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Energising Rural Development through 'Panchayats'   
Energising Rural Development through 'Panchayats'
in collaboration with 
Hard Bound Book     :   Pages : 488
2005  Edition         :   ISBN - 81-7188-417-2
Price : Rs. 795.00 ; US $49.95;
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“Do we have a holistic view of rural development in which all the activities currently being undertaken are integrated ? Do we share a vision for a prosperous rural India, a vision which sees agriculture and allied activities as the growth engine for rural development complemented by promotion of non-farm activities for value addition and sustainable in a healthy competitive environment ? Are our strategies effective in increasing the productive potential of our agriculture, developing viable non-farm occupations and provision of basic human needs in a holistic manner ?” This quote is from a speech delivered by Dr. Manmohan Singh, the Indian Prime Minister. And that same speech said, “We need to learn from the Chinese model of rural business hubs that add value to agricultural produce within the rural areas.” And finally, “Together we have an opportunity to make a radical departure from current ways of doing things. Incrementalism will not take us very far as sometimes the fault may be in the very design of the programmes imposed from above.”

The ten papers in this volume don’t pretend to have all the answers. But collectively, one forms a very good idea of what the rural development issues are and what the PRIs can do to address rural development concerns. In the process, a menu of options also emerges. If some of these ideas get transformed into pilot projects, that can thereafter be successfully replicated, the objectives of the volume will have been met.

excerpts from Bibek Debroy’s
introduction to this volume   


Bibek Debroy is Director, Rajiv Gandhi Institute for Contemporary Studies (RGICS), Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, New Delhi. He is a professional economist and was educated in Presidency College (Calcutta), Delhi School of Economics and Trinity College (Cambridge). He has worked at Presidency College (Calcutta), Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics (Pune), Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (Delhi), National Council of Applied Economic Research (Delhi) and as Consultant, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Government of India. He was also the Director for a project known as LARGE, set up by the Ministry of Finance and UNDP to examine legal reforms. He is the author and editor of several books, papers and popular articles and is also Consulting Editor with Financial Express. Bibek Debroy’s special interests are international trade (in particular the WTO), law reform and the political economy of liberalisation in India. He has been listed in many bibliographies and has been a member of several government committees.

P.D. Kaushik is a Fellow at the RGICS. He is an engineer, MBA and Ph.D. During his Ph.D., he was awarded Jawahar Lal Nehru Fellowship. He has wide experience of industry and academics. He was also associated with consultancy work for the FAO, Commonwealth Secretariat and World Bank. He is a visiting faculty at leading business schools in Delhi. He has publications on policy issues emerging from electronic commerce and WTO. He has co-authored two books on the WTO

The Rajiv Gandhi Institute for Contemporary Studies (RGICS):

The Rajiv Gandhi Institute for Contemporary Studies (RGICS), New Delhi is part of the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation and functions as a think tank. The target audience of the RGICS includes parliamentarians, legislators and representatives of political parties, public policy makers and their advisers, the intelligentsia, the media and various interest groups. To interface with these groups, RGICS uses different modes of communication like books, monographs, working papers, symposia, discussions, talks and lectures. The RGICS research work is focused on international economic relations, law reforms, IT and economic reforms in India.


Contributors to this Volume
1. Rural Development and Panchayats: An Introduction
2. Agriculture and Rural Development: Towards a Policy Framework
Diversification and Structural Change
The Road Map
Perverse Economics
Land and Water Development Strategies
Road Map: Some Details
Financial Reform and Issues
Hunger and Poverty
Land Reform
Small Towns and Rural Linkages
3. How well are the Villages Equipped: Creating a Future Growth Potential Index at the State Level
Choice of Variables
Proximity to Administrative Centres
Access to Rest of the Economy
Physical and Social Infrastructure
Coverage of Government Support Programmes
Presence of Private Initiatives
Interpretation of the Results
4. More Rural Roads = Fewer Villages
The Facts
The Future
Road Connectivity
Conclusion: The Windfalls and Concerns
5. Panchayati Raj Movement in India: Retrospective and Present Status
Panchayati Raj: Road to the 73rd Constitutional Amendment
73rd Amendment - Establishment of Panchayati Raj in India
Panchayati Raj - Constitutional and Legal Framework
Institutions - Changing Indian Polity
Emergence of Women's Leadership
Political Space to Marginalised Sections
Impediments for Panchayati Raj: Conformity and Operational Issues
Panchayati Raj and Rural Development
Conduct of Panchayat Elections
Devolution of Financial Powers to PRIs
Devolution of Functions and Functionaries
Constitution of District Planning Committees (DPCs)
Status of Gram Sabha
Panchayats (Extension to the Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996
Checks and Balances over PRIs and Accountability
Centrally Sponsored Schemes and Panchayati Raj Institutions
Parallel Organisations and PRIs
6. Panchayati Raj: Women's Empowerment
Panchayati Raj
Status of Women in Indian Polity
Current Status
Social and Economic Characteristics of Women Representatives
Pakasma Panchayat, Rohatak District Literacy Level
Income and Occupation
Functioning of Panchayats and Women Representatives
Attendance at the Panchayat Meetings
Panchayati Raj: Gender Exclusion
Social Constraints
Institutional Constraints
Key Issues: Women Empowerment through PRIs
Women in Panchayats: Capacity Building and Systemic Improvements
Political Participation
Organizing Self-Help Groups
7. The Working of Agricultural Cooperatives in India: Is there any Lesson to Learn from the Chinese Experience?
Evolution of Laws related to Cooperatives in India
The Weakness of Cooperatives in India
The Rural Scenario
Township and Village Enterprises (TVEs) in China
Evolution of TVEs in China
Legal Regulation on the Governance of TVEs
TVEs: The Fact Sheet
The Role of Community Government
Recent Policies
8. Panchayati Raj - Civil Society and ICT Initiatives

Voluntary Sector
Voluntary Sector: Indian Scenario
Voluntary Sector: Land, Water and Livelihood

Integrated Watershed Development: Rajiv Gandhi Watershed Management Mission, Madhya Pradesh
Involvement of Women in Agriculture: TANWA, Tamil Nadu
Voluntary Sector: Human Development and Social Services
Education- Lok Jumbish Project
Health- Family Planning Association of India
Voluntary Sector: Linking People to Markets
Voluntary Sector and Panchayats
Panchayats and Voluntary Sector: Successful Interventions
PRIA: Capacity Building and Advocacy
Civil Society: Focus Areas in Panchayati Raj
Voluntary Sector: Issues and Concerns
Monitoring and Evaluation of Schemes Implemented through Voluntary Sector
Informational Imbalances
Illustrations of Informational Inadequacies
Digital Divide and Rural Needs
Rural Society
ICT Initiatives in Rural India
Government Sponsored ICT Initiatives
ICT Initiatives of Civil Society
ICT Initiatives Promoted by Industry
Challenges in Scaling-up
Impact of IT Initiatives on Developmental Objectives
Employment Generation

9. Attracting Private Capital in Pursuit of Social Goals: A "Social Investing" Approach to Indian Micro Credit
What is Social Investing
The Public Goods Supply Chain
The Smart Subsidy as Catalyst
The Development of the Micro-finance Sector in Asia
Commercial Viability of the Micro-finance Sector in Asia
The Indian Micro-finance Sector
Lok Capital: A Model for Creating Large Scale, Commercially    Viable MFIs in India
10. Rural Development: Decentralisation and Rural Markets
Decentralisation: Theory and Practice
Rural India: An Introspection
Central Government Programmes
for Rural Development
Barriers to Rural Development
Rural Development: Systemic Essentials
Rural Business Hub: An Alternative Plan for Rural Prosperity
11. Addressing Food Security Concerns in India: An Analysis of Various Policy Options
Right to Food
The PDS System
Food Security: Improving or Worsening?
The Tenth Plan Document
The Committee on Long Term Grain Policy
Recent Initiatives
Effectiveness of Food Stamp Programme: A Cross-Country Experience
Feasibility of Food Stamps in India: A Review of Issues
Alternate Options
Food Vouchers
Mid-day Meal Schemes
Grain Bank Schemes
Annex 1: 10th Plan Document on Targeted Public Distribution System
Annex 2: 10th Plan Document on Food Stamp Programme
Annex 3: Committee on Long Term Grain Policy's Recommendations
Annex 4: Supreme Court Verdicts on Right to Food
Annex 5: Status of Mid-day Meals in Different Parts of India on 12 July 2004 
Annex 6: Characteristics and Impacts of Food Stamp Programmes in Selected 
           Countries - Jamaica, Sri Lanka, Honduras, Mexico, the United States
              and Romania
Annexure: Suggested Activity Mapping For Panchayati Raj Institutions (As
       Approved by the Cabinet Sub-Committee)
Glossary, Acronyms and Abbreviations
Consolidated Bibliography

Contributors to this Volume

Bibek Debroy Director, Rajiv Gandhi Institute for Contemporary Studies, New Delhi.
Y.K. Alagh Chancellor, Nagaland University and Vice Chairman, Sardar Patel Institute of Economic and Social Research, Ahmedabad.
Debashis Chakraborty Research Associate, Rajiv Gandhi Institute for Contemporary Studies, New Delhi.
Arup Guha Research Student, Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi.
Laveesh Bhandari Chief Economist, Indicus Analytics, New Delhi.
P.D. Kaushik Fellow, Rajiv Gandhi Institute for Contemporary Studies, New Delhi.
Mohammed Saqib Fellow, Rajiv Gandhi Institute for Contemporary Studies, New Delhi.
Rajiv Lall Founder and Chairman, Lok Capital, Mumbai.
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