The government is gearing up to assess the efficacy of one its pet programmes, the Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY) after initial enthusiasm among MPs has turned to apathy with less than 100 MPs adopting a second village under the programme.
The SAGY was launched in October 2014, by Prime Minister Modi who himself first adopted village Jayapur and later the village Nagepur in his Lok Sabha constituency of Varanasi. Under the scheme MPs were to be responsible for developing the socio-economic and physical infrastructure of one Adarsh Gram, or model village, by 2016, two more by 2019, and one in each of the following five years.
A village development plan, crowd sourced among local population is to be prepared and implemented and handed to the State governments for implementation. A common complaint has been the fact that no separate funds have been made available for programmes undertaken under the SAGY. “In the last two years, however, 21 schemes have been amended so that priority can be accorded to programmes under SAGY,” said a senior source in the PMO that will be undertaking the assessment.
“A two-page analysis to assess the present status of villages compared with two years ago will be launched in coming August, followed by a detailed report in October,” added the source. An “impact indicator” scale with 35 indicators has been prepared for the purpose.
“The analysis report will show how MPs' involvement and visits have speeded up development in their villages. For other MPs, it could be a reality check as well as encouragement to take the programme more seriously. In the first phase of the programme, 701 of the 795 MPs adopted a gram panchayat each. In the second phase, which started in April, only 88 MPs have made their selection so far,” he added.
“Government departments such as health and human resource development have not been able to provide money for specific schemes. MPs have been asked to use money allocated to 21schemes including Indira Awaas Yojana for rural housing, Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana and Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao. The two primary areas in which villages are still lagging behind are school infrastructure and drinking water facilities,” said the source.
Both these are part of 35 impact indicators that will be used to measure the progress of the scheme. Other parameters include basic amenities, e-governance, women empowerment, livelihood, social security and financial inclusion.