economic and skill development activity as part of the PURA project. The private partners may also provide ‘add-on’ revenue-earning facilities such as village linked tourism, integrated rural hub, rural market, agri-common services centre and warehousing etc. in addition to the abovementioned amenities. Where the PURA project spans several Panchayats in a cluster, the private partner would propose sub-projects with the PURA elements for each of the Panchayats. The following are the works taken through this scheme.
(Source: PURA guidelines, ministry of rural development)
Bharath Nirman Yojana:
This was launched on 16th december 2005 as a new scheme under the policy A step towards village’ and it was aimed at development of rural infrastructure in the time span of four years at an estimated expenditure of Rs. 1,74,000cr.
The six major sectors planned to be covered were
Irrigation, where it intended to provide irrigation facxilities for one crore hectares of land.
Roads, linking all the villages which has a minimum population of 1000 and linking the hilly areas where the village contains thepopulation of 500.
Housing, construction of additional 60lakh houses to the poor
Water supply, pure and safe drinking water is ensured to all the remaining villages of 74000.
Electrification, to supply electricity to all the remaining 1,25,000villages and to provide electricity connection to every household
Rural communication which aims at providing the telephone facility to all remaining villages which were left out in the previous programmes.
the tenure of the scheme ended in 2009, but it has been relaunched by the rural development minister and it covers all the plans to develop the rural infrastructure. This has covered all the flagship programmes of different ministries of the government.