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Gujarat is often in the news, quite rightly so, for being the leading industrialized state in the country. It is true that Gujarat, with 22 percent of the country’s total investment, leads the country in industrialization. Shri. Narendranbhai Modi’s vision and leadership has made it possible for Gujarat to not only attract industries and investments, but has also led to an improved quality of life in rural areas. Today, Gujarat is a model state when it comes to initiatives in rural development

The roots of Gujarat’s holistic approach towards rural development can be traced back to Shri. Narendrabhai Modi’s early years. As pracharak and party-worker, Shri Modi travelled the length and breadth of this country. He stayed with local workers, shared meals with them and in doing so developed a deep understanding of the issues plaguing rural India. Thus, Rural Development schemes in Gujarat deal with subjects as diverse as rural housing and employment, forestation, grievance redressal, sanitation, cleanliness and promotion of peace and brotherhood.

Elections in villages are often acrimonious and the bitterness creates impediments in the development of the village. In order to prevent such hindrances, the Government of Gujarat launched the Samaras Gram Yojana. Under this initiative, villages, which select a Sarpanch by consensus, receive monetary benefits. Almost 3700 villages in the state are now ‘Samaras villages’ and have received Rs.2306.4 lakh from the government.

Houses in rural India often lack toilets leading to uncomfortable situations for the residents, especially women. Empathising with them, the government of Gujarat has launched the Nirmal Gram Yojana. In the past decade over four lakh toilets have been built in Gujarat and today there are over 4000 Nirmal Villages in the state, up from only 4 a decade back.

Understanding the importance of a clean and green environment for the well-rounded development of the state, the government of Gujarat has launched schemes to promote cleanliness in the villages and has undertaken afforestation drives. Under the ‘Swachch Gram Swasth Gram scheme,’ sanitation and hygiene are highlighted and monetary incentives are offered to villages, which undertake cleanliness drives. Under the ‘Panchavati Yojana’ the advantages of tree-plantation are explained to the people and fallow lands are identified for tree plantation drives. These schemes have not only made the villages more scenic but have also improved rural health.

To address the housing problem in rural areas, especially amongst Artisans and landless labourers, the Government of Gujarat has launched the Sardar Patel Awaas Yojana. Under this scheme, the government provides free plots of land for the purpose of house-building to BPL card holders. This scheme has been immensely successful and has been very well received across the state. Gujarat is an innovator when it comes to incorporating technology into Governance. Under the ‘E-Gram Vishwa Gram Yojana’ computers with broadband internet connections have been installed in all Gram Panchayats across the state. These centres provide a number of services to the people such as providing birth/death certificates, proofs of income, caste certificates and residence proofs. Realizing the opportunity E-gram centres provide for facilitating exchange of ideas, Voice over Internet Protocol facility has also been provided to the E-gram centres. This has led to increased communication between village officials and the state leadership.

It was Mahatma Gandhi’s vision that village-level problems be solved locally. Abiding by this philosophy, the Government of Gujarat launched the Gram SWAGAT program. Under this program, aggrieved citizens in villages can lodge their complaints at the E-Gram centres. These complaints are then taken up by the Taluka Mamlatdar and are solved in a time-bound fashion. In addition to these, schemes like the Garib Kalyan Mela , Krishi Mohatsav and Jyotigram Yojana have been instrumental in the overall development of the rural areas. The Garib Kalyan Mela, a ground-breaking program of the Government of Gujarat makes it easier for the people to receive entitlements from the government.. The Government has organized around 1000 Garib Kalyan Melas resulting in 85 lakh people receiving benefits worth 12,500 crores from the state government. Krishi Mahotsav has been a key driver behind Gujarat’s phenomenal Agriculture growth-rate and it functions on similar lines. It includes kit distribution, cattle vaccination programs, and provision of soil health cards. In the recent Krishi Mahotsav, benefits worth 720 crores were provided to 15.17 lakh farmers in Gujarat. Because of the Jyotigram Yojana, which guarantees 24-Hour uninterrupted power to the villages, the quality of life in villages has gone up manifold.

These schemes have resulted in a substantial improvement in the quality of life in villages. The overall industrial development of the state has led to increased employment opportunities in villages. Owing to these factors, migration from rural to urban areas has reduced by 33 percent.

 

References –

‘The Gujarat’ January 2012 Issue, Cover Story – Panchayat Power

Hon. CM Sir’s Speech  at Samaras Sarpanch Abhivadan Samaroh

https://www.narendramodi.in/cm-addresses-gkm-via-video-conference/

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INDIA-EU LEADERS' MEETING
May 08, 2021
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At the invitation of the President of the European Council Mr. Charles Michel, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi participated in the India-EU Leaders’ Meeting today.

The meeting was held in a hybrid format with the participation of leaders of all the 27 EU Member States as well as the President of the European Council and the European Commission. This is the first time that the EU hosted a meeting with India in the EU+27 format. The meeting was the initiative of the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

During the meeting, the leaders expressed their desire to further strengthen the India-EU Strategic Partnership based on a shared commitment to democracy, fundamental freedoms, rule of law and multilateralism. They exchanged views on three key thematic areas: i) foreign policy and security; ii) COVID-19, climate and environment; and iii) trade, connectivity and technology. They discussed forging closer cooperation on combating the COVID-19 pandemic and economic recovery, tackling climate change, and reforming multilateral institutions. India appreciated the prompt assistance provided by the EU and its member states to combat its second COVID wave.

The leaders welcomed the decision to resume negotiations for balanced and comprehensive free trade and investment agreements. Negotiations on both the Trade and Investment Agreements will be pursued on parallel tracks with an intention to achieve early conclusion of both agreements together. This is a major outcome which will enable the two sides to realise the full potential of the economic partnership. India and the EU also announced dedicated dialogues on WTO issues, regulatory cooperation, market access issues and supply chain resilience, demonstrating the desire to deepen and further diversify economic engagement.

India and the EU launched an ambitious and comprehensive ‘Connectivity Partnership’ which is focused on enhancing digital, energy, transport and people-to-people connectivity. The Partnership is based on the shared principles of social, economic, fiscal, climate and environmental sustainability, and respect for international law and commitments. The Partnership will catalyse private and public financing for connectivity projects. It will also foster new synergies for supporting connectivity initiatives in third countries, including in the Indo-Pacific.

India and the EU leaders reiterated their commitment to achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement and agreed to strengthen joint efforts for mitigation, adaptation and resilience to the impacts of climate change, as well as providing means of implementation including finance in the context of COP26. India welcomed the EU’s decision to join CDRI.

India and the EU also agreed to enhance bilateral cooperation on digital and emerging technologies such as 5G, AI, Quantum and High-Performance Computing including through the early operationalization of the Joint Task Force on AI and the Digital Investment Forum.

The leaders noted with satisfaction the growing convergences on regional and global issues, including counterterrorism, cybersecurity and maritime cooperation. The leaders acknowledged the importance of a free, open, inclusive and rules-based Indo-Pacific and agreed to closely engage in the region, including in the context of India’s Indo-Pacific Ocean’s Initiative and the EU’s new strategy on the Indo-Pacific.

Coinciding with the Leaders’ Meeting, an India-EU Business Roundtable was organised to highlight the avenues for cooperation in climate, digital and healthcare. A finance contract of Euro 150 million for the Pune Metro Rail Project was signed by the Ministry of Finance, Government of India, and European Investment Bank.

India-EU Leaders Meeting has set a significant milestone by providing a new direction to the Strategic Partnership and giving a fresh impetus for implementing the ambitious India-EU Roadmap 2025 adopted at the 15th India-EU Summit held in July 2020.