Rural Infrastructure Schemes

Vibrant Villages Programme Gets An Upgrade


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Vibrant Villages Programme

Mains level: Vibrant Villages Programme and security issues along LAC


Central Idea

  • The Indian government has recently announced a significant allocation of funds to improve infrastructure and living conditions in villages along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China. Under a “Vibrant Villages” programme, the government will spend Rs 4,800 crore for infrastructure development and to provide livelihood opportunities in the areas bordering China.

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What is Vibrant Villages Programme?

  • Improve infrastructure in villages along India’s border with China: The Vibrant Villages program is a government initiative aimed at improving infrastructure and creating job opportunities in villages situated along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China.
  • Overview: The program involves a significant allocation of funds, i.e., Rs 4,800 crore, to upgrade 633 villages situated in five states, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, and the Union Territory of Ladakh. Under the programme, residential and tourist centres will be constructed.
  • Objectives of the program: The program aims to enhance the living conditions of the people residing in the border areas and improve the security situation along the LAC with China.
  • Expected Benefits: The Vibrant Villages program aims to provide better facilities like schools, 24×7 electricity, and more 4G telecommunication towers in the border areas to match what is available in settlements across the LAC.
  • Strategy to enhance security: The Vibrant Villages program is part of the broader Indian government strategy to enhance security along the border with China. The investment in developing infrastructure and creating job opportunities is a crucial step towards improving the living conditions of the people in the border areas and enhancing the security situation along the LAC with China.
  • Program is modelled after Chinese actions on LAC: The program is modelled after the Chinese military and civilian authorities’ actions on their side of the LAC to build permanent population settlements along the border.


What is the upgraded plan?

  • Over a third of allocation towards road infrastructure in border areas: The plan is to upgrade 633 villages in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh and the Union Territory of Ladakh. Over a third of the allocation will go towards road building in the border areas. A new 4.1 km all-weather tunnel will connect Himachal Pradesh to Ladakh making troops movement easier.
  • Sports and tourism for livelihood opportunities: Tourism and sporting activities are being planned in these areas to provide livelihood opportunities for local people.
  • New battalions of ITBP to deploy on border: Further, the government will spend Rs 1,800 crore to raise seven new battalions of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) that means 9,000 personnel chiefly deployed along India’s borders with China alongside the Army.

What are the concerns for India?

  • National Security: India has long been concerned about China’s territorial claims and military build-up in the region. The development of Chinese villages along the LAC is viewed by India as a part of China’s broader strategy to strengthen its position in the region, which could pose a threat to India’s national security.
  • Military and Strategic Concerns: India is concerned that the villages built by China along the LAC have a dual purpose, i.e., they serve as civilian settlements as well as military outposts. These villages, therefore, give China an edge in terms of strategic advantage and troop deployment in the region.
  • Incursions and Border Disputes: China has been carrying out frequent incursions into Indian territory in the region, leading to increased tensions between the two countries. The development of Chinese villages along the LAC raises concerns that these could be used as bases for future incursions into Indian territory.
  • Environmental and Ecological Concerns: India has expressed concerns over the environmental impact of China’s development of villages along the LAC, as these areas are ecologically sensitive and prone to landslides, flash floods, and earthquakes. The construction of infrastructure such as roads, tunnels, and buildings can have a severe impact on the environment and ecosystem of the region.

What are the challenges for developing villages along the LAC?

  • Harsh Terrains: The areas along the LAC are characterized by high-altitude terrain, rugged mountains, and harsh weather conditions. These factors pose significant challenges to the construction of infrastructure and provision of services in these regions.
  • Security Concerns: The LAC border region has been the site of numerous border disputes and conflicts between India and China. Developing villages in this region requires addressing security concerns to ensure the safety of local people and government infrastructure.
  • Environmental Impact: The development of infrastructure and facilities in the border regions could have an adverse impact on the environment, including the degradation of natural habitats and the loss of biodiversity. Mitigating these impacts is necessary for sustainable development in these regions.
  • Cooperation from Local Communities: The success of the Vibrant Villages program depends on the cooperation of local communities in the border regions. Building trust and collaboration with these communities is crucial to the program’s success.


  • China’s incursion in Arunachal Pradesh highlights the present danger that India faces along the LAC with China. India can no longer afford to waste time as the PLA determines when and where to inflict harm on the country. Developing infrastructure and building vibrant villages is an essential step towards enhancing security and better living conditions in the border areas. Steps taken so far in the right direction however, India requires a more comprehensive defence strategy with an all-of-government approach to ensure its territorial integrity.

Mains question

Q. What is Vibrant Villages Programme? Discuss the challenges for developing villages along the LAC?

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