The article evaluates the scope of rural development in India. It demonstrates that the Indian states weaknesses in cross-functional policy design and in coordination across departments and functions is the obvious cause of lack of rural development, and urges to recognize the potential of leverage points for change as the need of the hour. The states failures imply that the only option is the movements away from imposed planning; all programmes that necessarily involve coordinated actions across departments and identification of beneficiaries and targeting may actually be given up, since the probability of failure is very large. Next in importance for rural development is connectivity, followed by primary and secondary education and the provision of core public services. BOT, annuity models, a variety of public-private partnerships are all important, but successful cases need documentation, wide publicity and promotion. Similarly, if the functioning of the education department can improve, then a whole lot of rural development can happen. The steep budget increases for primary and secondary schools is very much in the right direction but need to be followed by newer rules for teachers and school principals, better empowerment, local sourcing of teachers, and bringing back systems of school monitoring and inspection. Additionally, involved analysis, data and the experience of many would confirm that one of the important determinants of well being in rural areas is the quality of their connectivity with central places. However, the state transport undertakings legal monopoly over bus services stands in the way of private sector participation and hence, better connectivity.
Rural Infrastructure Needs A Fillip
Author : Sebastian Morris