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Centre to introduce mark sheets for gram panchayats to assess their performance

The village bodies will be given marks out of 100 and those with lower marks will receive more importance and resources.

india Updated: Oct 27, 2017 20:16 IST
Saubhadra Chatterji
Saubhadra Chatterji
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Panchayat,Gram panchayat,Narendra Modi govt
Thirty marks will be for physical infrastructures like roads and schools, 40% for economic activities and the remaining 30% for the human resources like education and caste composition.(HT File Photo)

The Centre will introduce mark sheets for gram panchayats on 21 development parameters including economic activities and human resources, a top official said on Friday, revealing the government’s latest attempt at alleviating poverty in rural India.

The village bodies will be given marks out of 100 and those with lower marks will receive more importance and resources, said Amarjeet Sinha, rural development secretary. The mark sheet will be made public next week by the Union rural development ministry.

Ever since coming to power in 2014, the Narendra Modi government has launched several schemes aimed at bridging the urban-rural divide, mainly through increased economic activities in villages.

The rural economy is crucial to driving India’s country’s economic growth, contributing as much as 50% of the consumption and making up 70% of the workforce.

“After the SECC (socio economic and caste census), which has provided household data on poverty status, the new mark sheet system will provide a complete picture of development on the ground level,” he added.

Key parameters in panchayat mark sheets
  • Level and scope of farm/non-farm activities
  • Availability of power for at least 12 hours a day
  • Availability of safe drinking water
  • Number of toilets and whether panchayat is open defecation free
  • All-weather roads and public transport
  • High schools and vocational education centres.
  • Soil testing centres
  • Use of clean energy (LPG)
  • Aanganwadi centres
  • Literacy level and educational status
  • Types of economic activities

The SECC was launched in 2011 to rank households based on their socio-economic status to enable the preparation of a list of families living below the poverty line.

Thirty marks will be for physical infrastructures like roads and schools, 40% for economic activities and the remaining 30% for the human resources like education and caste composition.

The government will also look at farm and non-farm activities, power and water supply, education infrastructure and several other things to determine how the development gap can be bridged.

Sources said that according to the latest computation, the highest marks secured by a panchayat is 95% and lowest 15%.

The Modi government’s rural schemes aimed to provide electricity, houses, toilets and roads to cover all parts of India by 2022, the 75th year of India’s Independence.

From the “Garibi hatao” slogan of former prime minister Indira Gandhi to the introduction of rural job guarantee scheme (MGNREGA) and expansion of the National Rural Livelihood Mission by the Modi government, several governments have introduced measures to fight against poverty in India with different levels of success.

In a report last year, US investment bank Goldman Sachs had identified three areas -- boosting agricultural productivity, diversifying sources of rural income and urbanising rural areas -- to bridge the difference between urban and rural growth in India.

First Published: Oct 27, 2017 20:15 IST