National initiative to create clusters of successfully developed Gram Panchayats

Program envisages a scientifically-made professional Plan to ensure sustainable development in clusters of Gram Panchayats through capacity building & participatory planning
GWALIOR : National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRDPR) is going to lead a major national initiative to create clusters of successfully developed Gram Panchayats all acrossthe country.
As a think tank of the Ministry of Rural Development under Government of India, the Institute will be in the forefront in the implementation of the Action Research Project of Gram Panchayat Development Plan (GPDP), which was launched here today (2nd October 2018) on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti.
Under the Action Research Project on GPDP (100+ Panchayat Cluster Development Programme for Sustainable Development), NIRDPR has identified 426 Gram Panchayat (GPs) in 100 clusters from 115 aspirational-cum-Mission Antyodaya districts in 19 States. By partnering with Government, Non-Government, CSR, Philanthropists, Trusts and Academic institutes / organizations, NIRDPR intends to bring quality in planning through professionalism and scientific approaches. The institute aims tocreate a ‘schoolofpractices’ and follow the “hub and spoke” model in reaching 50000 Mission Antyodaya GPs over a period of 5 years.
Addressing the launch event, Smt. Maya Singh, Hon'ble Minister for Urban Development and Housing, Government of Madhya Pradesh said, "I am confident that the Action Research project for Cluster development of Gram Panachyat Development Program launched today will ensure overall sustainable development of Rural India focusing on education, health, hygiene, sanitation and skill development. Today's launch is one more step towards realising our Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi's vision of SabkaSaathSabkaVikas for a New India. I congratulate NIRDPR for signing an MOU with the Art of Living and the Foundation for Ecological Security to enable Panchayats in successful planning through this project."
In view of the constitutional mandate, and increased fund allocation from Central and State Finance Commissions, State and Central Sponsored Schemes, it becomes imperative for Gram Panchayats to identify the felt needs and priorities of local people, map its own resource envelope, prepare need-based projects, allocate resources judiciously based on intensive participatory planning at local level.
NIRDPR has also entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with The VyaktiVikas Kendra India Trust for the Action Research Project. The MoU's objectives include inter alia, the participation, preparation and delivery of transformative leadership and capacity building modules; introduction of educational initiatives for qualitative learning; undertaking research and training initiatives; encouraging, promoting and scaling up the innovations and social entrepreneurship; promoting collaborative initiatives for sustainable development; and promoting volunteerism through leveraging information communication technologies.

"This initiative of 100 + cluster development programme is a very good example of public private and civil society partnership. Together we can boost the values and ethics of our youth in particular and society in general, and Panchayat leaders, members and functionaries so that the holistic development of society becomes a reality," said Cmde H G Harsha, CEO, The Art of Living Social Projects Department and Trustee, VyaktiVikas Kendra India Trust of the Art of Living.
The program envisages a scientifically-made professional Gram Panchayat Development Plan to ensure sustainable development in cluster of Gram Panchayats through capacity building, Governance improvement and participatory planning.
Speaking about the initiative, Dr. WR Reddy IAS, Director General, NIRDPR, said, “I have always believed that there is no dearth of resources for the right cause. In this journey towards sustainable rural development through effective GPDP, several philanthropic, CSR, non-government organizations from across the nation have agreed to partner with us in various capacities in implementing the 100+ panchayat Cluster Development action research Project. As we launch this Action Research Project today on a very special day, that of the Birth Anniversary of the Father of Nation, I urge you all to consider this project as your own, to support in making it a success - for together, we can achieve and realise the dream of Mahatma!”
Thecore objectives of the program are:
1.      To develop perspective plan for cluster of Gram Panchayats,
2.      To map existing resources and institutions of Gram Panchayats for strengthening capacityof functionaries through capacity building and handholding to ensure smoothorchestration between people, resource and institution
3.      To integrate fund, function and functionaries for implementation of perspective plan
4.      To develop income generating and village welfare related activities in and around clusterof Gram Panchayats
5.      To infuse technology for planning, monitoring, implementation and sustainabledevelopment, and
6.      Improve the Governance at Panchayat level
Further, the initiative also envisages empaneling 200 Beacon leaders for mentoring Gram Panchayats, orienting Central, State, District and Block level functionaries on GP development, including different institutes for trainings and handholding on GP Development besides Project Monitoring Unit and other support.
Addressing the gathering, Dr. Anjan Kumar Bhanja, Associate Professor Centre for Panchayati Raj, NIRDPR said, "To augment and reinforce the efforts of the States and MoPR, NIRDPR has proposed the Action Research Project to create a “school of practices” through enablement of professional handholding to these GPs and convergence by bringing funds, functions and functionaries together."
The Gram Panchayats also need to identify areas for which a long-term perspective needs to be built in to the Gram Panchayat plans. These include infrastructure, market development, provision of basic service such as drinking water, sanitation, street lighting at village level, plantation, livelihood support to poor sections andwelfare of vulnerable groups.
A consultation workshop was conducted bythe Ministry of Panchayati Raj to identify the challenges in the successful implementation of GPDP. Following this workshop, the institute decided to focus on eight major areas in GPDP seeking attention:
1.       Economic development- Identifying potential local economic activities and developing itto its greatest potential.
2.       Social Development-Enhancing quality of life through elimination of social evils.
3.       Human Development- Capacitating locals for addressing their problem by themselves
4.       Ecological Development-Building harmony in preaching and practice of citizens to ensureecological balance in society
5.       Infrastructural Development-Promoting appropriate ecofriendly infrastructuredevelopment technology
6.       Service Delivery-Addressing bottlenecks in accessibility of rights and entitlements throughinfusion of technology and capacity building of community
7.      Governance-Facilitating orchestration of system through transparency, accountabilityand timeline, and
8.      Localizing SDG- Addressing local needs to achieve local SDG and induce global figures.
This initiative by NIRDPR will facilitate the cluster of Gram Panchayats in developing a perspective plan andimplement the same in a sustainable manner through capacity building and handholding wherever necessary.The program intends to build partnerships with likeminded organizations/ institutes, infuse technology in the process of Gram Panchayat Development, foster inclusion of Panchayat Cluster Development Professional (PCDP) and building a cadre of motivated citizens for Gram Panchayat development.