The Union government has decided to roll out its People’s Plan Campaign, also known as “Sabki Yojana Sabka Vikas”, that aims to draw up a development plan for each Gram Panchayat (GP) in the country and place it on a website where anyone can see the status of the government’s flagship schemes such as Swachh Bharat Mission, Pradhan Mantri Sadak Gram Yojana, and Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, etc. After consultations with the representatives of 16 key ministries, the Union government, on July 23, decided to start this campaign in September. Between October 2 and December 31 last year, the government had conducted a similar exercise in 2.48 lakh GPs across the country.
The process of creating Gram Panchayat Development Plans (GPDPs) requires each GP being scored on an array of 48 indicators covering various aspects such as health and sanitation, education, agriculture, housing, roads, drinking water, electrification, poverty alleviation programmes, social welfare etc. After each GP is scored out of 100 — with 30 marks for infrastructure, 30 marks for human development, and 40 marks for economic activity — the GPs will be ranked. The data on the 48 indicators would come from Census 2011 (for physical infrastructure), Socio-Economic Caste Census 2011 (for Household-level deprivation data), and fresh survey starting September that will be carried out by local facilitators.
The score for each GP will reflect the local needs and priorities. For instance, for a drought-prone area, water conservation would be accorded the highest priority. Within this ranking, households suffering the worst deprivations would be prioritised further. “This entire ranking exercise is meant to identify the gaps at the GP level, make an assessment of where it stands, and accordingly plan the interventions, “ said a government official.
Over the last one year, several GPs have improved vastly on many indicators while some have slipped. Last year’s data suggest that a majority of the GPs scored between 41 per cent and 50 per cent on a scale of 100, showing glaring deficiencies. Merely 0.1 per cent and 0.6 per cent GPs fell in the high 91-100 and 81-90 score respectively (see chart). A comparison of the performance among the larger states shows that Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh, in that order, were the top scorers, while GPs in Jharkhand were at the bottom of the pile followed by Assam, Bihar, and Madhya Pradesh. A study of 100 randomly chosen GPs by National Institute of Rural Development has shown that several reported improvements while others have slipped down over the past year. A fresh survey is, therefore, significant.