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Union Cabinet Approves Scheme to Help Rural India in Achieving UN SDGs

The United Nations' 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations member states in 2015, is a set of 17 targets that require "urgent action by all member countries." The first goal is to eradicate all forms of poverty by 2030.

Abha Toppo
Cabinet Meeting
Cabinet Meeting

The Union Cabinet approved an extension of the Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan (RGSA), a centrally-sponsored scheme to assist rural India in meeting key targets of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, on Wednesday.

The United Nations' 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations member states in 2015, is a set of 17 targets that require "urgent action by all member countries." The first goal is to eradicate all forms of poverty by 2030.

The scheme, worth 5,911 crores, aims to empower 2,78,000 Panchayati Raj institutions, or elected rural local governments, to implement a set of social goals deemed necessary for sustainable development by the United Nations.

The Cabinet meeting presided over by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved the redesigned RGSA, which will be implemented from April 1, 2022, to March 31, 2026. It will concentrate on improving the "governance capabilities" of Panchayati Raj institutions.

According to the Centre for Science and Environment's "State of India's Environment Report, 2022," released last month, India dropped three spots from last year's 117 to 120 on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals adopted by 192 United Nations member states in 2015 as part of the 2030 Agenda.

The Cabinet-approved revamped scheme focuses on SDGs in nine areas. Poverty-free villages with improved livelihoods; child-friendly villages; water-sufficient villages; clean and green villages; self-sufficient infrastructure in villages; socially secure villages; villages with good governance and engendered development in villages

The central share of the total financial outlay of 5911 crore is 3700 crore, while the state share is 2211 crore.

"The scheme's implementation and monitoring activities will be broadly aligned with achieving the Sustainable Development Goals" (SDGs). "Panchayats serve as the focal point for all developmental activities and the implementation of schemes from various Ministries/Departments and the State Government to achieve the SDGs," according to a Cabinet statement.

According to the scheme's goal plan, because panchayats have representation from "Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and women," and are "institutions closest to the grassroots," strengthening panchayats will promote equity and inclusiveness, as well as social justice and community economic development.

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