Focus: GS-II: Social Justice and Governance (Welfare Schemes, Government Policies and Interventions)
Why in News?
Aibawk cluster in the Aizwal district of Mizoram has become the first cluster to be completed under the Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission (SPMRM).
The need for the Rurban Mission
- According to the 2011 Census, India has more than 6 lakh villages while there are around 7,000 towns and urban centres. Out of a total population the rural population accounts for 69% and urban population 31%.
- About 70% of the population lives in rural areas and about 50% of the overall labour force is still dependent on agriculture that is not productive enough.
- The GDP (Gross Domestic Product) contribution of agriculture to the nation is only about 14% while for industries and services sector (employers of people living in urban areas), it is 26% and 60% respectively.
- Large parts of rural areas in the country are not stand-alone settlements but part of a cluster of settlements, which are relatively proximate to each other. These clusters typically illustrate potential for growth, have economic drivers and derive locational and competitive advantages.
- These clusters, once developed, can then be classified as ‘Rurban’. Hence taking cognizance of this, the Government of India, has launched the SPMRM, aimed at developing such rural areas by provisioning of economic, social and physical infrastructure facilities.
Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Rurban Mission (SPMRM)
- Undertaken by the Union Ministry of Rural Development, the Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Rurban Mission (SPMRM) focuses on cluster-based integrated development through Spatial Planning.
- SPMRM is a scheme launched by the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) in 2016
- The Mission leads to convergence of the schemes of Union Government and the State Governments which leads to overall development of the region in a planned and organized manner.
- The State Government identifies the clusters in accordance with the Framework for Implementation prepared by the MoRD.
- SPMRM is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS).
- The mission aims at stimulating local economic development and create well planned Rurban Regions.
- The mission aims to develop 300 Rurban clusters. The Niti Aayog has proposed that these clusters are to be extended to 1000 in 3 years.
- The Mission plans to develop Rurban clusters contiguously with the Gram Panchayats with a population of 25,000 to 50,000 in plains and 5,000 to 15,000 in desert and hilly areas.
- The Mission provides good employment opportunities, basic as well as urban facilities to rural India such as waste management, smart classrooms, piped water supply, Roads, Agro processing and value addition to primary produce etc., and therefore is critical for holistic development.
- A predecessor to SPMRM was the Provision of Urban Amenities to Rural Areas (PURA), announced in 2003.
- There are 2 categories of clusters: Non-Tribal and Tribal.
- Rurban clusters are identified across the country’s rural areas showing increasing signs of urbanization – i.e., increase in population density, high levels of non-farm employment, presence of growing economic activities and other socioeconomic parameters.
- For the purposes of SPMRM, Rurban areas refer to a cluster of 15-20 villages having about 30 to 40 lakh population. The clusters will be geographically contiguous Gram Panchayats with a population of about 25000 to 50000 in plain and coastal areas and a population of 5000 to 15000 in desert, hilly or tribal areas.