Rural Infrastructure Schemes

Rural Infrastructure Schemes

Empowering Artisans: PM Vishwakarma Scheme  


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : PM Vishwakarma Scheme

Mains level : Read the attached story


Central Idea

  • The Union Cabinet has given its nod to the PM Vishwakarma Scheme, a groundbreaking initiative aimed at uplifting artisans and craftsmen in India.

What is PM Vishwakarma Scheme?

  • Supporting Artisans: It will be a Central Sector Scheme with twofold objective: to nurture the Guru-Shishya Parampara:
  1. Age-old tradition of imparting skills within families, and
  2. To uplift artisans and craftsmen engaged in manual trades.
  • Coverage: This comprehensive scheme encompasses 18 traditional trades in its initial phase, including blacksmiths, carpenters, potters, goldsmiths, tailors, and more, who form the bedrock of rural economies.

Key Highlights of Scheme

  • Financial Provision: The scheme is fortified by a budgetary outlay of ₹13,000 crore, ensuring robust financial support to artisans and craftsmen.
  • Recognition and ID: Artisans and craftspeople will receive recognition through the prestigious PM Vishwakarma certificate and an official ID card, validating their skills and contributions.
  • Credit Support: The scheme provides access to credit support, offering up to ₹1 lakh in the first tranche and ₹2 lakh in the second tranche, with an advantageous interest rate of 5%.
  • Skill Upgradation: To enhance expertise, the scheme includes skill upgradation programs encompassing both basic and advanced training. Participants will receive a stipend of ₹500 per day during training.
  • Modern Tools and Incentives: Beneficiaries will be granted up to ₹15,000 to acquire modern tools, further improving the quality and efficiency of their work.
  • Digital Transactions and Marketing: Embracing modern practices, the scheme encourages digital transactions and marketing support, linking artisans with broader markets.

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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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Rural Infrastructure Schemes

Vibrant Village Programme (VVP)


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Vibrant Village Programme

Mains level : Not Much


Union Home Minister said that borders can be permanently secured only when border villages are populated by patriotic citizens who are concerned for the country, asking the border-guarding forces to use the Vibrant Village Programme (VVP) for the same.

Vibrant Village Programme

  • The program aims to improve infrastructure in villages along India’s border with China.
  • Infrastructure will be improved in states like Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, and Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Under the programme, residential and tourist centres will be constructed.
  • It will also provide for improvement in road connectivity and development of decentralized renewable energy sources.
  • Apart from that, direct access of Doordarshan and education related channels will be provided. Support will be provided for livelihood.

Key focus areas

  • It focuses on livelihood generation, road connectivity, housing, rural infrastructure, renewable energy, television and broadband connections.
  • This objective will be met by strengthening infrastructure across villages located near the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

Need for such scheme

  • The programme is a counter to China’s model villages but the name has been carefully chosen so as to not cause any consternation in the neighbouring country.
  • China has established new villages along the LAC in the past few years, particularly across the Arunachal Pradesh border.
  • While China has been settling new residents in border areas, villages on the Indian side of the frontier have seen unprecedented out-migration.


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Rural Infrastructure Schemes

AKRUTI Program to start in Kudankulam


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : AKRUTI Program

Mains level : NA

The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited is all set to launch AKRUTI programme in the villages surrounding Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP).

AKRUTI Program

  • The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited is assisting unemployed youth living near the Tarapur Atomic Power Station (TAPS) through AKRUTI.
  • AKRUTI stands for Advanced Knowledge and Rural Technology Implementation (AKRUTI) program.
  • Areas of water, food processing, agriculture and waste management in rural areas are covered under the AKRUTI program.
  • The scheme aims at empowering villages through implementing different technologies for usage.
  • This scheme will lead to sustainable growth of the rural sector across the country.

What is the objective?

  • To provide information and mechanism for implementation of BARC technologies in rural areas thereby aiming at overall rural development.


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Rural Infrastructure Schemes

[pib] SVAMITVA Scheme


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : SVAMITVA

Mains level : Land records management in India

Our PM has launched the physical distribution of Property Cards under the SVAMITVA Scheme.

Try this MCQ:

Q.The SVAMITVA Scheme sometimes seen in news is related to:

Urban Employment/ Land records management/ Child Adoption/ None of these


  • SVAMITVA stands for Survey of Villages and Mapping with Improvised Technology in Village Areas.
  • Under the scheme, the latest surveying technology such as drones will be used for measuring the inhabited land in villages and rural areas.
  • The mapping and survey will be conducted in collaboration with the Survey of India, State Revenue Department and State Panchayati Raj Department under the Ministry of Panchayati Raj.
  • The drones will draw the digital map of every property falling in the geographical limit of each Indian village.
  • Property Cards will be prepared and given to the respective owners.

Significance of the scheme

  • The scheme paves the way for using the property as a financial asset by villagers for taking loans and other financial benefits.
  • Also, this is the first time ever that such a large-scale exercise involving the most modern means of technology is being carried out to benefit millions of rural property owners.

Various benefits

  • The scheme will create records of land ownership in villages and these records will further facilitate tax collection, new building plan and issuance of permits.
  • It will enable the government to effectively plan for the infrastructural programs in villages.
  • It would help in reducing the disputes over property.

Back2Basics:  E-Gramswaraj Portal

  • E Gram Swaraj portal is the official portal of central govt for the implementation of Swamitva scheme.
  • By visiting this portal people can check their Panchayat profile easily. It will also contain the details of ongoing development works and the fund allocated for them.
  • Any citizen can create his or her account on the portal and can know about the developmental works of villages.
  • The user of E Gram Swaraj portal can also access all work of the Ministry of Panchayati Raj.
  • This single interface will help speed-up the implementation of projects in rural areas from planning to completion.

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Rural Infrastructure Schemes

Private: Engaging Rural Youth Gainfully


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Nothing much

Mains level : Reaping benefits of India’s demographic dividend by better skilling


  • India has a high proportion of youth in its population, especially that of rural youth.
  • Harnessing their potential to contribute to the country’s growth would require rural-centric policies that combine the development of appropriate technologies and innovations, skilling of youth, and the creation of an ecosystem for the establishment of own enterprises.

Definition of Youth:

  • The United Nations referred youth as those in the age group of 15 to 24 years.
  • While the National Youth Policy of 2003 considered youth as those belonging to the age group of 13–35 years, the NYP 2014 redefined youth as those in the age group of 15–29 years(Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports 2014).
  • In their report on “Youth in India 2017,” the Central Statistics Office(CSO 2017) defined the age group of 15–34 years as youth.

Engaging Rural Youth:

  • By the definition of NYP 2014, with 33.3 crore youth population in the 15–29 years age bracket (that is, 27.5% of the country’s population of 121.1 crore), India is the youngest country in the world.
  • The proportion of rural youth is about 67% to 68% of the country’s total population.
  • The male rural youth remained at about 52% of the total rural youth population.
  • Given this overwhelming percentage of rural youth, any policy to advance the cause of youth needs to be rural centric to harness and realise their potential and contribute to the country’s growth.

Structure of Rural Economy:

  • According to the data provided by the CSO for the base year 2011–12, the rural sector accounted for about 94% of the country’s farm income in 2011–12, that is, income originating from crops, forestry, fishing and livestock-related activities.
  • Further, the rural sector contributed about 36% of the country’s non-farm income.
  • The farm sector has been losing its significance with the sector’s contribution to rural income falling from 72.4% in 1970–71 to 39% in 2011–12.
  • Even though the farm sector continues to be an important sector, within it, there is also a shift from traditional food grain production to horticulture and dairy.
  • Cultivation activity contributed only 35% of the total income of  the agricultural households.
  • It reflects the changing structure of the country’s rural economy and challenges policymakers to maintain the tempo of non-farm activities in rural areas.
  • The shift away from the traditional reliance on farm activities to non-farm activities in the rural areas has been accompanied by the rising literacy rate.
  • Literacy rate in rural India has considerably improved from 44.7% in 1991 to 68.9% in 2011; that is, more than two-thirds of the rural population are literate now.
  • Diversification of economic activities coupled with the rising literacy rate provides ample opportunities for diversifying the talents of youth.

Rural Youth Development:

  • There is a need to create a suitable environment to develop opportunities for employment of the rural youth. It includes three important steps:
  • Development of modern and appropriate technologies and innovations that have the potential for large-scale adoption in rural areas;
  • Skilling of rural youth to make them capable of adopting those modern technologies;
  • Development of an appropriate ecosystem in the rural areas so that the skilled youth are encouraged to establish their own enterprises.

1.Developing modern and appropriate technologies and innovations:

  • Although, agriculture is not seen as a remunerative occupation, through advances in innovation, capacity-building, partnership and participatory approaches, better market linkages and by developing a synergy with other sectors of the economy, many employment and entrepreneurial opportunities can be created.
  • There exists a huge opportunity in rural areas for the growth of off-farm sector activities.

Example: Opportunities are emerging in agri-tech, agri-based e-commerce, information technology (IT)-linked agri-extension, seed technology, biotechnology, farm monitoring, agri/rural fin-tech, and so on, enabling the educated rural youth to explore new ideas, undertake research and establish start-ups.

  • There are also opportunities emerging from the modern practices of farming, other rural activities, use of the drone to detect problems in crop fields/orchards etc.
  • The idea of harvesting solar energy as the third crop on the farmer’s field is also gaining ground.
  • Mobile infrastructures such as biorefineries/phyto-refineries can be developed to provide processing support.
  • There is a need to facilitate the integration of agricultural research, industrial research and biotechnological research.
  • Efforts are also needed in finding innovation/technology-based solutions to some of the basic problems relating to agriculture:
  • Development of smart agricultural machinery;
  • Developing apparatus such as censors to encourage precision agriculture to apply need-based fertiliser and micro-nutrients; and
  •  Finding solutions to the overuse of water.

2.Skilling of rural youth:

  • Human capital is vital for fostering the growth of the economy and more so of the rural economy.
  • The Need to focus on skill development follows directly from the need for improving employment opportunities.
  • National Skill Development Policy estimates that only 5.4% of the workforce in India has undergone formal training.
  • The percentage of rural youth (that is, 15–29 years age group) who did not receive vocational training of any sort stood at 90.3% in 2011–12 and this went up to 93.7% in 2017–18.
  • Although formal vocational training can be considered as a sure gateway to the job market, the employability of the trained ones remains poor because of the low quality of vocational training imparted.
  • The rural youth lack “soft skills,” such as the ability to experiment with new ideas, spot business opportunities, sales and marketing skill etc.
  • The thrust on the skill development of rural youth should be capability-based, and the focus should go beyond agricultural occupations and traditional courses.

Connecting the dots:

  • It is important to understand how relevant the training is to the needs, identify the gaps and make concerted efforts to fill the identified gaps.
  • The quality of training at industrial training institutes needs to be strengthened by redesigning the curriculum and upgrading them through appropriate budgetary allocations under the National Skill Development Fund.
  • It is equally important to strengthen the institute–industry interface.
  • Rural youth should be trained to acquire different soft skills including basic English language skills.
  • Skill development initiatives need to be compatible with programmes and policies directed towards making a “Digital India.”

3.Developing appropriate ecosystem for establishing rural enterprises:

  • Skills acquired need to be linked to their engagement in some livelihood option. This requires a responsive entrepreneurial ecosystem that identifies their talent and absorbs them in an economic activity.
  • Agriculture graduates from the Indian Council of Agricultural Research system or state agricultural universities may be engaged in agri-related rural entrepreneurships.
  • Establishing fellowship programmes in different fields of agriculture may bring back youth with a farming background to the field and related agribusinesses, and in agriculture-related research and development.
  • The possibility to make the Krishi Vigyan Kendras a hub of all the technology solutions developed by different missions, departments of various institutions like the ICAR, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and private sector players can be explored.
  • The Citizen Service Centres(CSCs) may be designed to play the role of purveyors of taking the latest advances in production and post-harvest systems to the field. Youth can be trained on various IT platforms to run these CSCs.
  • An important aspect for enterprise creation is funding support, particularly equity funding, which is critical to ensure the success of any enterprise.
  • Provision can be made to encourage deployment of the corporate social responsibility (CSR) funds as seed funds for these ventures.


  • Engaging rural youth gainfully should become an integral part of growth stimulating policies
  • Productively engaging the rural youth would help reduce the asymmetries in several socio-economic indicators between rural and urban areas, which have come to characterise the recent growth experience of the Indian economy. 
  • Thus, the efforts towards bridging the rural–urban divide should revolve around the idea of engaging the rural youth in productive activities.

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Has 2 departments under it – Dept. of Rural Development and Dept. of Land Resources. National level schemes under them – Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) for rural roads development, Swarnajayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY) rural emploment and for rural housing, Indira Awaas Yojana (IAY) & Integrated Watershed Management Programme (IWMP).

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