Chapter 6 - 6 RURAL DEVELOPMENT After studying this...

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After studying this chapter, the learners will understand rural development and the major issues associated with it appreciate how crucial the development of rural areas is for India’s overall development understand the critical role of credit and marketing systems in rural development learn about the importance of diversification of productive activities to sustain livelihoods understand the significance of organic farming in sustainable development. R URAL D EVELOPMENT 6
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100 INDIAN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT 6.1 I NTRODUCTION In Chapter 4, we studied how poverty was a major challenge facing India. We also came to know that the majority of the poor live in rural areas where they do not have access to the basic necessities of life. Agriculture is the major source of livelihood in the rural sector. Mahatma Gandhi once said that the real progress of India did not mean simply the growth and expansion of industrial urban centres but mainly the development of the villages. This idea of village development being at the centre of the overall development of the nation is relevant even today. Why is this so? Why should we attach such significance to rural development when we see around us fast growing cities with large industries and modern information technology hubs? It is because more than two-third of India’s population depends on agriculture that is not productive enough to provide for them; one-third of rural India still lives in abject poverty. That is the reason why we have to see a developed rural India if our nation has to realise real progress. What, then, does rural development imply? 6.2 W HAT IS R URAL D EVELOPMENT ? Rural development is a comprehensive term. It essentially focuses on action for the development of areas that are lagging behind in the overall development of the village economy. Some of the areas which are challenging and need fresh initiatives for development in India include • Development of human resources including – literacy, more specifically, female literacy, education and skill development – health, addressing both sanitation and public health Land reforms • Development of the productive resources of each locality • Infrastructure development like electricity, irrigation, credit, marketing, transport facilities including construction of village roads and feeder roads to nearby highways, facilities for agriculture research and extension, and information dissemination • Special measures for alleviation of poverty and bringing about significant improvement in the living conditions of the weaker sections of the population emphasising access to productive employment opportunities. All this means that farming communities have to be provided with various means that help them increase the productivity of grains, cereals, vegetables and fruits. They also need to be given opportunities to diversify into various non-farm productive activities such as food processing.
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This note was uploaded on 01/19/2012 for the course ECONOMICS 3EN taught by Professor Dwaynesmith during the Fall '09 term at Central European University.

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Chapter 6 - 6 RURAL DEVELOPMENT After studying this...

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