With a focus to transform rural India economically, socially and physically sustainable spaces, the Ministry of Rural Development will launch the Rurban Mission from Kerala on February 28, 2016. In the first year, 100 Rurban growth clusters will be developed. Each cluster will comprise on 15-20 villages having about 30 to 40 lakh population.
Under the Mission, the ministry aims to create 300 such clusters over the next 3 years, across the country. The funding for Rurban clusters will be through various schemes of the Government converged into the cluster. To ensure an optimum level of development, fourteen components have been suggested as desirable for the cluster, which would include skill development training linked to economic activities, the Minister for Rural Development, Chaudhary Birender Singh said.
The State governments would identify the clusters in accordance with the Framework for Implementation prepared by the Ministry. The clusters will be geographically contiguous Gram Panchayats with a population of about 25,000 to 50,000 in plain and coastal areas and a population of 5000 to 15,000 in desert, hilly or tribal areas. As far as practicable, clusters of village would follow administrative convergence units of Gram Panchayats.
For the selection of clusters, the Ministry will adopt a process of cluster selection which involves an objective analysis at the District, Sub District and Village level, of the demography, economy, tourism and pilgrimage significance and transportation corridor impact. While the Ministry, following this analysis, would provide a suggestive list of sub districts to the State, the State Governments would then select the clusters following a set of indicated principles included in the Framework for Implementation.
Advocating need for change in economic scenario in rural India, the minister said that economic activities will help check migration from villages in search of livelihood, uprooting family fabric. Annual plan for each panchayat will be drafted and village panchayats will be given financial and administrative powers.