PRP STRATEGY

A strong, vibrant local government is a means of political decentralization. There are several advantages of the Decentralization. Decision-making being closer to the people, decentralization ensures decision-makers more effective accountability to the governed. This also ensures more realistic programming, for local problems are apt to receive urgent attention. Local vigilance also increases, thereby reducing the room for corruption. This certainly goes a long way towards maximising returns on every rupee spent on development. These are some of the tangible advantages of decentralization. On 15 August 1947, India got an opportunity of redeeming the pledges made to the people during the long-drawn freedom movement. Among the first tasks that India had to assume was the formulation and execution of the first five year plan in the fifties.

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Below the BDO were appointed the workers called Village Level Workers (VLW) who were responsible to keep in touch with 10-12 villages. So, a nationwide structure was started to be created. Thousands of BDOs and VLW’s were trained for the job of carrying out array of government programmes and make it possible to reach the government to villages. Top authority was “Community Development Organization” and a Community Development Research Center was created with best academic brains of the country at that time. This programme was not successful. It’s failure was directly attributed to inadequacy of avenues of popular participation in local level programmes of rural development. This was the finding of the team for the study of community projects and national extension service under the chairmanship of Balwant Rai Mehta, reporting in 1959. Post Independence, the first major development programme launched in India was Community Development Programme in 1952. Core philosophy was overall development of rural areas and people’s participation, after Committees report :

  • Balwant Rai Mehta Committee Report
  • Launching of Panchayati Raj in India
  • Santhanam Committee:1963
  • Ashok Mehta Committee:1977
  • G V K Rao Committee:1985
  • L M Singhvi Committee:1986

The Community Development Programme was formulated to provide an administrative framework through which the government might reach to the district, tehsil / taluka and village level. All the districts of the country were divided into “Development Blocks” and a “Block Development Officer (BDO)” was made in charge of each block. Below the BDO were appointed the workers called Village Level Workers (VLW) who were responsible to keep in touch with 10-12 villages. So, a nationwide structure was started to be created. Thousands of BDOs and VLW’s were trained for the job of carrying out array of government programmes and make it possible to reach the government to villages. Top authority was “Community Development Organization” and a Community Development Research Center was created with best academic brains of the country at that time.