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100 more villages to be developed as Smart Grams: President

Under the Smart Grams initiative, the President have adopted Daula, Alipur, Harchandpur, Taj Nagar, and Rojka Meo in July last year, to develop them into model villages.

gurgaon Updated: Jun 02, 2017 23:31 IST
Abhishek Behl
Abhishek Behl
hindustan times
president pranab mukherjee,daula village,smart gram
Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar presents a memento to President Pranab Mukherjee during the inauguration of Drivers’ Training Institute and a government senior secondary school at Daula Village, Sohna, Gurgaon on Friday.(Sanjeev Verma/HT Photo)

President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday announced that 100 more villages — 80 from Gurgaon and 20 from Mewat district — would be brought under the Smart Gram initiative.

The initiative was launched by the President in July last year with an objective to develop five model villages, namely Daula, Alipur, Harchandpur, Taj Nagar, and Rojka Meo.

Under the project, the President had adopted Daula, 30 kilometres from Gurgaon city and the four other villages to be developed as model Smart Grams. The objective was that each Smart Gram will have basic infrastructure comprising smart information and communication to improve governance and access to better services, livelihood and economic operations.

The President laid foundation stone for a drivers’ training institute and a government secondary school at Daula village near Sohna in Gurgaon on Friday.

Hundreds of school children and residents of adjacent villages were present at the event, and seated inside the temporary air-conditioned hall that was set up for the presidential visit. He arrived at the venue at 12.10 pm and left Daula, one-and-a-half hour later.

In his address, the President expressed satisfaction over working of Smart Gram initiative that was launched on July 2, 2016. It was expected that this pioneering work, which was done to turn President’s estate smart, could be replicated in a few villages first and later on a larger scale, Mukherjee said.

“This programme has travelled a long distance and helped in transforming the five villages where it was launched. Skill development is crucial to developing India, as 68% people and 15% GDP come from villages,” he said.

Apart from that, the President also identified unemployment as a major challenge to the government, and said that skilling of people in villages was the key to a prosperous nation.

On this occasion, Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar too announced that the state government will develop 1,000 villages under Swa Prerit (self-inspired) Smart Gram scheme, on lines of the President’s Smart Gram initiative. He also announced upgradation of Tauru tehsil in Mewat district to a sub-division.

Union minister of state for skill development Rajiv Pratap Rudy said the government has ensured that technical education imparted at ITIs across the country is given a formal shape. “Students who join ITI after Classes 8 and 10 would be given certificates for Classes 10 and 12 respectively if they complete the course, so that they can continue higher education,” said Rudy, adding that skill development is a major drive that will transform the nation.

Union minister of state for planning and urban development Rao Inderjit Singh said that paucity of water was an issue of major concern in the area. He said more measures have to be taken to address this issue.

Omita Paul, secretary to the President, said that she was convinced that if people worked together, the Smart Gram initiative could be a tremendous success.

First Published: Jun 02, 2017 22:21 IST