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Progress of Village adoption by MPs

Chander Mohan
Chander Mohan

Till date 1,314 villages have been identified where 42 percent  of the work is completed. The Rural Development Ministry has written to Chief Ministers and MPs asking them to identify villages and help to achieve the target set by the PM. 

Only 19 percent  of MPs have identified the three villages they are entitled to pick for the Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAANJHI) announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Independence Day 2014. The PM had appealed to every MP to develop three Adarsh Grams by March 2019. While 88 percent  of MPs have picked at least one village, only 59 percent  have picked a second. Interestingly, almost all Trinamool MPs have steered clear of the scheme.

The scheme is overseen by the Rural Development Minister Atul Kumar Tiwari, Joint Secretary with the ministry, informed  that the process of identifying villages is going on. He said many states have adopted a sequential practice of adoption, in which a third village is adopted only after significant work in the second phase.

Interestingly, it is not only opposition MPs who have been sluggish in adopting the scheme. About 191 BJP Lok Sabha MPs are yet to identify their third village while 84 haven't even picked their second village yet. Similarly, only 12 BJP Rajya Sabha members have picked three villages and 20 haven't identified their second village so far. Almost all BJP MPs, however, have identified at least one village.

MPs are also trying to do more work in the first phase before adopting two more villages, he said. Tiwari said the Rural Development Minister has been writing to MPs. Some said they find it difficult to choose one village as it is not politically expedient to do so. According to the ministry, some states have shown less interest in the scheme pulling down the overall numbers. "The scheme must be evaluated on the basis of the overall change in paradigm it has brought in rural development," said Tiwari.

Narender Modi

PM launched the scheme on October 11, 2014 with a goal that each MP would develop three Adarsh Grams by March 2019, of which one would be achieved by 2016. Thereafter, five such Adarsh Grams (one per year) have be selected and developed by 2024. Lok Sabha MPs can choose a Gram Panchayat from their constituency while Rajya Sabha MPs can select a village from any district in the state from which they are elected. No special fund is allocated for the scheme and MPs are supposed to use their political capital to energize government schemes and utilize funds under these schemes.

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