Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan (RGSA) is a revamped version of Rajiv Gandhi Panchayat Sashaktikaran Abhiyan (RGPSA) and covers various projects to strengthen the Panchayati Raj system in the country.
The Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Rajiv Gandhi Panchayat Sashaktikaran Abhiyan (RGPSA) was launched during the 12th Five-year Plan period to strengthen the Panchayati Raj system across the country and to address the critical gaps that constrain it.
In the context of huge devolution of funds to Gram Panchayats as per the recommendations of Fourteenth Finance Commission, the State component of the Scheme stands transferred to the States to be met from their own resources. The components for which support is extended under the programme include the following:
- Capacity building for strengthening Panchayati Raj
- Development of institutional capability for training
- Implementation of PESA
- E- governance support structures
All these four features add to the development of the program in an organized manner. While strengthening has its own importance, development is another major responsibility. E-governance is not a new thing but its implementation took time and efforts. The current government has pledged to put all of this to make the system better and more transparent.
Highlights of the scheme
- The RGSA is a unique scheme which was proposed to develop and strengthen the Panchayati Raj system across India, mainly in rural areas and its main motto is to make development in rural India, which will subsequently lead to the development of the whole country.
- Train and assist the Gram Panchayats who get elected across the country so that they can perform their work efficiently at the basic level.
- Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan is introduced by the both central and state union Government of India.
- The scheme is proposed to help the Panchayati Raj Institutions to deliver more sustainable goals and speed up the overall growth of development in rural areas.
- This project is implemented by both the center and the state governments across various states in India to reform and strengthen the Panchayat levels.
- This RGSA scheme is sponsored by both the central as well as the state government.
The national level plan for improving the functioning of Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) is mapped out in the Roadmap for Panchayati Raj (2011-2017). The Roadmap logically delineates the issues and specific action plans within the larger governance framework for creating an effective Panchayati Raj structure. It highlights key aspects of empowerment, enablement and accountability of the PRIs for better governance and faster development, includes devolution of functions, funds and functionaries as envisaged in the Constitution, Capacity Building of the Panchayats and Functionaries, decentralized planning, effective implementation of Panchayats (Extention to Scheduled Areas) Act (PESA), empowered elected village councils in the Sixth Scheduled Areas and changes in the constitutional and legal framework
- To enhance capacities and effectiveness of Panchayats and the Gram Sabhas.
- To enable democratic decision-making and accountability in Panchayats and promote people’s participation.
- To strengthen the institutional structure for knowledge creation and capacity building of Panchayats.
- To promote transference of powers and responsibilities to Panchayats according to the spirit of the Constitution and PESA act.
- To strengthen Gram Sabhas to function effectively as the basic forum of people’s participation, transparency, and accountability within the Panchayat system.
- To create and strengthen democratic local self-government in areas where Panchayats do not exist.
- To strengthen the constitutionally mandated framework on which Panchayats are founded.
- Enhance capacities and effectiveness of Panchayats and the Gram Sabhas;
- Enable democratic decision-making and accountability in Panchayats and promote people’s participation;
- Strengthen the institutional structure for knowledge creation and capacity building of Panchayats;
- Promote devolution of powers and responsibilities to Panchayats according to the spirit of the Constitution and PESA Act;
- Strengthen Gram Sabhas to function effectively as the basic forum of peoples participation, transparency, and accountability within the Panchayat system;
- Create and strengthen democratic local self-government in areas where Panchayats do not exist;
- Strengthen the constitutionally mandated framework on which Panchayats are founded. Currently, the scheme is proposed to be launched so that the Panchayati Raj Institutions develop governance capabilities to deliver on the sustainable development goal
Several responsibilities for the rural development are given to the gram panchayat leaders who work maintaining liaison with the state govt. The gram panchayats will be given skill development teaching under the RGSA scheme. Several capacity building and training centers will be formed for the training of the gram panchayats at several levels like gram panchayat level, block level, and Zilla Parishad level
- The center will assist the states to promote and implement the RSGA so that capacity building of the gram panchayats can be done efficiently. After gram panchayat elections, the elected members are given the responsibility to perform the administrative and governance works at grass root level i.e. panchayat level
- The states along with the assistance of center will arrange training centers and skill development workshops for the elected members of the gram panchayat and panchayat officials. The training centers with institutional capability will not only have regular training schedule but also distance learning programs for the elected representatives of the panchayats.
The Union Finance Minister, Shri Jaitley announced that four new initiatives to make dairying more remunerative to the farmers.
- First, ‘Pashudhan Sanjivani’, an animal wellness programme and provision of Animal Health Cards (‘Nakul Swasthya Patra’)
- Second, an advanced breeding technology.
- Third, Creation of E-Pashudhan Haat, an e-market portal for connecting breeders and farmers.
- Fourth, a National Genomic Centre for indigenous breeds. He said that these projects will be implemented at a cost of Rs. 850 crore over the next few years.
The funding pattern of the Scheme has been 75% by the Central Government and 25% by the State Government. The Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan will strengthen the Panchayati Raj system across the country and address critical gaps that constrain its success. In the Union Budget of 2016-17, the Honorable Finance Minister Shree Arun Jaitley has announced that a total of Rs. 655 crore is to be allocated for the strengthening and development of the gram panchayats. The objective of Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Yojana (RGSY) to providing support to the initiatives of the States and UTs for Capacity Building and Training of the Panchayati Raj Institutions
The Gram Swaraj Abhiyan moves back to the roots of the Panchayati Raj System taking into consideration the Gram Panchayats. When modernization and urbanization have hit various parts of the country which were otherwise backward and neglected, this scheme brings into light a major element of the governance system in these areas. Gram panchayats are provided funds making them strong and the system more advance for e-governance. The structure will become more transparent and strong through this advancement. Also, the members will take the system more seriously with these techno additions to it.