1. ‘Mission Antyodaya’ should not fall by the wayside

GS 2, Social Empowerment.


  • Local governments in India are required by the Indian Constitution to establish and implement strategies for “economic growth and social justice” (Articles 243G and 243W).
  • To promote this goal, several complementary institutions and measures were introduced, such as the gram sabha to facilitate people’s participation, the District Planning Committee (DPC) to prepare bottom-up and spatial development plans, the State Finance Commission (SFC) to ensure vertical and horizontal equity, one-third reservation for women (in most States, now 50 percent), population-based representation to Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe communities, and so on.
  •  Nonetheless, India’s decentralisation reforms (unprecedented in federal history) have not much excelled to further the decentralisation process in terms of social fairness and progress in rural India. It is argued here that, given the right momentum, the Government of India’s ‘Mission Antyodaya’ project, launched in 2017­18, holds great promise for reviving the objectives of these great democratic reforms.
  • The Ministry of Panchayati Raj and the Ministry of Rural Development serve as the mission’s nodal agents.

About Antyodaya Yojana:

  • Mission Antyodaya, which was adopted in the Union Budget 2017-18, is a convergence and accountability framework aimed at maximising the use and administration of resources granted by 27 Ministries/Departments of the Government of India under different rural development programmes.
  • It is intended to be a state-led project, with Gram Panchayats serving as focal areas for convergence initiatives.
  • An essential component of the Mission Antyodaya framework is an annual survey of Gram Panchayats across the country. It is carried out concurrently with the Ministry of Panchayat Raj’s People’s Plan Campaign (PPC), and its goal is to promote the process of participatory planning for Gram Panchayat Development Plan (GPDP).

The primary objective of the Mission:

The major goal of ‘Mission Antyodaya’ is to make the best use of resources by bringing together several initiatives that address many deprivations of poverty, with the gramme panchayat serving as the heart of a development plan.

This planning is supported by an annual survey that collects data on the 29 subjects assigned to panchayats by the Eleventh Schedule of the Constitution, which helps to assess the various development gaps at the gramme panchayat level. These categories are further subdivided into 112 parameters for data gathering via thorough questionnaires.

Data on health and nutrition, social security, good governance, water management, and other topics are also gathered.

The Ministry of Panchayati Raj’s notion of identifying gaps in fundamental necessities at the local level and combining resources from various programmes, self-help groups, volunteer organisations, and so on to finance them requires excellent coordination and capacity building. If pursued honestly, this can promote economic development and inter­jurisdictional equity. Despite the fact that two key reports, one on infrastructure and service deficiencies and the other on a composite index, have been made public, they do not appear to have sparked public debate.

Rectification Required:

  • The potential for reducing the expanding rural­urban inequities is enormous. Given the Ministry of Panchayati Raj’s ‘saturation approach’ (100 percent objectives on certain goods), the potential for achieving universal primary health care, literacy, drinking water provision, and the like are enormous.
  • However, a meaningful attempt is required to consolidate resources (The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee ActThe National Rural Livelihood Mission, the National Social Assistance ProgrammeThe Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, and so on) and reduce administrative costs.
  •  Another omission is the failure to use data to India’s fiscal federalism, namely to enhance the transfer system and horizontal justice in the delivery of public goods at the substate level.
  • Substantial policy interventions can fulfil the constitutional purpose of planning and executing economic development and social fairness. India’s policy history has witnessed the tendency of initiating large initiatives but failing to see them through to completion. ‘Mission Antyodaya’ is a notable recent example.
  • Ensure the convergence of programs/schemes aimed at rural development.
  • Establish collaborations between PRIs, community organisations, NGOs, SHG institutions, and field-level bureaucrats from various departments at Gram Panchayats/Clusters (e.g. , ASHA Workers, Aanganwadi Workers, ANMs, etc.).
  • Encourage business via collaboration with institutions and experts.

The following are the expected outcomes of Mission Antyodaya:

  • Strong infrastructure foundation for the chosen GPs/Clusters through prioritised scheme execution in line with the GPDPs/Cluster development plans.
  • Effective social capital promotes participatory planning and execution of initiatives at the GP/ Cluster by including a diverse range of stakeholders.
  • Increased economic prospects via diversification of livelihoods, including the non-farm sector, skilling of rural youth and women, development of value chains, and entrepreneurship promotion.
  • Strengthened democratic mechanisms via PRI capacity training, public disclosures, and formal and social accountability measures at the GP level (e.g. social audit).

NRLM’s Guiding Principles:

  • The impoverished have a strong desire to rise above their circumstances, and they possess intrinsic qualities.
  • Social mobilisation and robust institutions are required to unlock the intrinsic powers of the impoverished.
  • An external support system that is both devoted and sensitive is required to induce social mobilisation, develop strong institutions, and empower.

This upward mobility is aided by the following factors:

  • Facilitating knowledge distribution
  • Developing abilities
  • Credit availability
  • Marketing accessibility
  • Access to livelihood services

NRLM Principles:

  • Involving the poorest people and giving them a meaningful involvement in all processes.
  • Transparency and accountability in all institutions and procedures.
  • Self-sufficiency and self-reliance in the community.
  • The poor should have ownership and a vital involvement in all of their institutions, including planning, implementation, and monitoring.

DAY NRLM’s Features:

The scheme’s main characteristics are as follows:

  • Universal social mobilization entails bringing at least one-woman member of a rural poor home (with a special emphasis on the marginalized sections) into the network of a SHG.
  • Participatory Identification of Poor.
  • Community Funds as Enduring Resources: This is intended to improve the poor’s financial management abilities.
  • Inclusion of funds.
  • Livelihoods: The mission promotes and stabilises the poor’s existing livelihood structures through its three pillars.
  • Vulnerability reduction and livelihood improvement: through extending current livelihoods and exploring new options in both the farm and non-farm sectors.
  • Employment Building Skills
  • Entrepreneurship: fostering self-employment
  • Another key element of this plan is that it prioritises collaboration and collaboration with other government programmes of the Rural Development Ministry.
  •  It also aspires to establish ties with Panchayati Raj entities.

Sub-schemes inside the NRLM:

The Aajeevika Grameen Express Yojana (AGEY)

  • This plan was launched in 2017.
  • It intends to provide alternate sources of income to members of SHGs under the parent plan by allowing them to provide public transportation services in underserved rural regions.
  • The system provides economical, secure, and community-monitored rural transportation services to connect isolated communities with important facilities and services (access to health, markets, and education) for the region’s overall economic growth.

Mahila Kisan Sashaktikaran Pariyojana (MKSP)

  • This sub-major scheme’s goal is to empower women in agriculture by making systematic investments to increase their involvement and production.
  • The initiative also aims to build and sustain agriculture-based livelihoods for rural women.
  • Other goals include ensuring food and nutrition in homes, improving women’s access to services and inputs, and improving women’s managerial capacities, among others.

Start-up Village Entrepreneurship Program

  • The goal of this sub-scheme is to encourage rural entrepreneurs.
  • The programme will address three major issues confronting rural startups:

–  A knowledge ecosystem that is absent

–  A void in the financial ecosystem

–  A void in the incubation ecosystem

SVEP (Start-up Village Entrepreneurship Program) anticipates the creation of long-term self-employment possibilities for rural disadvantaged youth, allowing them to engage successfully in the market and contribute to local wealth creation.

National Rural Livelihoods Initiative (NRLP)

  • The NRLP is intended to generate “proof of concept” and capacity building at the central and state levels in order to create a supportive environment for all states and UTs to transition to the NRLM.


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