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FIRST REPORT OF THE

NATIONAL ADVISORY-CUMREVIEW COMMITTEE ON


BACKWARD REGIONS
GRANT FUND
B.K. SINHA
Secretary,
Ministry of Rural Development,
Government of India, New Delhi

Contents of the
Presentation

Background &Methodology of the Report;


Behaviour of Backwardness;
Independent Evaluation by the World Bank;
Views expressed in the Solution Exchange;
Scope & Focus of BRGF: Bridging the Critical
Gaps;
Capacity Building of Local Bodies;
Local and Grassroots Planning;
Convergence;

Regional Disparities in India


Strong evidence of inter and intra-regional
disparities;
These disparities have increased in the postliberalisation era;

The regions receiving more foreign


investments pull ahead;
Pockets of backwardness even within the
developed regions;
Evidence to deepening of backwardness
(NCEUS)

Factors of Backwardness
Disparities in rural infrastructure;
Lack of investment in social parameters- health,
education, roads, drinking water, communication,
energy etc;
Institutional backwardness including weak LSG
institutions;
Weakness of Governance structure eg excessive
reliance on bureaucracy for delivered development;
Backwardness in terms of marketing & financial
infrastructure;
weak institutional framework- information flow,
security of rights and adjudication;
geographical and communication isolation;

Efforts at Removal of
Backwardness
Beginning of planning to take care of backwardness;
Bombay Plan primarily aims at rapid & balanced growth;
Mahalanobis Model seeks to create high industrial growth & technology
led growth through public sector interventions and directed investments;
IRDP an important step in removal of regional disparities;
JRY with 50% weightage to rural SC/ST population & %0% to inverse per
capita labour productivity;
Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty (2002) through identification of
backward Mandals;
RSVY(2003)- low agricultural productivity, unemployment & critical gaps;
Inter-Ministerial Task Force for Redressing Regional Imbalances (2004)17 parameters including income, social and physical infrastructure;
NREGS also addresses backwardness through its demand driven
structure;
PURA with its concept of growth centres;
BRGF seeks to address backwardness through capacity building, planning
and filling up the infrastructural and other gaps;

Planning Commission Efforts at


Studying Backwardness
Patel Committee (1964)- agrl output per capita, irrigated areas, industrial
participation, elcxtrification, road mileage and facilities for education &
health;
Planning Commission Study(1966-71)- 5 categories of desert, drought
affected, hill, tribal, and high density using 15 indicators of growth;
National Committee on Development of Backward Areas(1978)- Block
Development to be the criterion for assessing backwardness;
Dandekar Committee (1984)- per capita NDP, consumer expenditure, NDP
form agriculture, from registered manufacturing, proportion of urban
population, workers in non-traditional occupations, per capita bank credit,
literacy etc;
IG Patel Committee (1984)- 25 indicators;
Sarma Committee (1997)on Identification of 100 most backward districts;
identification of Backward Villages for Indiramma and 8 schemes;
Barroah & Dubey- food security, gender sensitive literacy, IMR,
immunisation & sex-ratio (0-6);
WB Effort- female literacy rates & unemployment;
Govt of Maharashtra (2008-9): using 100 indicators;

Scope & Focus of BRGF:


Critical Gaps Defined
last mile provision/initiative to make an asset productive;
emphasis physical not soft infrastructure eg health
centres without staff etc;
no forward & backward linkages;
inadequate or partial infrastructure eg road without
culverts etc;
lack of functional capacity for delivery eg lack of
skilled/technical staff for building up DPC etc;
Access without services eg PDS without ration cards,
power connection without water supply;
critical gaps could be closed with minimum investment
in several areas;
Identification and plugging of critical gaps receives no
focus nor the responsibility of any person;

Scope & Focus of BRGF:


Factors of Backwardness
Lack of convergence in schemes at the level of the Central
and the State level schemes;
Intense departmentalism at the district and the sub-district
levels;
Sectoral Planning without taking cognisance of what the other
sectors are doing;
No institutional platform in the district to provide convergence
of schemes;
Overburdening and use of the institution of Collector and its
politicisation;
Limitations to individual initiative and enterprise;
Lack of transparency in devolution of funds & their utilisation;
No grassroots planning and involvement of the people;
Failure to provide back up mechanism to DPC;
Ambivalent support to the PRIs by the State Governments;

Mode of Assessment of
Backwardness
Use of methodologies in assessment of backwardness without
wide acceptance;
State Governments not involved;
Different States have evolved their own criteria for assessing
backwardness eg Maharashtra using 17 parameters & WB using 2
parameters;
no mechanism to address backwardness in forward districts;
no consensus to the level of backwardness eg WB addresses at
the Block level;
No consensus on the kind of data to be used;
No consensus on what kind of data to be used;
No consensus on methodologies to be used;
No creation of linkages with other efforts including the Cenus
operations, the Population Register, NSSO studies, BPL Census
etc.
No evolution of monitoring parameters & methodologies;

Recommendations :
Assessment of Backwardness
Evolve methodologies for assessment of backwardness;
Allow space for State wise variations without creating a
competition for backwardness;
While it is generally agreed that Block should be the unit for
determination of backwardness the States should have the
option of going down to the GPs/villages;
Use simple parameters for assessment; such States which
have the back up may use sophisticated statistical tools;
Create special categories for socially induced backwardness;
Create linkages with the Census Operations, Population
Register and UID;
Join hands with the BPL Census of create identify the
backward areas;
Create an index of backwardness which can be measured
easily;

Recommendations: Creating
Platform
Create an interactive National Portal for
Backwardness;
Interactive and GIS enabled;
Create connectivity and computer system using
funds;
Scheme-wise monitoring and follow up;
Direct entry form the Blocks and Gram Panchayats;
Inspection by independent monitors;
Join hands with other groups for monitoring like the
NLM of MoRD, Monitors of CAPART ;
Involve the universities and educational institutions
for planning, capacity development and monitoring;

Issues in Filling Up Critical


Gaps
Strong co-relation between infrastructure & development
(NIRD:99);
Investment in infrastructure brings development (NCAER: Rural
Infrastructure Report 07);
Increase in tele-density brings about development ; remains low
for the rural areas (1.07: 31); stagnates on account of
development in other fields;
driver of growth theory; rural roads play an important programme;
PMGSY a major programme; no linkage of BRGF with PMGSY;
No relations in addressing gaps in agricultural technologies; no
institutional linkages with ICAR, NRFA, etc;
No institutional linkages with rural health, education and other
programmes;
Land the most important aspect of development not on the radar
of the BRGF; making land productive;
Lack of implementational capabilities in districts; no pooling
together of the district and other agencies;

Recommendations: Filling Up
the Critical Gaps
PMGSY has an excellent planning mechanism and a good
implementational mechanism; join hands with the programme;
Link with the Department of Telecommunication for better effect for
ground level planning and implementation;
Address gaps in agricultural infrastructure; eg in creating storage
and Grain Bank in every village etc.
Land issues need to be addressed by taking up sectoral needs of
different regional typologies like the PESA areas, the 6 th Schedule
areas, the land of the land of the SC/ST etc; recent initiatives in the
NREGS;
Link up with the health and educational infrastructure;
PURA concept extremely relevant for addressing rural backwardness;
create institutional linkages;
Use the capabilities existing in different Departments at the district
level;
the leveraging of funds and resources should not be at the cost of
the basics of the programme; identify and maintain the nonnegotiables;

Recommendations: Quantum
of Funds
Committee takes note of the escalation of
funds in the budget for the year 2010-11; not
sufficient;
there are to be two basis of funding; core and
supplementary;
Core level of funding at the existing demand
structure; supplementary to be demand driven;
Identification of critical gaps sectorally at the
GP, Block and the District levels and plans for
filling them up;

Recommendations: Lapse of
Funds
Planning of BRGF for entire period of 5 years;
funds not to lapse with the end of the FY;
Simplification of the process & release of funds;
the paper requirements to be scaled down;
Release to be made on the basis of a sectorally
differentiated District Plan presented like before
the FY;
Incentive-disincentive structure for timely
utilisation, quality of utilisation etc;
Assessing the quality and the outcome of
investments;

Recommendations: Creating
Charge Upon the Funds
The untied nature of the utilisation to continue;
emphasis on rural roads and infrastructure to continue;
Advisory to the States in respect of activities like Sustainable
Agriculture, Livelihoods, rural roads, health & educational
infrastructure etc;
Needs to be deeply embedded into programmes like NREGS which
have a wide platform and good deal of compatibility with other
programmes;
Attempt at the district level to identify thrust areas;
Creation and maintenance of water resources one of the prime
tasks of the programme;
Rural technologies particularly agricultural technologies to be one
of the thrust areas;
Technical literacy, acquisition of placement based skills, teleliteracy and medicines etc ;
better utilisation of land resources; pooling together of resources
for upgradation of land utilisation;

Capacity Development of Local


Bodies: Limitations of the
NCBF

No template evolved to assess the critical gaps in institutional and organisational terms;

No parameters have been evolved to assess the process of filling up the critical gaps; no post-training evaluation;

Lack of a common framework for need assessment, design, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of capacity
development projects

No statistical methodologies have been evolved till to capture changes in capacity building: necessary to evolve hard
evaluation mechanism; even independent evaluations fail to indicate the efficacy of the programme:
The NCBF is far too focused on individual training and may not entirely address organisational or institutional capacity gaps.
It does not require the States to conduct a capacity needs assessment for each district
It omits pre-electoral training and the mass training aspects;
NCBF is limited to BRGF districts; there is 40 crore fund for the non-BRGF districts but the size of this fund is too small to
make an all India impact;
There is no integration of line departments and the diverse sectors in capacity building;
NCBF suffers from un-realistic costing of capacity building training programme; the costing prescribed is not dynamic and
does not cover the cost of capacity building;
There is no institutional platform for the implementation of the NCBF; the institutional anchor is missing;
There is no organic involvement of the stakeholders in the programme;
There is no ownership of the NCBF by any of the groups; the obvious choice for the implementation of the programme would
have been the PRIs who could carried the programme forward;

Capacity Development of Local


Bodies: Evolution of NCDF
Composite inter-sectoral Capacity Building:
Common strategy for Capacity Development for the
State:
Integration of all Training/Capacity Development
into a common structure:
Multi/Mixed mode of Training-Cascading mode, SAT,
Satellite TV, Community Radio, Wall News Papers etc.
Hands on process of Training evolved in the State of
Maharashtra:
Evolution of National Capacity Development Frame
Work as the second face of NCBF:

Uses a more comprehensive upgradation of


Capacities individual, Institutional, Organisational
and socio political empowerment:

Recommendations: NCDF
Appropriate framework for assessment of the capacities of
the
individual, institutional, organisational and social
capacities has to be evolved;
Statistical and empirical tools for the assessment of the
capacity development needs in the above four parameters
should be prepared;
A comprehensive training need assessment within these 4
parameters is required to be carried out;
Build in the line and other departments into this
framework; contradiction that BRGF being conceived as a
scheme and is being referred to as the BRGF Plan; the
District Planning Manual clearly provides the sources of
budget that should be included into the District Plan; need
for revision of the words of BRGF manual;
An overall coordinated and efficient implementation plan
for capacity development initiatives should be prepared;
In this context, National Capacity Development Framework
(NCDF) could be a more comprehensive concept and
therefore recommended in place of NCBF;

Objectives of NCDF: at
Individual Level
Assessment of the capacities of the elected LSG representatives
for discharge of their role;
Enabling local government elected representatives to upgrade
their knowledge and skills to better perform their responsibilities,
such as implementing programmes equitably;
To create a future vision of development of their local area and of
their institutions;
to think in terms of concrete actions which they can take or
facilitate
to develop skills required for day-to-day performance of executive
duties
to create capacities amongst the electorate to be able to select
better representatives;
to work in close co-operation with the officials and civil society
organisations;
there should be an awareness of all the sources of funding to the
district or the sub-district levels as applicable;

Objectives of NCDF: at Official


Level
Orienting key officials associated with the
devolved functions to perform better as
technical advisors and trainers;
be more receptive and learn from the ground
level experience of elected representatives;
to extend better quality support to the elected
representatives;
to contribute to the vision and growth of the
bodies that they serve;
The officials should aware of the entire resource
envelope for the district and should also be
aware of the processes of their devolution,
sanction and expenditure.

Objectives of NCDF: at
Institutional Level

Make an assessment of the institutional strength and weaknesses of the organisation


that they serve;
To create an institutional vision of development and growth;
Enabling local governments with structures, systems and resources (physical, human
and intellectual) needed to function effectively
Creating efficient policy instruments for effective functioning of local governments;
To create paradigms for inter and intra-institutional co-operation;
Improving the Gram/Ward Sabha functioning, particularly to provide opportunities to the
poor, women and scheduled castes/scheduled tribes, to assert their demands through
participative planning, monitor plan implementation and to hold their local governments
to accountable through invoking Right to Information and social audit
Mover of NCDF in every State, every district and even below the sub-district levels; at
the State level SIRD or institution identified by the State Government; the responsibility
to act as the driver of the programme; development of the capacities of lynchpin
capacity providers and effective mechanisms to engage civil society and the private
sector;
Every institution to be aware of the resource envelope for the district as a whole and
the processes and linkage involved; aware of the vision for the district and the
perspective plans prepared in this regard.
Creating conducive socio-political environment through sensitising the media, political
parties, representatives in the legislatures, civil society organisations and citizens to
accepting and promoting local governments

Factors of Capacity
Development

The four capacity factors that affect the


achievement of development goals include:
competency of individuals

effectiveness
of
organizational
arrangements
efficiency of policy instruments

conduciveness
of
sociopolitical
environment

These
factors
are
interdependent and
complementary to each other
The most fundamental problem encountered in
assessing impact of the CD plan relates to
causality and attribution;

NCDP: Recommendations
SIRDs to be accepted as the lynchpin institutions at the State level;

SIRDs to be strengthened in terms of faculty, infrastructure & other


institutional support;

Creation of a corpus fund for the institutions;


Organic linkage of the ETCs with SIRDs should be created; sufficient scope
for individual initiative in such institutions;

The requirement of capacity development has become so complex and vast


that ETCs/District Capacity Development Centres will have to be established in
each district.

Make the management of the SIRDs more broad based by providing functional
autonomy and by bringing the expertise available in the universities, PRIs
voluntary sector, corporate and the private sector to bear on them.
Envisioning exercise by NIRD & SIRDs; presented in the XXIII Colloquium;
The staff of the SIRDs as per their requirement and not on a standardised
basis for the entire country;
Necessary that the lynchpin institutions financial self-dependance;

Recommendations: Extension
Training Centres
In view of the abnormal enhancement in the needs for
capacity development it becomes necessary that there
should be a Centre for Capacity Building at the district
level.
There is also
need for a
composite capacity
development framework at the district level.
Convergence in the capability building programme at the
district level is a sine qua non.
The District Capacity Development Centre must have a
composite governance structure with a senior official of
the state services as Principal. The centre could be made
nodal capacity development unit of DPC. The District
Capacity Development Centre should be able to take the
capacity development activities down to the village level
with a well thought action plan and evaluation
mechanism.

Recommendations: NIRD
It is the apex training institution in the country with training, research
and advisory functions;
It functions as the think tank of the Government on key matters;
Its role also includes developing the capacities of lynchpin institutions;
There is no relationship binding NIRD and the SIRDs. This linkage is
weak. Earlier the fund for the SIRDs was being routed through the
NIRD but the practice has since been discontinued.
NIRD generally suffers with resource constraints and has experienced
stunted growth process;
NIRD is the National Institute for Rural Development and is serve the
requirements of all the line Ministries having rural interventions,
However, there is little role for other line Ministries in the governance
of the NIRD . This has affected the capabilities of the institution.
The linkage with universities and other educational/training
instutions/independent research organisations is weak. This again
affects the capabilities of the institution.
The management structure of the NIRD is very weak and does not
permit transparency and infusion of new ideas.

Recommendations:
Pedagogy and teaching
Methodologies

Shift at the earliest to a mixed mode of capacity development including distance learning, e-learning
mode and sitcom based training;

Each of the institutions should have a wide based connectivity through the Virtual Classroom (VSS);

Instead of establishing Satellite Studios in each SIRDs it would be ideal to use the existing studio
facilities with Doordarshan/Other commercial channels for telecasting the programmes as is being done
in Andhra Pradesh through the existing SAPNET studios. APARD model

Ground truthing in the mode of Karnataka is a good model available; APARD model could also be
considered;

The Panchayats can use the ham radio and the community radio for capacity development;
Evaluation programme should be inbuilt into the training programme;

Regarding training materials it is essential to have multimedia inputs on relevant subject. In West
Bengal we have been benefited by presenting video clips of success/failures and in highlighting the
issues involved.

Class room based training though necessary for introducing any subject does not help much in gaining
practical insight beyond a certain point. Handholding at the place of work has been found very
effective.

Institutional capacity building is to have sound financial management system and good accounting
practices.

Use of ICT has a tremendous role in improving governance (including financial management by
computerising accounts). There should be a special drive for using ICT in capacity development of the
local governments

Recommendations:
Learning from the People
There are Panchayats like Heure Bazaar, Gangadevapalli
and others who have done outstanding work and have
become institutions in themselves;
There are such centres of excellence in all the States and
parts of the country;
People visit such institutions for purposes of learning and
emulation;
There is a lot of learning derivative from such institutions;
They are also capable of providing handholding support
to the trainees living in the immediate vicinity;
The two biggest cost components in training include
travelling and the logistical expenses;
The best doers are also the best teachers;

Recommendations: Local and


Grassroots Planning
If DPCs are to be made meaningful they must have their own permanent Secretariat with
adequate infrastructure;
The DPC should have Full time professionals in the field of:

Economic development;

Social & environmental issues;

Urban planning;

Statistics;

IT; and

Training & IEC; along with necessary support staff should be provided to the DPC; number of support staff should be
as per size and population of the district;

There can be no planning in absence of statistics; there is a full fledged district statistical office
in every district along with a retinue of staff; this can also be made a part of the DPC
Secretariat to provide statistical support to it.
It may be desirable to have a mix of full and part time professionals to provide support to the
DPC.
DPCs should have adequate allocable resources.
There should be arrangement for dissemination of the plans to all the stake holders,
particularly the local people. This may be done by introducing a system of voluntary
disclosure by (i) writing the salient features in the walls of the panchayat office or other
prominent places, (ii) submitting copies of the same in a specified library and (iii) putting up
the same in the website (in fact entry in Plan Plus serves that purpose).

Recommendations: District
Sector Plans at the District
Level

Guidelines Planning Commission have issued guidelines in the past for district planning
followed; the Planning Commission must insist that the district plan reflects regional needs,
community needs and resource availability; also, the district plan should sector-wise reflect
expected outcome in three broad aspects: human development, infrastructure
development and development of productive sectors. Apart from focusing on regional
development issuess, the district plan should be the consolidated form of vertically
integrated and horizontally co-ordinated plans of LSGs and departments; this can be
verified at before the annual plan discussions.
There should be a district window in the State budget;
DPC should be the sole approval agency for all CSS at the district level. The DPC should
have the powers to compel attendance and participation of all the line departments
involved in the planning process;
The practice of scheme wise planning should be done away with; instead States are
required to be encouraged to develop a single district plan with mention of all sectoral
components;
The DPC should be encouraged to monitor the progress and undertake concurrent
evaluation of the interventions carried out in collaboration with reputed institutes;
The Planning Commission may impose condition for preparing district sector plan on each
subject and check the progress as a part of the annual Plan discussion;
There is a strong need of capacity development of the departments in grassroots planning
and other planning tools and techniques;
To have convergence of sectoral programmes, the standing committees within LSGs should
be well trained and empowered to federate and coordinate the stakeholder associations.

Recommendations: Planning at
the Grassroots Level

The grassroots planning process is the basis of the planning exercise; all funding releases should be linked to the
planning exercise;

The technical support structures and other related machineries of different line departments should be pooled
together to support the common planning process at the community level. The Technical Support Institutions must
never be used in contractor mode;

There are two distinct streams in district planning participatory grassroots planning and regular quantitative
planning exercise; the grassroots planning begins with envisioning exercise. There are excellent models of district
and grassroots planning available which have worked on the ground in the States of Orissa, Kerala, West Bengal,
Tamil Nadu and Gujarat wherein the planning process has been internalised by the people at the grassroots.

Attendance is poor in the Gram Sabha, as people do not perceive any benefits in attending the Gram Sabha; studies
revealed that only the old age pensioners and people aspiring for IAY houses attend Gram Sabha;

To increase participation of the marginalised section in the process of planning, a valid quorum for Gram Sabha,
convened to prepare village/GP plan, should have:

Representation from at least 50% of the BPL HHs,

Women participation to the tune of at least 33% of the overall attendance, and

Representation of SC and ST, at least, in proportion of their share in the population within the planning unit;

For daily wage seekers of the BPL HHs a compensation mechanism could be devised to promote their participation;

For the empowerment of Gram Sabha untied plan fund is a pre-requisite;

The fragmentation among the village communities may be cured by bringing them together on the platform of
grassroots planning;

The domination of the rural elite could be overcome by promoting SHGs and involving them in the planning exercise;

The parallel bodies and the different committees formed at the village level under the various CSS and other
programmes may be involved in the village planning exercise;

The role of DPC should include both planning and monitoring;

Recommendations: Resource
Envelope
REs are necessary at the district, sub-district and at the
Panchayat levels to enable meaningful grassroots district
planning exercise.
The Consolidated Fund of the District will form the basis of the
Resource Envelope.
The devolutions of the XIIIth FC funds will also constitute a part
of the RE;
Within the Consolidated Fund of the District there should also
be a component of Equalsation Fund for gap filling;
Market borrowings and other non-tax revenues should be used
to supplement the Resoruce Envelope;
The Consolidated Fund of the District will follow Zer based
budgeting so that accounting is not carried over year after year.
All transfers should be made electronically to eliminated delays;
The District Consolidated Fund accounts should be place on a
web site for utmost transparency;

Recommendation; Use of
Software
The Plan Plus needs to be converted into an intelligent
programme in order to become an effective instrument of
planning. An intelligent programme implies that it should
be able to store and reproduce data as per the
requirements of the planning process of its own.
Plan Plus should be able to store the datas related to
different aspects of development in the geographical
locality. An intelligent programme can only function on a
large data basis.
Plan Plus should be GIS enabled and should be capable of
operation with aid of handheld devices with GPS.
The Plan Plus should also be capable of recognition and
capture of maps, geographical features, etc.
The programmes should also be sound enabled so that
even illiterate persons are able to operate the programme.
It may recongize and respond to voice commands.

Recommendations: Structure
of DPCs
In order to make the District Planning exercise functional it is necessary that the DPC must
be served by a well functioning and efficient secretariat.
There is enormous capacity available in the NGO sector for grassroots planning;
Grassroots planning has to grow into a peoples movement as was the case in Kerala; it
should take in three dimensions growth of a peoples movement, formulation of a State
policies around this process and agenda of the political parties in their election
manifestoes;
There should be a planning cell at the district level within every line department having
relevant computerised database;
For creation of political consensus over planning there is need for bringing all political
parties to cooperate at the district level and below; competition may be allowed amongst
the political parties.
There has to be an incentive disincentive structure designed for creating competition for
planning and implementation;
In order to cut costs and make trained manpower available for planning retired
professionals may be permitted to be engaged at the district level and below; the
experience of West Bengal suggests that there should be at least one person for every
three blocks.
The NIRD, SIRDs, ETCs, ATIs, KVKs, Agricultural and Technical Universities need to be
deeply engaged with the process of planning and they may be permitted to offer Courses
in Distance Education and e-learning for the same.
There should be a proper mode of appraisal and evaluation of the plans being prepared
and the processes at the grassroots, district and the state levels.

Recommendations: Funding

At the national level there could be a National Planning Fund; while the BRGF would commit a part of its own budgetary
provisions to the NPF other Ministries could also contribute a part of their funds ;

There should be a premium on capacity building for the weaker sections and others;

At the district level, there would be a district planning and capacity building fund at the command of the DPC and which should
be managed by the DPC;

All the line departments could pool their planning component into this District Planning Fund for better utilisation except what is
required in their planning cell;

There should be a District Consolidated Fund at the district level wherein all the resources from the CSS and the other plan
components will be pooled together a reasonable part of which could be discretionary / untied.;

Wherever there are guidelines for the operation of the scheme that has to respected. The release of the fund will also be made
as per the District Plan approved by the DPC.

The district credit plan and the sources of private / bilateral / international funding could be merged with the district fund.

The DPC has to also consider the audit reports made in this respect of utilisation of funds and the compliance thereto;

The DPC will also be concerned with the process of social audit; it will have the responsibility to visit different places and
supervise the process of social audit;

The DPC will itself be subject to the process of social audit by third parties; appropriate methodologies will have to be evolved
for the same;

An appropriate incentive mechanism should be put in place for community contribution in terms of resources to development
plans;

The experiment of communitisation being carried out in the State of Nagaland in respect of health, education and electricity is
strongly recommended for emulation in such Panchayats which opt for the same on pilot basis;

The Ministry may consider to directly transferring Funds to districts.

All transfer of Funds is to be made electronically.

The Fund Tracking System needs to be put in place to track the Funds right down to the Gram Panchayat level.

Recommendations:
Convergence
The process of convergence is more difficult to achieve at the top level rather
than at the ground level; the Government has to make a special efforts in view
of inter and intra-ministerial rivalries and turf battles; it has to be rigidly
enforced at the top level;
The process will initiate with a capacity development and sensitisation
exercise.
Scope of convergence between the programmes in Ministries like Agriculture
and Cooperation, Social Justice and Welfare etc.
The next step would be to have convergence at inter-ministerial programme
level; the GoI could constitute groups of Ministries or groups of programmes
for convergence with a specific task;
Assessing convergence is also necessary.
Proper incentive-disincentive structure have to devised for convergence. This
should be at the discretion of the DPC and judged by a transparent process.
Convergence should be a transparent and holistic activity rather than mere
fund adjustment.

Recommendations: BRGFMGNREGA Convergence


Active convergence amongst BRGF, NREGA, other
livelihood programmes of different Ministries, water
related programmes and other social sector
programmes.
Convergence should start from the planning process.
A preliminary knowledge has to be instilled amongst
the PRIs, SHGs and amongst other rural groups
regarding the different CSS and other programmes.
There are powerful models of convergence planning.
These models need to be put on the ground.
The recommendations of the Committee should be
seen in a totality and not in isolation for maximised
effort.

Recommendations:
Convergence at
institutional level:
All the committees constituted under various CSS guidelines must
be integrated within the PRI framework by subsuming these state
department driven local committees into subcommittees/Functional Committees of respective PRIs to enable
funds to be devolved through the PRI channel.
NIRD study suggests that there are three important pre-requisites
for convergence to become institutionalized:

Preparation of GP Plan with community involvement;


Minimization of deviations across schemes in relation to planning
methodology; and
Implementation of schemes based on the principle of subsidiarity.

Once the necessary integration and convergence in programme


management is achieved at the community level then it will
automatically flow upwards to create bridges across the sector
machineries.
Under BRGF it is more crucial to think of linking together the sector
wise programme machineries including the technical support
structures rather than singing the same old tune of inadequate
staff and unfilled vacancies.

Recommendations: Flagship
Programmes
Respective CSS guidelines could be substantially
modified to provide centrality of PRIs in planning
and implementation of the CSS.
The District Planning Committee should be made
the institutional platform for planning and
convergence at the District level.
DPC should be empowered to be the sole approval
agency for all CSS at the district level;
The DPC is a planning and monitoring body.
Hence, funds should be lodged with respective
executive agency and not with the DPC. It may be
noted that even Planning Commission allocates
resources and does not park/disburse funds for the
projects/schemes.

Recommendations: Release
of Funds
Instead of using different channels/procedures in releasing
funds by the GOI, it is recommended that the funds may
directly be released to District level agencies as per the plan
approved by the State Government to avoid unnecessary
delay and last minute rush in utilization of funds.
Electronic transfer system should invariably be extended to all
CSS by using core banking system and transfer funds at least
to Block level to save delay. In order to avoid locking of funds,
Central Fund Transfer system may be introduced.
All proposals from the Block to the District, to the State and to
the National level should be online with installed systems of
scrutiny.
All proposals will be examined through the software installed
for consistency and such other checks as the State
Government or the HPC may so desire.
All releases should be through CAS, thereby eliminating the
need for going through Consolidated Fund of the State.

Recommendations:
Implementation and
Monitoring
Hence, it is recommended that the role of PRIs in implementation
should be clearly defined in the respective guidelines. To start with,
activities/tasks in CSS to be performed by the different tiers of PRIs
should be clearly demarcated especially building and updating the
data base for the use of various departments, identification of
beneficiaries, conducting social audit in Gram Sabha, etc.,
The CSS guidelines should provide for sufficient delegation of
powers down the line to commence work immediately as per
approved plan. The Panchayat Raj Institutions should be
empowered to review, inspect and monitor the institutions or the
department located in the rural areas. Whenever they inspect an
institution and suggest improvements, the authorities of the
department concerned in that institution shall be responsible to
send an Action Taken Report to those Panchayat Raj Institutions.
Social Audit should be extended to all CSSs and the regular Gram
Sabha should be a forum for conducting the social audit.
Necessary mechanism should be developed for follow up action on
the observation made by the Gram Sabha or other monitoring
committees.

Recommendations:
Convergence at Awareness
building
and Social
Resources available
in different CSS may
be pooled and released to PRIs for more
Mobilization

effective social mobilization and well


endowed campaign in rural areas.
However, the respective department
should assist the PRIs in preparation of
campaign material and communication
strategy on respective schemes.

Recommendations: Road Map


for Convergence
It is evident from the above discussion that convergence of development
programmes with NREGS needs to be pursued with more vigour.
To streamline the communication process, the MoRD may nominate a
senior official as coordinator of convergence projects.
To ensure greater clarity about the roles and responsibilities and
institutional arrangements under convergence, the states should prepare
clear guidelines for adherence by all concerned at the district and below.
To make convergence planning more people centric, the projects identified
by the line department(s) should be discussed in the Gram Sabhas located
in the project area.
SIRDs and reputed NGOs (who have experimented with convergence) may
be entrusted with organization of short-duration training programmes
dealing with concepts, issues, approaches
A small module on social audit has to be included in all the training
programmes as all the convergence projects would be subjected to this
audit by all the stakeholders.
Since convergence aims at consultative process and meeting the local
needs, reputed NGOs may be entrusted with capacity building of elected
representatives and CBO leaders about this dimension.

Cont
The MoRDs earlier suggestion that inclusion of modules on Convergence, Social
Audit and Participatory Planning are to be made mandatory in all training
programmes organized by SIRDs, ETCs
The present arrangement of recognising the district / state initiatives through Award of
Excellence in NREGS Administration would provide the needed incentive framework for
the DPCs and others to implement the convergence projects in an innovative and
efficient way.
Government of India and State, may also institute awards for best performance to the
NREGS team (DPC, PD and officials of line departments), who have excelled in the
planning and execution of innovative projects in convergence mode.
The Integrated District Planning with community participation would be an appropriate
framework facilitating emergence of convergence initiatives locally as a by-product.
Decentralized planning through community involvement is practiced, generation of
volunteerism and ownership followed by partnership of community in the process can
be expected.
In the light of the Tendulkars Committee report on estimation of poverty, which places
rural poverty at 42 per cent, there is a dire need to bring convergence among
development programmes for mutual benefit and creation of productive assets,
To mitigate the effects of global warming on agriculture and allied sectors, NREGS, line
departments and other technical institutions in each district should evolve a common
strategy and work together in revitalizing the agriculture to ensure food and livelihood
security.

Thank You