Pragati- July 2021

Cover Story: IT Backbone of DDU-GKY
Modelling a systemic approach to handling the COVID Pandemic: Learnings for the future
CDC conducts 5-day ToT on Alternative Rural Livelihoods through Digital Media Portals
Dr. Sabina Alkire speaks on ‘multidimensional poverty in India’ – inaugural webinar of the Evidence-based policy and action roundtable: consultations and dialogues for holistic rural development
CESD, NIRDPR organises training programme to create Awareness on drug abuse prevention
Water Policy Since Independence-Implications for Rural India
Online workshop-cum-ToT on Gender Responsive Governance – Tools and Techniques
Glimpses of Rural and Urban India on Select Indicators: Evidence from NFHS-5
Online Workshop on NRLM-FNHW Training Study
Webinar on NRLM-FNHW Best Practices
Online Training Programme on Strengthening Rural Community Governance
Training on Institutional Strengthening of Panchayati Raj Institutions
CMPRP organises a Virtual Training programme on Marketing Skills for SHG members of Haryana
Rejuvenating Civil Society Organisations for People’s Action to Rural Development
OLM aids Jagi Padiami’s journey from farmer to entrepreneur

SIRD Activities
CDP&A, TSIRD organises Orientation Training Programme to Panchayat Secretaries
Van Mahotsav Week: SIRD, HP undertakes Plantation Drive
Vocal for Local: SIRD, HP organises expo of SHG products

Cover story

IT Backbone of DDU-GKY

The more we give importance to skill development, the more competent will be our youth.

-Shri. Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India


On September 25th , 2014, the Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India launched the ‘Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushal Yojana’ (DDU-GKY), a training & placement programme intended for the rural poor youth. Objectives of this scheme embrace the diversification of the incomes of rural poor households in order to enhance their standard of living, and also to cater to the occupational aspirations of the young rural population.

         It occupies a unique position amongst other skill training programmes due to its focus on the rural poor youth in the age group of 15-35 years, its emphasis on sustainable employment through the prominence and incentives given to post-placement tracking, retention and career progression. Its salient features include implementation through Public-Private Partnership (PPP) mode, adoption of Gram Panchayat (GP) saturation approach, social inclusion (50 per cent SC, ST and 33 per cent women), major focus on regions like Jammu & Kashmir (HIMAYAT), 27 Left Wing Extremist Districts (ROSHNI) and the North-Eastern States,  standards-led delivery Pioneering Standard Operating Procedures to provide essential quality assurance framework for training infrastructure and service delivery, 70 per cent mandatory placement, various incentives to PIAs, dedicated project manpower, 3rd party assessment and certification, migration support centres (MSCs), on-job training, alumni meetings, CXO meets, etc.

         DDU-GKY is present in 28 States and 2 UTs having a target of 26.79 lakh to achieve by the financial year 2023. 25.01 lakh have been already sanctioned by States to various training partners across the nation. More than 11.18 lakh rural youth have already been trained and 6.55 lakh were provided with placement in different sectors after completion of training, 8.47 lakh assessed till July 2021. (Data taken from Kausha Pragati as of 16th July 2021) *

DDU-GKY IT Ecosystem

Skilful use of technology, when combined with an unwavering commitment to inclusive implementation and monitoring effectiveness of government schemes, can make a substantial difference on the ground. A centralised IT ecosystem can be proved instrumental in this way to facilitate an efficient, effective & time-bound implementation and monitoring of the projects across India. It helps bring accountability and transparency at every stage of the project implementation and also on the part of each stakeholder. It plays a crucial role in alleviating the distress of rural poor households in remote areas across the country. It’s particularly pronounced for the vulnerable sections of society, including women, persons with disability, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes by extending their awareness and easy access for the targeted youth to the benefits of the scheme under the welfare scheme/programme.

In this manner, DDU-GKY has developed a powerful IT ecosystem over the period of time for addressing the needs of each stakeholder and assures adherence to required DDU-GKY SOP guidelines. DDU-GKY IT ecosystem includes various online portals, websites and mobile applications for ensuring the inclusion of the poorest of poor among the targeted group, real-time implementation and monitoring of the project. In order to extend the coverage of scheme to remote areas and the vulnerable section of targeted youth, DDU-GKY IT ecosystem provides Kaushal Panjee, an online platform which helps youth from far-flung areas to find out nearest training centres (TC) and connect to TCs offering training in the sector/trade of their interest. Also, it helps training partners to mobilise interested candidates to their TCs. Gram Rojgar Sevak or the mobiliser can reach out to the registered candidates and guide them to further enrol in the scheme. In this way, it acts as a bridge between the needy youth and the training partners.

Centralised IT ecosystem of DDU-GKY augments transparency and awareness of general public about the target allocation, achievement under the scheme in a particular financial year along with several other required parameters, and DDU-GKY has its own Dashboard ( for this purpose. DDU-GKY IT ecosystem also guides users at each stage of project implementation process; right from the PRN registration of training partners up to the placement and retention of candidates.

IT ecosystem of DDU-GKY consists of e-SOP Learning portal, PRN Application, Project Application System, Kaushal Panjee, Kaushal Pragati, Kaushal Bharat and mobile-based applications for candidate registration, monitoring processes, including online inspections and Placement verifications. A recent innovation in this fray is Kaushal Aapti which caters the rural youth’s interests by matching their aspirations and skills with their employment opportunities. DDU-GKY IT ecosystem also embraces a dynamic Help Desk system to provide good user experience and timely resolution of issues faced by users. It also ensures integration among various platforms available for different processes involved. IT ecosystem of DDU-GKY provides integrity and security of data. Brief introduction of DDU-GKY IT ecosystem given below will help the reader to understand how it makes the life of a stakeholder easy and transparent, and how it works and supports users at every stage in the process of project implementation and monitoring.

e-SOP Learning Portal

It is an e-learning portal designed and developed by NIRDPR along with developing partner CDAC, which ensures the compliance of MoRD’s ‘Notification No. 63/2015: Learning, Assessment and Certification on DDU-GKY’ to facilitate easy access and self-learning of DDU-GKY SOP.

A web-based learning management systemCompatible with mobile, tablet, laptop & desktop in any operating systemPortal has multiple stakeholders with distinct privilegesStructured course materials with self-assessment modules (Demo Test)Built-in certification and robust question bankEnables officials to undergo SOP certification by scheduling the slots for final assessmentOffers mock tests to prepare for final assessmentHelps in extending the knowledge of stakeholder about DDU-GKY standard requirementsFurther ensures adherence to standard requirements during project implementation.  

PRN & Project Application System

DDU-GKY envisages online application, implementation and monitoring of DDU-GKY projects across the nation. To apply for DDU-GKY projects, applicants concerned are required to apply online for Permanent Registration Number (PRN) & Project Application via and, respectively.

Facilitate online application for PIA to obtain PRNEnables PIA to file project application onlineProvides all required information, guidance and step-by-step support for applicationFacilitate 24×7 online applications Offers necessary information regarding programme, partners, tenders, resources and required guidelines and notifications of Ministry. Makes process easy and user-friendly, also ensures adherence tf guidelines and normsPromotes paperless system by capacitating user to upload all required documents in digital format.

Kaushal Panjee

It’s a citizen-centric online application to aid mobilisation of candidates under DDU-GKY. It helps to extend the benefits of the scheme to the youth hailing from remote areas across the country. It facilitates registration of candidates by self, PIA, RSETI, SRLM, authorised mobilisers and provides employer registration and job postings. It is one of the best platforms to facilitate candidate registration.

Available on web & mobile app Multi-lingualIntegrated with SECC data and other portals like Kaushal Pragati, Kaushal Bharat, Kaushal Aapti, etc.Non-SECC candidates can also be verified and registerBest Employer and Best Referrer candidate rankingsCommon platform for all the stakeholdersUser manual/FAQs for stakeholdersHelpdesk SupportSupports low bandwidth as well as offline registrationsAct as a bridge between DDU-GKY aspirants and training partners- Candidate can find nearest TC and PIA can reach out to the interested candidates for mobilisation. Provides database of registered candidates Facilitates planning of job melas Helps avoiding duplicity by generating a unique Kaushal Panjee ID to each registered candidateAssists in extending coverage of scheme to remote areas of the country.

Kaushal Bharat (KB)

Kaushal Bharat is designed and developed by the DDU-GKY team of NIRDPR, MoRD (GOI) for efficient and effective implementation of DDU-GKY programme and monitoring the projects’ performance. It acts as a single data repository for the whole programme. It meets operational requirements of all key stakeholders concerned.

It is an end-to-end workflow-based IT platform Common platform for all the projects and stakeholders of DDU-GKYFollows process creator and approver concept (Maker and Checker) Dynamic Reporting & Monitoring Role-based access to the usersDedicated Helpdesk Team and Ticket System Integrated with all other IT platforms used in DDU-GKYSingle data repository for the programmeEasy to use Fully compliant with SOPExtends On Tap and subject matter expert supportEnsures data accuracy & securityCommitted for the alignment with policy changes Follows a certain process flow and sequence of steps that help to avoid missing out or duplicity of required data.

Kaushal Pragati

It is an online MIS system to facilitate management of training and placement activities. It helps in generating user-defined reports for effective decision-making and resource utilisation.

Common reporting platform for all DDU-GKY projects & stakeholdersRole-based access controlStatic and User-defined reports for strategic decision-makingNational/State/Project-wise Dashboards  User-friendlyEnsures programme implementation, operation and monitoringFacilitates monitoring of training and placement progress in real-time  

TC Inspection & Placement Verification Mobile App

User can use either the web or mobile application for conducting online inspections of training centres or Placement Verification (PV). However, a user can use only one device at a time. Single app facilitates both TC inspection and placement verification. It helps in bringing transparency and curb ulterior motives. 

Facilitates real-time inspection of TC and placement verification of placed candidateAvailable for Android usersEnables uploading of documents of proof during inspection/placement verification (PV)Generate inspection reportsAvailable free of cost at Google PlaystoreProvide an alternative to carry a heavy laptop on siteRecords real-time geographic location and time of inspection/PV

Kaushal Aapti

Kaushal Aapti is an initiative of NIRDPR, MoRD, GoI which is a technology-enabled audio visual, based on John Holland Interest Inventory Questionnaire, aptitude and ENPC (English, Numeracy, Pattern Matching and Colour Recognition) based questions. It helps to measure rural unemployed behaviour and attitude to assess their interest in job role.

Developed for matching rural youth’s interest with skilling for jobs.John Holland Interest Inventory-based as recommended in DDU-GKY SOP Additionally, three level aptitude check of numeracy, English language, pattern and colour recognitionCompletely based on pictures, supported by text and audio for ease of use by candidatesMulti-lingualAvailable on mobile and web  Scientific tool for counselling, with briefing for candidates and counsellors Provides a national level Skill Interest Inventory of the beneficiariesIntegrated with Kaushal Panjee & Kashal Bharat

Help Desk system

DDU-GKY has developed a dynamic helpdesk system for all the online platform,s which are used for implementation and monitoring process, to ensure a good user experience and timely resolution of issues. DDU-GKY help desks includes tech support team, functional experts and development teams for assuring quality improvement and better customer satisfaction. A robust help desk system sets the seal on strengthening brand image and reputation of DDU-GKY. DDU-GKY grievance system includes helpdesk for PRN, Kaushal Pragati, Kaushal Bharat, etc.

Significance of DDU-GKY IT Ecosystem

Continuous monitoring gives the project team and stakeholders valuable information about their project health, and highlights areas that require special attention and may need changes. With this proactive approach, stakeholders concerned can anticipate almost all common issues and challenges, avoid budget overrun, delays and identification of the erroneous stages. Furthermore, it assures an effective decision-making and efficient utilisation of available resources. It also facilitates taking required action for timely resolution of issues and challenges by adopting efficacious approach or strategy. The pedestal for the above-stated process is a strong Management Information System (MIS) of an organisation. A powerful MIS contributes admirably in the overall success of the project, as it smoothens and helps to expedite various activities involved in the project implementation. A centralised IT ecosystem can further enhance the effectiveness of MIS.

            DDU-GKY has a well-designed, user-friendly centralised IT ecosystem that helps MIS in better handling of data/information, resulting in effective implementation and monitoring of the project across the nation. Various online platforms help smoothen the process involved like PRN and project application, sanctioning of targets to PIAs, mobilisation of candidates by them, finding a suitable opportunity for interested candidates from remote areas and all other training and placement activities involved. It also facilitates regular tracking of the project progress at every stage by the stakeholders concerned from time to time. For example, State-wise monthly dashboard letters shared with MoRD provides required information of various parameters involved in the project progress, such as Achievement Summary including Target Allocation, Trained, Placed, Assessed, Certified and Ongoing Training Target in the State. It also gives other information about Sanctioned Projects i.e., training centres’ capacity utilisation, inspections conducted, instalment release, available human resource at States, defaults and penalties imposed by State authorities concerned, etc. Other than these dashboard letters, officials of various agencies involved in monitoring and evaluation process can access real-time reports as well.   

            DDU-GKY IT ecosystem helps in fetching various required information related to the project at single click; it ensures data security and integrity by restricting user-specific access of information i.e., project details of one State cannot be accessed by any other State. Similarly, project details of one PIA cannot be viewed by any other PIA. Only specified agency as per the DDU-GKY SOP can get the required information based on their roles and responsibility. 

            Few examples given below showcase the efficacy of DDU-GKY IT ecosystem in generating user-defined reports that are helpful in representing project progress across the country.

Figure A: Overall Target Vs Performance

Figure B: Category-wise Achievement of Training Completion

Figure C: Category-wise Achievement of Placement Target

Figure D: Sector-wise Completed Training Details of Female Candidates

(Note- Data for all charts taken from Kaushal Pragati as of 1st July 2021) *

In this way, a strong MIS along with a smart centralised IT ecosystem can always embellish and aggrandise the effectiveness of the process of implementation and monitoring of the project.

                                                                            Shri Samir Goswami
Shri Siddharth Pandey
Head, ICT-PMU, Skill Division, MoRD
Ms. Nidhi Som
Project Officer, Skill Division, MoRD

Modelling a systemic approach to handling the COVID Pandemic: Learnings for the future

illustration by Shri V. G. Bhat

On May 25th, 2021, The New York Times published an article titled ‘Just How Big Could India’s True Covid Toll Be authored By Lazaro Gamio and James Glanz. Although there is no denying that the official data, as recorded on May 27th, 2021, shows a total caseload of 2,73,69,093 with deaths recorded at 1.5 per cent as 3,15,235.  Yet the projected figure in the article pens three alternatives as against the official count. The three are listed as a conservative scenario with estimated infections as 404.2 million and estimated deaths as 6,00,000 (15 infections per reported case with an infection fatality rate of 0.15 per cent).

Another more likely estimate is 539 million estimated infections and 1.6 million deaths (20 infections per reported case with an infection fatality rate of 0.30 per cent). A third ‘worse scenario’ predicts 700.7 million estimated infections and estimated deaths at 4.2 million (26 infections per reported case with an infection fatality rate of 0.60 per cent).

The article goes on to describe how these numbers were derived. In consultation with more than a dozen experts, The New York Times has analysed case and death counts over time in India, along with the results of large-scale antibody tests, to arrive at several possible estimates for the true scale of devastation in the country. The WHO has also estimated that the global death toll of COVID-19 may be two to three times higher than reported numbers. Technical, cultural and logistical reasons have been quoted as reasons for such omissions. The estimates quoted in the article are based on three nationwide antibody tests called Seroserveys. The antibody tests offer a way to record authentic data and arrive at better estimates of total infections and deaths. Everyone who contracts COVID-19 develops antibodies to fight it, leaving traces of the infection that the surveys can pick up. Hence, the estimates are bound to be authentic. This becomes the basis of the conservative data in the article. Next, as compared to the death toll of the US in 2020, the Indian serosurvey which ended in January of 2021, uses an estimate of 26 infections per reported case with a higher infection fatality rate of 0.3 per cent. This calculation forms the basis of the likely scenario as projected in the article. The third estimation of the worst-case scenario is based on a higher estimate of true infection per case and the infection fatality rate is 0.6 per cent which is double the official projection.

Most of these projects which are based on serosurveys are mere estimates as the concentration of antibodies drops in the months after infection, making them harder to detect. With a younger population, the infection fatality rate is skewed towards a younger age with a median age around 29. This too has an intense variability across the region and diversity. Overall, with many projections, the article concludes that ‘While estimates can vary over time and from region to region, one thing is clear beyond all doubt: The pandemic in India is much larger than the official figures suggest.’

A few suggestions are compiled herewith so that estimates related to the death toll may be made authentic. For this, the unit of such estimation is the ward which constitutes a Gram Panchayat. Each Panchayat is further divided into wards from where elected representatives constitute as the Panchayat members with one of them as Sarpanch. As each ward has an elected representative depending on the population of the village, the number of wards in a Gram Panchayat can vary from five to twenty-five.  In accordance with the powers conferred by the State, which vary from State to State, all Gram Panchayats and PESA bodies have been discharging their responsibilities to deal with the COVID-19 situation in multiple ways. The following are essential steps that can be taken at the Gram Panchayat level with ward as a basic unit so that COVID-19 pandemic and the black fungus epidemic can be better managed as well as the infection/recovery/death toll in the pandemic can be accurately accounted for.

Every Gram Panchayat should have a registration facility to facilitate the smooth return of people from other states and abroad. The elected member from each ward, which houses a certain number of households, must report to the Sarpanch of every Gram Panchayat on the necessary arrangement to verify and ensure that any person arriving at their respective jurisdictions from outside is registered. Hence, a 24-hour vigil must be maintained by the Gram Panchayat on all the entry points of the village. Hence, a ‘Village Health, Sanitation and Nutrition Committee (VHSNC)’ may be constituted with consecutive members from each ward to coordinate the entire COVID-related activities.

Every person who returned from outside the State to the Panchayat area must undergo a compulsory Panchayat-level quarantine for 14 days by observing the guidelines of the government. During the quarantine, it is the duty of the Gram Panchayats to arrange necessary provisions for food, water, sanitation and temporary accommodation of migrants. Ward-wise household survey along with health check-ups may be conducted for the quarantined persons and random tests may be conducted for the suspected cases of coronavirus in collaboration with the health sector officials. If any person is detected as positive, s/he must immediately be shifted to the designated COVID-19 hospital for the required treatment. Interestingly, as the pandemic progresses, one finds a number of people who are asymptomatic and record a negative RT-PCR test yet have a strong viral load, and hence are the carrier of the virus. Hence, ward members must ensure the provision and active use of face masks and disposal of used face masks in their areas. In case of a confirmed case of COVID-19 infection within the jurisdiction of any Gram Panchayat, necessary steps should be taken by the local bodies concerned to sanitise the area under the supervision of officials from the health department of the respective area. Gram Panchayats must be authorised to administer gratuitous relief as per the instructions of the Government of Odisha under the supervision of the District Disaster Management Authority. The incentive amounts vary across States but the provision of such amounts to the beneficiary is the basic responsibility of the ward member. The sarpanches of Gram Panchayats may also be authorised to file complaints and prosecutions at appropriate forum against the persons found violating instructions of the Gram Panchayat as per Sections 59 and 60 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005.Services of the Women Self-Help Groups (WSHGs) at Gram Panchayat level residing in each ward, may be utilised to provide hot cooked food for the needy people to avoid any kind of starvation. The food cooked should be distributed by the women SHGs by observing prescribed social distancing norms as per protocol followed worldwide.Panchayat Office/Common Service Centres/Schools can act as ‘COVID Information Centres’ in villages, and provide real-time authentic information on the availability of testing and vaccination centres, doctors, hospital beds, etc. Involve frontline volunteers from the local community for an intensive awareness campaign in the villages, coordinated by Elected Representatives, ASHA, teachers & youth volunteers. These volunteers may be provided with a sufficient number of oxymeters, sanitisers, masks, scanning instruments, etc. NRI (Non-resident Indian) contributions and PPP (Public-Private Partnership) may go a long way in making available such essential equipment.

The Ward members under each Gram Panchayats must also ensure disbursement of pension benefits to the disabled, widows, older persons and other eligible beneficiaries under social security schemes of State in advance. This will ensure that the monetary crunch at the grassroots is minimised. Although in response to the crisis, the government has initiated several measures, though a relief package of Rs. 1.70 lakh Crore as Prime Minister’s Garib Kalyan Package (PMGKP), and a subsequent economic package of about Rs. 21 lakh Crore under the ‘Self-reliant India’ mission, which also included the economic assistance under PMGKP. But better collaboration through NRLM, MGNREGA, SHG, FPO, Youth club and PRI participation and collaboration can ensure results on the ground.

Gram Panchayats along with women Self-Help Groups, Youth forums and Farmer Producer Organisations, Kisan Sangathans, etc., must jointly lead awareness campaigns in all parts of the Block/Mandal/State to disseminate the messages of physical distancing, hand washing, supplying essential commodities and cooked food to the poor and other vulnerable groups during the period of lockdown, availability of medicines, including Ayurvedic products to enhance immunity. Throughout the first wave, the Women Self-Help Groups have been doing a commendable job by stitching and selling masks thereby addressing the acute shortage of masks as well as improving their livelihood during the period of lockdown. Now, they must also engage in the disposal of used masks and provision of food and necessities for households that have lost lives due to COVID-19. A number of children have become orphaned and a number of old people have been left to fend for themselves as the young life was lost to the second wave of the pandemic. All such cases must find mention in records maintained household wise by ward members in the Gram Panchayat.

Majority of the migrants who returned during the 1st phase of lockdown to their native villages without informing local level authorities or Gram Panchayats which created immense difficulties for the local bodies to accommodate them at institutional quarantine centres. Though Sarpanchs of Gram Panchayats were delegated with the power of Collector for containing the spread of COVID-19 virus in their area as per the provisions of Disaster Management Act 2005, the menace could be managed by forming ward committees by community-level workers like Anganwadi Workers (AWW), Auxiliary Nurse Midwifery(ANM), members of Self-Help Groups (SHGs), etc. In many places, though Gram Panchayats had arranged quarantine of migrants due to lack of proper facilities in these centres they were reluctant to stay and preferred to stay with their families by defying rural bodies. It also became the driving factor for further spreading of the pandemic as they had already returned with infections. Due to inadequate health infrastructure and personnel within the Gram Panchayat area, it has become a challenge for the local authorities to get the exact number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, arranging their treatment and controlling the spread of infection. Infection to the health workers and other frontline functionaries while handling the pandemic situation further compounded the problem. The unprecedented and massive inflow of migrants from all parts of the country to different villages during the lockdown period brought major challenges to Gram Panchayats to arrange food, nutrition, sanitation, isolation, safety and providing livelihood for those who came back to their native place by leaving their work. Due to the huge influx of migrants, Gram Panchayats experienced difficulty in managing the COVID-19 pandemic surveillance strategy. Due to excessive media coverage on the fatality of COVID-19 pandemic, migrants were treated as the carrier of the disease for which the local community did not cooperate with the Gram Panchayats for providing them work near their locality and accessing social security schemes. Throughout the pandemic, the Gram Panchayats are tasked to address the livelihood issues through the existing flagship programmes implemented by them like Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, National Rural Livelihoods Mission and other State-sponsored schemes. The employment offered by the Gram Panchayats generally does not match the skill sets of the migrant population making assured income generation very difficult.

Conclusively, if India has to tackle COVID-19 in a better way, the only way forward is that different sectoral departments like public health, drinking water & sanitation and Gram Panchayat need to work together with community-based institutions at the micro level such as Self-Help Groups, village cooperatives, youth clubs, FPO and volunteers to prevent and manage COVID-19 pandemic situations. The Central and State governments must ensure adherence to guidelines of the State Disaster management authorities which have to be followed in word and spirit by the Gram Panchayats to work together to take stock of the COVID-19 situation at the district, block and GP level for identifying gaps with regard to the testing facility, medical infrastructure for COVID-19 treatment such as beds with oxygen facility, health care professionals and medicine, etc. The top-down approach cannot manage the pandemic as an action plan needs to be prepared at the Gram Panchayat level on isolation, contract tracing, physical distancing, quarantine and prevent mass gathering and rural local bodies may be empowered to enforce the same. Finally, physical health is not different from mental health which needs to be addressed again at the level of household through the combined intervention of the groups on the ground in consultation with the Ward member.

The pandemic has emphasised the need for a comprehensive primary healthcare policy at the village level with due attention to preventive health care. This needs action at the Centre when more GDP allocation may result in filling the gaping holes left unmasked by this pandemic.

Dr. Akanksha Shukla
Associate Prof. & Head, CDC

CDC conducts 5-day ToT on Alternative Rural Livelihoods through Digital Media Portals

Participants of the training programme

The Centre for Development Documentation and Communication, NIRDPR conducted an online training of trainers programme on ‘Alternative Rural Livelihoods through Digital Media Portals’ from 26th-30th July, 2021.

Dr. Akanksha Shukla, Associate Professor & Head (i/c), CDC coordinated the programme. The programme design aimed at enabling the rural people with access to smartphone and basic knowledge of its use, and developing a professional digital portal to sell their idea, service, product or skill in their neighbouring locality so that an alternative means of livelihood can be created with local presence on a global platform at a time when the economy and livelihoods are severely affected by COVID-19.

Self-branding and online business need basic communication skills and technical understanding of documenting the skill/ product/service provision to lure customers. The programme targeted the cultivation of these rudimentary marketing skills among the members of self-help groups covered under the DAY-NRLM Scheme of MoRD, SIRD faculty, young professionals of SRLM, journalists and educated and unemployed youth, who can, in turn, be the torchbearers of such training programmes through cascade mode.

As many as 55 participants comprising journalists, academicians, businessmen, programme/mission managers of State livelihoods missions, research scholars, community facilitators, students, entrepreneurs, instructors, consultants, etc., attended the 5-day training programme.

On the first day i.e., 26th July 2021, Dr. Akanksha Shukla welcomed the participants and gave an overview of the programme. She further introduced the guest speakers/resource persons and elaborated the rationale behind choosing the topics for the different sessions on five days.

Following the introductory session, Dr. Partha Pratim Sahu, Associate Professor, CEDFI, NIRDPR took a session on ‘Entrepreneurship Development Process.’ This was followed by a lecture from Dr. Ratna Bhuyan, Assistant Professor, NERC-NIRDPR on ‘Identifying Opportunities and Idea Assessment for Coming Up with Rural Entrepreneurship in Media.’ The final session of the day was handled by Dr. Sandeep Bhatnagar, Director Marketing & Business Development, NIMSME, Hyderabad. He spoke about the official formalities, rules & regulations regarding the setting up of digital media platforms.

On the second day, Dr. Radhika Meenakshi Shankar, Founder, Wise Owl Consulting, Hyderabad took two sessions on ‘Sources of Information for New Entrepreneurs/Trends in Digital Media Business’ and Modelling the Business Idea into Business.’ In the final session, Smt. Anjali Chandran, Founder of handloom boutique Impresa, narrated her journey from a techie to entrepreneur.

All three sessions on the third day were taken by Shri Sunil Prabhakar, Consultant, Mathrubhumi Online. With the help of a live demo, he spoke about ‘Desktop Photography Using Smartphone, Mobile Documentation-Software and Hardware Needed’, ‘Editing Skills & Publishing Online/YouTube’ and ‘Fast and Easy Social Media Content Creation.’

The fourth day dealt with the marketing side of entrepreneurship. Dr. Sandeep Bhatnagar, Director Marketing & Business Development, NIMSME, Hyderabad handled a session on ‘Digital Marketing Tools for New-age Entrepreneurs/Marketing Management: Sales, Advertisement & Brand Building.’ This was followed by a lecture on ‘Project Financing and Funding a New Start-up and Venture: Avenues Available in e-commerce’ by Mr. K. I. Shariff, Former General Manager, NABARD.

The final day of the programme started with Dr. Balakista Reddy, Registrar, NALSAR University of Law delivering a session on ‘Legal Formalities in an Enterprise: Special emphasis on new cyber Laws (Factory Act, PF, Labour Laws, Cyber Laws, etc.).’ Further, Prof. H. Purushotham, DPIIT-Ministry of Commerce and Industry IPR Chair Professor at Andhra University Visakhapatnam spoke about ‘IPR, Patents, Copyrights, Trademark and Industrial Management.’ In the final session, Dr. Manju Kalra Prakash, Consultant, Mahila E Haat spoke about the online marketing-managing market plan and advertising, based on her experience with Mahila E haat.

From the second day to the final day, Dr. Akanksha Shukla, programme coordinator took a 15-minute recap before the start of the sessions, answered the questions from the participants and elicited their feedback. Each session was also followed by a Q&A session that facilitated participants’ interaction with the resource persons.

At the end of the programme, the assessment of the trainees was made by an online test comprising multiple-choice questions.

The participants were asked to submit their feedback via the training management portal and the programme’s overall effectiveness stood at 89 per cent, comprising all training programme components, speakers, knowledge, skill and attitudinal change components. Programme coordinator Dr. Akanksha Shukla was assisted by Assistant Editors Shri Krishna Raj K. S. and Shri G Sai Ravi Kishore Raja, and Artist Venugopala Bhat in the conduct of the training.

Dr. Sabina Alkire speaks on ‘multidimensional poverty in India’ – inaugural webinar of the Evidence-based policy and action roundtable: consultations and dialogues for holistic rural development

At a time when the world faces the unprecedented humanitarian crisis from the COVID-19 pandemic and related economic crises, governments and policy implementors are looking for innovative and effective solutions to foster development. In this context, the National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRDPR), Delhi initiated a project titled ‘Evidence-Based Policy and Action Roundtable: Consultations and Dialogues for Holistic Rural Development’ to facilitate crosslearning, sharing of evidence from policy-oriented studies, experience of actionable interventions and strong monitoring frameworks. The initiative aims to bring existing research and evidence on the strategic areas of sustainable development, and create a synergetic dialogue between institutions and experts working on evidence-based critical research towards policy action and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The project has identified 12 working areas aligned with the SDGs. For the first working area of ‘Poverty Reduction,’ NIRDPR hosted a webinar on ‘Multi-dimensional Poverty in India’ on the 23rd July 2021. On this occasion, Dr. Sabina Alkire, Director, Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), UK shared the findings and insights from the analysis of Multidimensional Poverty Index (MDPI) in India.

About the project

Any development action – voluntary or through institutionalised-policy and programme, needs to be informed by the realities of society and economy it is working on to be effective and sustainable. Despite similar goals, those working on scientific research and evidence of social and economic phenomena often work separately from those working to build and implement policies. The lack of convergence between academic research, implementational outfit and policymaking puts developmental process at the risk of being unsustainable and not delivering the desired outcomes. This unsustainability manifests itself after shocks such as the COVID-19 pandemic. This project aspires to create a free platform of cross-domain knowledge and idea exchange from researchers to the policymakers and voluntary organisations. We plan to bring out both sides of the story of rural development in a systematic manner, strengthen communication from researchers to implementers and create a document of these ‘policy-evidence-action’ conversations, which will continue to inform and empower stakeholders in similar situations.

KEY objectives oF this project:

  1. Inform and empower the policymakers and stakeholders by fostering dissemination of systematic evidence from ongoing academic and scientific research works.
  2. Strengthen the stakeholders at the higher end of policy-design and implementation chain through providing a platform to share their expectations, experience, and requirements directly with the researchers and organisations engaged in policy action.
  3. Bring the voluntary organisations, NGOs and individuals with mandate of action on underdevelopment to the roundtable for fostering a synergy between the voluntary actions, scientific evidence and policy actions.

The initiative comprises a series of webinars, consultations, lectures, and dissemination workshops linked to identified areas of development. Following each of the consultation, dialogue and discussion in the series, an outcome document will be prepared by NIRDPR for wider dissemination. It is expected that the policy and impact network created through this initiative will also lead to larger and more coordinated space for policy design, implementation, analysis and evaluation.

On the issue of poverty in India

The first webinar of the project was held on a fundamental and highly contested working area of rural development i.e., poverty reduction. In India, poverty has been a debated issue in terms of its definition, measurement, trends, nature, coverage, and type of action against it. The webinar held on 23rd July, 2021 focussed on Sabina Alkire and James Foster’s measurement and analyses of poverty as a multi-dimensional construct (popularly known as Alkire-Foster method).

The event started with the address of Dr. G. Narendra Kumar, IAS, Director General, NIRDPR who pointed out that in India, identification of poor has always been done with multiple indicators. Indian policymakers have defined the concept of Antyodaya (poorest of the poor). From 1977 onwards, anti-poverty policies have been trying to reach the lowest rank of the poverty-stricken population. In 2011, the Government of India came up with a Socio-Economic Caste Census data (around the time that the multi-dimensional poverty index was being developed) that had elements of exclusions and inclusions using multiple criteria. For example, households with one room and no solid walls or roof, households with no adult in the age of 15 to 59 years, female-headed households, households with differently-abled members, or with no able-bodied male member, scheduled caste households, households with no literate member aged above 15 years, landless labourers — were the seven deprivation criteria based on which the 8.72 crore households were identified for getting benefits under the poverty alleviation programmes. Dr. G. Narendra Kumar emphasised on looking beyond the existing structure of MDPI to have indicators which would be more intervention-oriented so that it can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions.

India’s performance in Multi-Dimensional Poverty INDEX (MDPI)

The MDPI was developed by Dr. Sabina with James Foster, for measuring multi-dimensional poverty which complements the monetary poverty measures. This metric of well-being is flexible and often include dimensions such as health, education, nutrition, standard of living, work, security, living environment, and other valuable aspects of life. The MDPI has been adopted by governments across the world with its most visible application as the global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) that OPHI and UNDP’s Human Development Report Office update annually. During this webinar, she shared some of the insights from her recent work: Sabina Alkire, Christian Oldiges and Usha Kanagaratnam, (2021), Examining multidimensional poverty reduction in India 2005/6–2015/16: Insights and oversights of the headcount ratio, World Development, Volume 142, June 2021 ( ).

Dr. Sabina pointed out that intuitively we all know what MDPI means– that people experience different deprivations at the same time. They wake up and maybe the roof is dripping because there’s a leak, maybe they don’t know, if they will have work that day, maybe a child is not going to school, maybe there could be concerns about food security, maybe there’s no electricity to boil the kettle. In other words, deprivations can be multiple. In constructing MDPI we are asking which of these many deprivations strike the person at the same time, what is their ‘deprivation load’ and how is that changing. The aim of this exercise is to illuminate the lived experience of poverty to reduce it.

Understanding the SDG-linkages

This is an era of Sustainable Development Goals that recognise that poverty has many forms and dimensions. The first SDG is to end poverty ‘in all its forms’ by 2030– this goal alone recognises that poverty is multi-dimensional. The monetary poverty is one important component of poverty but not the only one — there are 169 targets to end all forms of poverty. To end monetary poverty (1.9 Dollars a day) is the first target within SDG 1 (zero poverty), the second target is to reduce the MDPI by half. The SDG document recognises that poverty is the greatest global challenge, but it also calls to leave no one behind. To monitor whether anyone is left behind, we need to present disaggregated results. We cannot disaggregate ‘a dollar ninety a day’ poverty by State or district of India but we can disaggregate the global MDPI. The SDGs also recognise the importance of integrated multi-sectoral policies and the MDPI in many countries is the evidence required to shape those policies.

Any MDPI begins by identifying indicators that are are available for all people or for all households. The global MDPI has three dimensions – 1. Health, 2. Education, and 3. Living Standards, and within the three dimensions, there are 10 indicators.  One is deprived, if anybody in the household is under-nourished, if a child has died in the last five years or if no household member has completed six years of schooling or if a child aged 10 and above is not attending school up through class 8. One is deprived if they cook with wood dung or charcoal, or don’t have adequate sanitation, a protected pit latrine, a compost or flush toilet or they share it, if one doesn’t have safe drinking water from a protected spring or well or piped onto the premises, have to walk a half an hour to obtain water, lack access to electricity, has rudimentary roof wall or floor and don’t own more than one of eight small assets out of radio, television, telephone, animal, cart, refrigerator, computer, bicycle, and motorcycle. If one owns a car or a truck he or she is not deprived in assets.  Combining these 10 indicators for each person within a household, a profile of deprivations can be created.

India’s trajectory of MDPI BETWEEN 2005/06 TO 2015/16 India’s MPI was cut by half in just 10 years (only 4 countries did) India cut the MPI poverty rate from 55% to 28% The poorest states reduced multidimensional poverty fastest. The poorest caste, religious and age groups reduced poverty fastest

The analysis of MDPI revealed that in terms of the number of people leaving poverty, India led the world as over 270 million people exited poverty in a decade from 2006 to 2015-16. South Asia, driven by India, witnessed the largest reduction of MDPI of all the world. India was on track at that phase by three different models to cut its MDPI by half. Of course, this was before the pandemic, and India didn’t show the fastest reduction. Some much smaller countries in African peninsula showed a faster reduction of MDPI than India. But in terms of the numbers of people, India’s reduction was very high.

 The MDPI levels were based on India’s NFHS 3 and 4 data. The key finding was that the multi-dimensional poverty index was cut by half in 10 years from 0.283 to 0.123, which meant that poor people in India experienced 28 of the possible deprivations and that had come down to 12.3 percent by 2015-16. In terms of being identified as poor, 55 per cent of people in India were identified as poor in 2006 – almost the level of poverty in Afghanistan, and that had come down to 27.9 per cent by 2015-16. So, 2.7 per cent of the population in India left poverty every year for 10 years and also the average deprivation score of the poor reduced.

The results give hopes for achieving all the SDGs before 2030, but at the same time, some caution must be maintained in interpreting these results as they are from older datasets of NFHS (2015/16) and much before the pandemic. The trends, however, has improved as poorer States now showed faster MPI reduction as compared to the earlier survey-period (1999-2005) where poor States were also growing slowly.

Interactions with Dr. Sabina Alkire

Question from the audienceDr. Sabina Alkire’s response
Do you think extrapolation can help us understand when data is missing / not available?We don’t do any extrapolation right now because it would presume the continuity. Yes, there may be a couple of intervening factors – migration, or there’s the fact that (at least during the pandemic) many programmes stopped, schools closed but other programmes started, for e.g. many countries had social protection programmes food subsidies out of work subsidies. So we don’t think that a linear or relative or logistic extrapolation is necessarily accurate.
The marginalised groups like schedule tribes or the other categories even though they have electricity connection at home or water supply, it won’t be regular. These won’t be continuous as well. Even in urban areas, especially among the fisher folk, water supply is erratic: How can we discount that in MDPI?There are two ways: one is to add questions to the survey — are there seasons/ rainy/dry; follow-up questions: in this season do you have cuts for more than x hours per day or per week on average? So, you’re trying ask a person to think back and to remember, therefore, you have to see how accurate that self-report data is. The other is to merge administrative data — if you have real data that’s GPS located on cuts, then you can merge it so that you know the people in this area have seven hours a day of power cut (set a cutoff for defining deprivation). It’s an area of active experimentation.
Most of the indicators we have taken consider for a population (as a whole). How can I calculate for sub-groups – such as multi-dimension child poverty – Is the UNICEF multi-dimensional overlapping deprivation analysis more suitable?Refer to my paper written with Jacob T Dirksen where we are outlining the four strategies that we are recommending for child poverty and measurement and analysis. The first is to include child indicators in the national MPI, the second is to disaggregate by children, the third is to do an intra-household and gendered analysis of child deprivations and the fourth is to do a child MPI that’s linked to the national MPI. The problem with MODA is that it uses our methodology but through the weights it creates a sub-index for each dimension and so it lacks dimensional monotonicity across the indicators. It also is not very sensitive to policy improvements – so that’s a disincentive for using it. The second difficulty is that you can’t compare a child aged 5 with child aged 17. What we do is a child measure where you have cognitive development for babies, nutrition up to the age of five, and then it’s schooling from 6-14 years six to fourteen or whatever the compulsory years of schooling are for that country and then it’s no-employment and education or training for the higher level. In terms of health, it might be immunisation for babies, it might be some activities to stimulate cognitive development. (Deprivations) might be child labour, early child marriage or pregnancy — we have a consistent way of comparing children across the life cycle of childhood from 0 to 17 but finding indicators that have relatively similar proportions of children deprived.
How do we include psychological construct for measuring of multi-dimensional poverty? Also, how is the reliability of the data and statistical treatments?In terms of psychological content, the most widely used instrument to look at motivation and depression is the GHQ The General Health Questionnaire which has a 12-item index– 12 survey questions and a standard way of coding them. Motivation, joy, etc., are part of well-being measures. In terms of the data, it’s an important point and we look into it very rigorously and we do an in-depth treatment. First of all, we compute standard errors and confidence intervals for all of our estimates (considering the sample design of the survey). For example, if you were to look at a district disaggregation in India, or if you were to look at intra-household relationships, then you also count the number of unweighted sample and you report them and if it’s less than 25, you simply asterisk to get out. If it’s 25 to 50, the common thing is to put brackets around it, and if it’s from 50 from 50 and above, then you just let people know during the interpretation. We don’t put a number out if the cell size is too small.
We talk about the push factor in the classical sense. I’m just wondering if there’s something that you would like to say from a multi-dimensional approach in terms of the role of movement of people, particularly the inverse migration. How does affect/ get reflected in the MPI index?So, in terms of migration of a poor it’s quite straightforward. If you think of what poor people take with them: they take their education, years of schooling, their internal motivation to put the children in school. But a migration is really a wholesale shift; so the housing conditions will change water, sanitation, electricity.  The school attendance may or may not change, the nutritional status may or may not be affected, and so except for child mortality and years of schooling which are a little bit sort of longer tail indicators the rest could change immediately in one period of migration. 37 per cent of the rural dwellers are poor versus 9 per cent in urban areas so there’s a higher likelihood that when people migrated, they went from better water sanitation electricity housing conditions to worse. Those alone might have triggered them to go into poverty. On the other hand, urban dwellers may bring the aspirations for change that may lead to a positive change, and we’ve seen many returnees, for example, from overseas work when they come back having sent remittances for years. When they reach their rural communities, they first change their own house and then their community. (So) I think it’s too early to tell that the short-term likelihood is to be a spike in multidimensional property — it depends if they stay in the rural areas or not but if they stay it could be a good thing in terms of improving conditions there.

***The project will be coordinated from NIRDPR Delhi in collaboration with NIRDPR Hyderabad by Dr. Ruchira Bhattacharya (, Dr. Partha Pratim Sahu ( and Dr. Rajesh Sinha (

CESD, NIRDPR organises training programme to create awareness on drug abuse prevention

Sand art to create awareness on drug abuse

 The Centre for Equity and Social Development (CESD), National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj conducted an online training programme to create awareness on drug abuse prevention as part of the Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav celebrations. 

The objectives of the five-day programme conducted from 12th-16th July, 2021 were create awareness on drug abuse prevention, explaining the various bad effects of drugs on health and development, and equipping the participants with the skills of preparedness to tackle drug abuse.  The training programme focused on making the youth aware of the ill-effects of drug addiction on health, career, life and ultimately the development of the society.  

The sessions were interactive and participatory with a focus on case studies for a better understanding of the subject. In all, there were 11 conceptual classes besides the inaugural and valedictory sessions.

Dr. Murugesan, Director (i/c), NIRDPR-North East Regional Centre, Guwahati delivered the inaugural address. He mentioned that drugs have become a curse to the nation. “Many families have been ruined by drug abuse. The North-Eastern region has fallen into the clutches of drug peddlers due to its proximity to the golden triangle. The consumption of drugs is increasing every day. Due to peer pressure, many youngsters have fallen victim to drug abuse, thereby ruining their career and lives,” Dr. Murugesan said and requested measures to create more awareness through training programmes and workshops in different regions of the country, particularly in the North-Eastern region.  

Dr. S. N. Rao, Associate Professor & Head, CSED, NIRDPR, during his interaction with the participants mentioned that young people are the most vulnerable to the ill-effects of drugs because their high drug consumption when their brains are still developing.

“In India, 65 per cent of the population is below the age of 35 and the future of the country is in their hands. But the youngsters are trapped by the drug peddlers for the sake of long-term business and easy money. The youngsters will go to any extent to get the money to buy drugs. This trend has turned numerous bright school students to criminals. Initially, the youngsters experiment with drugs, but later they develop it as a habit and eventually reach a point of no return,” Dr. S. N. Rao noted. He further explained that different drugs such as narcotics, stimulants, depressants and hallucinogens, etc., are used in India and the world. The drug trafficking is the third largest trade in the world after the petroleum and arms trade.  Drug mafia exists everywhere, and in few countries, the drug mafia controls the governance. Skilled footballers like Diego Maradona had fallen to the drugs and ultimately became the victims of drug abuse. The use of stimulants has stripped the gold medal of Ben Johnson in the 1988 Olympics and has brought shame to the sports. There are many examples that drug addicts all over the world are leading miserable lives between life and death. Around, 25 per cent of youth are involved in substance abuse,” Dr. S. N. Rao said, and wanted the society to take up the responsibility of protecting the youth across the globe. 

Shri Ravindranath, Consultant, Bank of Baroda, Mumbai during his interaction with the participants, mentioned that the youth were falling victims of drug addiction due to their inexperience at the adolescent age and eventually become drug peddlers to continue their habit. He mentioned a few instances where bright students got stuck in the trap of drug addiction and ruined their career and ultimately their life. “Several factors drive them to drug addiction, such as breaking up of joint families, loss of parental love as both the parents are working and do not have enough time to spend with the children, etc. Often, parents are the last people to know about the drug addiction of their children,” he said and advised the parents and family members to keep a watch on their children activities. Vigilance on their habits, attitude and friendship will protect the children from falling into drug trap, he added.

Dr. Purnima Nagaraja, Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist pointed out that around 7.5 crore Indians are addicted to drugs and their number is going up significantly. “Drug abuse is a disease. There are many ways of drug addiction – experimental, social/regular, habitual, abuse and dependence. Many factors contribute to the addiction such as unemployment, financial burden, curiosity/experimentation, peer pressure, sexual involvement, failure in exams, failure in relationships, depression and illegal relationships,” Dr. Punima Nagaraja said and mentioned the personality disorders concerning drug addiction. “Once they become addicts, their habits and attitude will change. The looks of the drug addicts are deceptive; they are dependent, angry, distancing, passive, indecisive, depressive and hopeless,” she said, explaining the ill-effects of drug abuse on health like damage to the brain, lungs and kidneys. She concluded her speech by advising the youth,” Your life is in your hands. Make it beautiful and successful.”

Shri Vikash Kumar, Assistant Director, Narcotic Control Board, New Delhi explained the illicit traffic of narcotic and psychotropic substances in India. He has said that India’s unique geographic location made it vulnerable to drug consumption and trafficking. India shares its border with two international drug traffic routes – the golden crescent (Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan) and the golden triangle (Thailand, Laos and Myanmar).  Most of the world’s heroin comes from the golden triangle until the early 21st century. Now Afghanistan has become the world’s largest producer of heroin. The State of Punjab shares a 533-km border with Pakistan. All through this route, drug peddlers use different strategies to transmit the drugs into the country. They will throw the white packets into the farmlands and these packets will be collected by the drug peddlers. Many times, farmers have complained to the police and security upon finding the packets in their fields. The farmers were aghast about white packets and had little knowledge about those behind these activities. In many places, the drug peddlers create underground routes to transmit the drugs. The drug mafia is invisible – a clandestine approach is adopted from the supply of drugs to its reach up to the consumer,” he said. He added that attempts are being to break the supply chain and to protect the country from the drugs.  

Shri Rakesh Chandra Shukla, Zonal Director, Narcotics Control Bureau, North Eastern region, Guwahati noted that that the North-Eastern States have become a web of drugs consumption due to the border connection with the golden triangle countries. The States of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Nagaland, and Mizoram share the border with Myanmar. The drug peddlers transmit the drugs through rugged mountains. The security people keep vigil 24×7 to break the supply chain of drugs in NE region,” he said. He also mentioned that unemployment and easy money are the main factor driving the youth of the region to the drugs. “The people who are involved in drugs transmission become rich in a short span of time. We will keep a vigil on these people and catch the drug peddlers. Drugs are transmitted through trains and trucks and we are keeping vigilance on all these routes,” he added. Replying to an allegation about the security people working hands in glove with the drug peddlers, he said, ‘it is not the system, but few individuals were involved and we are taking strict measures to punish them.”    

Dr. Narayan Sahoo, Associate Professor, NIRDPR, North East Regional Centre mentioned that awareness creation is the need of the hour to control drug abuse. Dr. Sahoo explained with few case studies of awareness creation in the State of Arunachal Pradesh in the villages, bordering China. The village chiefs are the main pillars in awareness creation of drug abuse in the villages. The circle officers play a pivotal role in awareness among the youth, schools and villages. In some parts of Arunachal Pradesh, use of opioids was a part of culture and heroin was cultivated in few pockets. Officers have explained to the villagers about the ill-effects of heroin consumption and alternative livelihoods were provided to them. The awareness drive and options for alternative livelihoods have stopped heroin production and the villages have become drug-free, he added.

Dr. Rubina Nusrat, Assistant Professor., CSED, NIRDPR explained the three ways of awareness creation – 1) personal level, 2) school/college level, and 3) Community level. At the personal level, parents and relatives should play a vital role in protecting children from drug abuse. At the school/ college level, teachers should play a vital role in protecting the youth from drug abuse. At the community level, leaders should play a vital role in creating awareness on the ill-effects of drug abuse. They should help the youth to protect their beautiful career and life. She explained that drug addicts should be looked upon as human beings, not addicts. The humanitarian approach will help them to overcome the addiction. 

Shri Panthdeep Singh is a young sarpanch of Chinna village, Gurdaspur district, Punjab State. He made Chinna a drug free village. In 2013, he became sarpanch at the age of 21. During his election as sarpanch, Chinna was famous for drug addiction and drug peddlers made the village a hub of their activities. To garner the confidence of the people in the village, he started organising health camps for the women and elderly, and eye check-ups for all. These health camps gave him confidence and the community trusted him. Shri Panthdeep Singh further initiated measures to make his village drug free. He announced cash prizes to the informers who identify the drug addicts in the village and also promised to keep their names secret. Those identified as addicts were given personal care and were admitted to rehabilitation centres that helped them to come out of the addiction completely. Further, a cash prize of Rs. 5,001 was announced to reveal the names of drug peddlers, but the names of the informers were kept secret. The drug peddlers were identified and were not allowed to enter in the village. The drug peddlers warned Panthdeep Singh with dire consequences, but he remained unfazed and proceeded with the initiatives of making his village free from drug addiction. He transformed the youth towards their career development and made them involved in MGNREGA works for the betterment of village roads and the construction of toilets. The reformed drug addicts eventually become the protectors of the village from the drug peddlers.        

Dr. Kiran Jalem, Assistant Professor, CNRM, CC&DM, NIRDPR said that approximately 65 per cent of the population in India are young adults. “The tragedy is that approximately, 25 per cent of youth are addicted to drugs.  In fact, they won’t realise that once they were addicted, they start ruining their career and life. They fall into bad friendships and their performance in education will come down,” he said and advised the younger generation to get rid of bad friendships in order to shine in their career and life. He focused on rehabilitation centres to treat people with drug addiction. “In fact, there are very few rehabilitation centres in the country. There is a need to increase the rehabilitation centres with doctors and psychotherapists to provide the right medicine at right time to the people,” Dr. Kiran Jalem said and wanted the rehabilitation centres to be equipped with all kinds of activities like yoga, indoor games, chess, carom, etc., to make them physically active, and facilities for playing badminton and basketball. These activities will rejuvenate their life and the person becomes normal, he added.

Ms. Sumitra Sahoo, who works for the rehabilitation of drug addicts, said that those addicted to drugs will ruin their life and their family. Ms. Sumitra Sahoo said she used to deliver motivational speeches and counselling to those addicted to drugs. “The drug addicts will be admitted into rehabilitation centres and their movements were watched. Slowly, yoga and meditation will be taught to them to overcome the addiction. Other physical activities like badminton will be introduced to make them as physically fit. Once they come out from rehabilitation centres, they will be provided with livelihood activities and they will be continuously monitored, because they should not return to drugs again,” she said and mentioned that an increase in number of the government rehabilitation centres is the need of the hour. Ms. Sumitra Sahoo said she has received threats from the drug peddlers, But not shaken by the warnings, she continued to work for the betterment of drug addicts.

Shri Pavan Kumar Varma works with the street children. He says that the street children are mainly orphans or physically abused children or the children who run away from home. Their meeting points are railway stations, bus stations, etc.  Since there is no control over them; they are easy victims of bad habits.  They start their life with beedi or cigarette and slowly they will be addicted to cheap liquor. To continue their bad habits, they will resort to petty crimes. At this juncture, drug peddlers catch them and provide drugs. Once they are addicted to the drugs, to continue their habit, they will turn into drug peddlers.  “Once we identify the street children, we put them into schools and hostels.  If we catch them after getting addicted to the drugs, we will put them in rehabilitation centres. But, medical expenses are very high to make them normal persons,” Pavan Kurma Varma said and urged the government to open more rehabilitation centres and bear their medical expenses. “Street children are multi-talented and they should be protected from all bad habits. They should be put into the schools and hostels to shine in their career and life,” he said.

In all, 40 participants including officials from different sectoral departments, faculty from training institutions, officials from the corporate sector, research scholars, prominent NGOs working on awareness creation and rehabilitation efforts to help the drug addicts, attended the training programme.  

Smt. Radhika Rastogi, IAS, Deputy Director General, NIRDPR delivering the valedictory address

Smt. Radhika Rastogi, IAS, Deputy Director General, NIRDPR delivered the valedictory address. “The drug addicts don’t know that when they start using drugs and that it is the end of their career and life journey. The drug addict’s life will come to an abrupt end. Drug abuse also leads to illegal activities and ultimately it creates law and order problems. Drug peddling is a way of earning easy money. Slowly, women are falling victims to drug abuse. Also, prostitution is on the increase due to this bad habit. In this regard, awareness should be created in schools, colleges and different educational institutions and different forums. Health education should be part of the school curriculum to protect the children and young from drug abuse. Drug abuse should be controlled at any cost to protect the youth,” she said. The training programme ended with a vote of thanks by the programme coordinator Dr. S. N. Rao.

Water Policy Since Independence-Implications for Rural India

The Centre for Natural Resource Management, Climate Change & Disaster Management (CNRM, CC & DM), NIRDPR organised a national webinar on ‘Water Policy Since Independence-Implications for Rural India’ on 5th July, 2021 as part of Azadi ka Amrut Mahotsav commemorating 75 years of India’s independence. A total of 148 participants from various backgrounds, such as senior officials of the Central and State governments, academicians, experts and representatives of civil societies working in the area of water management across the country participated in the event.

The webinar was inaugurated by Dr. G. Narendra Kumar, IAS, Director General, NIRDPR. Dr. Narendra Kumar, in his opening remarks, said that though India has more than 18 per cent of the world’s population, it has only 4 per cent of the world’s renewable water resources and 2.4 per cent of the world’s land area.

“There are further limits on utilisable quantities of water owing to uneven distribution over time and space. In addition, there are challenges of frequent floods and droughts in one or the other part of the country,” he said and emphasised the need for a comprehensive policy to address the issues of water demands in water-stressed areas, governance issues on management of water resources, temporal and spatial variation in the availability of water due to climate change, access to safe and clean drinking water, judicious utilisation of groundwater and minimising water pollution. The DG also highlighted the model practices adopted by different States on water conservation.

Shri G. Asok Kumar, IAS, Additional Secretary & Mission Director, National Water Mission, Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Government of India addressed the webinar as the Guest of Honour. He highlighted the priorities of Government of India to address the critical issues on water conservation and its efficient use as per the National Water Policy to secure the livelihood of rural households and boost the rural economy.

Shri G. Asok Kumar, IAS, Additional Secretary & Mission Director, National Water Mission, Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Government of India addressing the webinar

He discussed the roles of multiple stakeholders like government departments, rural local bodies, farmers and community-based institutions, etc., to promote water security in water-stressed areas. Shri Asok Kumar further enlightened the participants on the ‘Catch the Rain’ campaign of India and suggested the way forward for rural areas in addressing the pressing needs of irrigation and drinking water.

Dr. Anamika Barua, Professor, IIT, Guwahati delivered the keynote address on the implications of water policies on rural India since independence.

Dr. Barua presented the gap between the development of water resources and various policy efforts since independence. She expressed a ray of hope in redrafting the National Water Policy, 2012 with a rigorous consultation process among various stakeholders on multidisciplinary and intersectoral approaches by integrating other critical issues of water management, such as gender and sustainable development goals. She emphasised the need to have an evidence-based futuristic water policy.

Dr. Ravindra Gavali, Prof. & Head, CNRM, CC & DM, NIRDPR, Hyderabad and other faculty members of the centre organised the webinar.

Online workshop-cum-ToT on Gender Responsive Governance – Tools and Techniques

Slide from the presentation

A regional online workshop-cum-training of trainers (ToT) on ‘Gender Responsive Governance – Tools and Techniques’ was organised by Dr. K. Prabhakar, Assistant Professor, Centre for Good Governance & Policy Analysis (CGGPA), National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, from 26th -30th July, 2021.

Governance is ‘the exercise of economic, political and administrative authority to manage a country’s affairs at all levels. It comprises the mechanisms, processes and institutions, through which citizens and groups articulate their interests, exercise their legal rights, meet their obligations and mediate their differences (UNDP, 1997). Gender-Responsive Governance Plan for women describes good governance, which is gender-responsive, as the one that enhances the abilities of women and men to contribute to and benefit from development.

Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 and its nine targets focus on achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls. The Global Gender Gap Index examines the gap between men and women in four fundamental categories, namely economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival and political empowerment. Gender-responsive governance tools & techniques are essential for learning, as many of the gender perceptive policies are increasingly goal-oriented, aiming for measurable results and goals, and decision-centric. The ToT was scheduled to discuss and address the gap of gender-responsive governance by adopting different tools & techniques, which brings the skill to fill the gender-responsive gaps.

The core prospects of the ToT programme were enhancing the participants’ knowledge about governance, good governance, gender-responsive governance and social accountability tools to address the gender-governance gaps, and equip them with the knowledge and tools that an organisation needs to record and produce professionalism in dispensing gender-responsive governance. The participants could learn the technical aspects of assessing gender issues, including the involvement of the stakeholders and application of tools, stimulate achievement of SGD 5, achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

A total of 30 participants attached to different sectors in the State of Rajasthan, namely RD practitioners, government officials, nodal officers, district planning officials, sectoral officers, officers from DRDA at the State and district level, SIRD & ETC faculty members, NGOs and CBOs attended the ToT programme. The training contents were delivered through a judicious mix of lectures-cum-discussions and sharing the real-time case study examples for each of the tools discussed. The programme was conducted by explaining and discussing the topic-wise understanding, by using relevant case examples, and was evaluated through discussions, quiz, etc.

Glimpses of Rural and Urban India on Select Indicators: Evidence from NFHS-5

The National Family Health Survey (NFHS) is a large-scale representative sample survey conducted throughout India. The first survey was conducted in 1992-93 and so far, five such surveys have been conducted. The main objective of the successive rounds of the NFHS is to provide reliable and comparable datasets on health, family welfare and other emerging issues. The latest survey report NFHS-5 2019-2020, is published in December 2020, covering data for 22 States and the report is published as the first phase report. For the remaining States, the fieldwork is in progress and the data will be published soon. The survey provides State and national information for India on fertility, infant and child mortality, the practice of family planning, maternal and child health, reproductive health, nutrition, anaemia, utilisation and quality of health and family planning services. A comparison of rural-urban scenarios across 22 States is provided hereunder:

  • The sex ratio at birth (SRB) has remained unchanged or increased in most States/UTs. Majority of the States are in normal sex ratio of 952 or above. SRB is below 900 in Telangana, Himachal Pradesh, Goa, Dadar & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu
  • The child sex ratio is declining drastically.
  • Child nutrition indicators show a mixed pattern across States. While the situation improved in many States/UTs, there has been a minor deterioration in others. Drastic changes in respect of stunting and wasting are unlikely in a short period.
  • Anaemia among women and children continues to be a cause of concern. More than half of the children and women are anaemic in 13 of the 22 States/UTs. It has also been observed that anaemia among pregnant women has increased in half of the States/UTs compared to NFHS-4, despite a substantial increase in the consumption of IFA tablets by pregnant women for 180 days or more.
  • For both women and men, there is a lot of variation in the high or very high random blood glucose levels across States/UTs. Men are more likely to have slightly higher blood glucose levels in the range of high or very high compared to women. The percentage of men with high or very high blood glucose is highest in Kerala (27 per cent) followed by Goa (24 per cent). The prevalence of elevated blood pressure (hypertension) among men is somewhat higher than in women.
  • The percentage of households with improved sanitation facilities and clean fuel for cooking has increased in almost all the 22 States/UTs over the last four years (from 2015-16 to 2019-20). The Government of India has made concerted efforts to provide toilet facilities to maximum households through Swachh Bharat Mission, and improved household environment through Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana in the country. For instance, the use of cooking fuel has increased more than 10 percentage point in all the States and UTs during the last four years with over 25 percentage point increase in the States of Karnataka and Telangana.
  • Women’s empowerment indicators portray considerable improvement across all the States/UTs included in Phase 1. Considerable progress has been recorded between NFHS-4 and NFHS-5 with regard to women operating bank accounts. For instance, in the case of Bihar, the increase was to the tune of 51 percentage point from 26 per cent to 77 per cent. More than 60 per cent of women in every State and UTs in the first phase have operational bank accounts. (

Dr. Vanishree Joseph
Assistant Professor,

Online Workshop on NRLM-FNHW Training Study

The National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRDPR) and Population Council, an international NGO, collaborated to undertake a part of the SHG Pathways Project which focuses on understanding the influence of training imparted by NRLM with regard to Food, Nutrition Health and WASH (FNHW) practices among village women. The concept of SHG has been widely spread in Indian villages, which has given wings to women in exploring and exhibiting their own growth in terms of economy and contributing to the development of their village. Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh were among the few States in introducing the subject of FNHW in NRLM training. The study focused on SHG women’s changing practices in the aspects of FNHW due to NRLM-FNHW training programmes. As a part of the project to disseminate the findings of the study to the study areas concerned, a workshop was organised on 5th July 2021.

The workshop was attended by a total of 65 participants, including NRLM officials of National Mission Management Unit (NMMU), the State, district and block officials of Chhattisgarh State Rural Livelihoods Mission (Bihaan) and Jharkhand State Livelihood Promotion Society (JSLPS), the research teams of NIRDPR & Population Council and NIRDPR faculty.

Dr. G. Narendra Kumar, IAS, Director General, NIRDPR delivered the inaugural address. Dr. S. K. Sathyaprabha, NIRDPR Project Principal Investigator and Dr. Sapna Desai, Population Council Project Principal Investigator with her team members Ms. Sharmada and Ms. Aikantika explained the findings of the NRLM-FNHW training study.
Dr. Sapna Desai briefed about the major SHG Pathways Project and its sub-project on the NRLM-FNHW training study. The study area and its methodology were elaborated by Ms. Sharmada. Ms. Aikantika spelt out the study area, tools and sample of the study and Dr. S. K. Sathyaprabha explained the major findings of the study. This apart, theme-wise (food, nutrition, health and WASH) discussions were also held. Ms. Usha Rani, Lead, NRLM, NMMU, New Delhi broadly explained the inclusion of FNHW in NRLM.
Shri Ajay Anand, SPM, JSLPS and Ms. Usha Rani presented in detail the relevance of the findings in the States of Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, respectively. The recommendations of the study were well accepted by Ms. Usha Rani as well as by Shri Ajay Anand. Dr. Sathyaprabha summed up the proceedings of the workshop. The programme concluded with the valedictory address by Smt. Radhika Rastogi, IAS, Deputy Director General, NIRDPR.

The programme was organised by Dr. G. Venkata Raju, Professor & Head, CPGS&DE and Dr. S. K. Sathyaprabha, Assistant Professor, CGG&PA, and Shri T. Ravinder Rao, Mission Manager, NRLM Resource Cell, NIRDPR.

Webinar on NRLM-FNHW Best Practices

The National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRDPR) in collaboration with Population Council, New Delhi had undertaken a study about NRLM-FNHW training as a part of the SHG Pathways Project. In continuation of the project, a webinar on NRLM-FNHW best practices was planned to exhibit the outstanding performances of State Rural Livelihoods Missions, specifically about food, health, nutrition and WASH practices among women members of self-help groups. SHGs converge with rural housing, drinking water and sanitation, watershed management programmes, partnership with civil society organisations, etc. The inclusion of FNHW subjects in NRLM is coming to light as a promising new dimension that could fetch greater success if linked with the departments concerned. This webinar was planned with the intention of creating a nationwide inspiration among all the SRLMs, as a source for many researchable topics and a platform for strengthening NRLM training components.

The webinar had two parts as i) Panel Discussion and ii)     Presentations by SRLMs (Themes: Food, Nutrition, Health, WASH)

Smt. Radhika Rastogi, IAS, Deputy Director General, NIRDPR inaugurated the programme and delivered a special address. She pointed out the daily dietary practices, the necessity of fruit intake, balanced diet comprising millets, green leafy vegetables, proper utilisation of water-recycle & reuse, routine hygienic practice of handwashing, water budgeting by school children and awareness about sanitary practices.

The first session on the FNHW training programme in NRLM was handled by Ms. Vasudha Shukla, National Mission Manager, New Delhi. The session was followed by methods and means of incorporating healthy food style among SHGs by Dr. Sangappa, Scientist, Indian Institute of Millets Research (IIMR), Hyderabad. The third session was on the reflection of WASH practices in villages by Mr. Venkatesh Aralikatty, WASH Officer, UNICEF HFO, Hyderabad. After the panel discussion, the SRLMs of Mizoram, Jharkhand, Jammu & Kashmir and Gujarat presented their FNHW best practices.

On the second day, Dr. A. Laxmaiah, Scientist-G & HoD (Public Health & Nutrition Division), National Institute of Nutrition (ICMR-NIN), Hyderabad elaborated about the trends and challenges to health and nutrition in reaching the grassroots. The next session was about how women’s groups achieve change for women’s and children’s health in India by Dr. Sapna Desai, Population Council, New Delhi.

Subsequent to the panel discussion, SRLMs of Bihar, Kerala, Himachal Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh presented their FNHW best practices. Documentation of the webinar was done by Dr. S. K. Sathyaprabha. Smt. Radhika Rastogi, IAS, Deputy Director General, NIRDPR delivered the valedictory address, appreciating the efforts of best practices of all SRLMs. The programme was organised by Dr. G. Venkata Raju, Professor & Head, CPGS&DE and Dr. S. K. Sathyaprabha, Assistant Professor, CGG&PA, and Shri T. Ravinder Rao, Mission Manager, NRLM Resource Cell, NIRDPR.

Online Training Programme on Strengthening Rural Community Governance

The Centre for Good Governance and Policy Analysis, National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj organised an online training programme on strengthening rural community governance in two batches. The training sessions for Batch I and Batch II were conducted, respectively, from 5th-9th July, 2021 and 26th-30th July, 2021. The training programme was designed to facilitate rational deliberations about rural community governance and to enable the officials for upgrading their capacity for the better execution of their functions, solving the rural problems in reality during the implementation of the programme at the grassroots, and add on the knowledge about various components of rural community governance, supportive techniques and technologies. Thus, the programme was expected to build the knowledge, skills and attitude of the participants with innovative approaches for operationalising the Unnat Bharat Abhiyan (UBA) projects in villages.

This online training programme focussed on the concept of community governance in rural areas, trends and challenges of UBA, effective management of UBA projects, role of participating institutions in Gram Panchayat Development Plan, facilitating participatory approach in villages, enriching rural India by involving youth & women and geospatial applications for project planning.

The training contents were delivered in different methodologies like lecture, group discussions, assignments, practical exercises, slide shows and documentary presentations.

Dr. S. K. Sathyaprabha, Programme Director, Dr. Raj Kumar Pammi and Dr. M. V. Ravibabu handled the sessions as NIRDPR resource persons. Dr. K. Ravichandran, Professor, Cooperative Management, HRM, Gandhigram Rural Institute and Ms. Avinu Veronica Richa, faculty from Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development handled sessions as external resource persons.

Twenty State University and College faculty members from the participating institutions of Unnat Bharat Abhiyan actively participated in the training programme. The participants represented Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Meghalaya, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura, Uttarakhand and West Bengal. In total, 105 participants were trained in two batches. Batch I and Batch II evaluated the overall effectiveness of training programmes in their feedback with 93 and 95 per cent, respectively. 

The programme was organised by Dr. S. K. Sathyaprabha, Assistant Professor, Centre for Good Governance and Policy Analysis, NIRDPR.

Training on Institutional Strengthening of Panchayati Raj Institutions

A session of the training programme in progress

Centre for Panchayati Raj & Social Service Delivery, NIRDPR, organised two online training programmes (Five-day each) on ‘Institutional Strengthening of Panchayati Raj Institutions for State Level Officers and Trainers of SIPRDs & ETCs’ in July 2021. First training programme was conducted from June 28th to July 2nd and the second programme from July 26th to July 30th 2021. The fundamental objective of these programmes was to enable the State Level Officers and Trainers of SIPRDs & ETCs to understand the meaning, scope and necessity of institutional strengthening of Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) and importance of institutional strengthening for Good Governance and improved service delivery.

[At the outset, Dr. Anjan Kumar Bhanja, Associate Professor, CPRDP&SSD, welcomed the participants. He briefly touched upon the importance and need for strengthening PRIs. A total of 113 participants took part in these two training programmes.

These training programmes covered the following topics i) Meaning, scope and necessity of institutional strengthening of PRIs and features of any Panchayat as an institution of self-government ii) Importance of institutional strengthening of PRIs for Good Governance and improved service delivery. iii) Guiding Principles, Focus, Steps and Challenges of Preparation of Quality GPDP, BPDP and DPDP aiming at holistic & sustainable development. iv) Scope of linkage among GPDP, BPDP and DPDP and the overall Draft District Development Plan v) Scope for strengthening of the e-Gram Swaraj for improved functioning of PRIs vi) Financial Management in PRIs (OSR, Budgeting, Accounting) ii) Possible policy reform measures and capacity building interventions for institutional strengthening of PRIs and viii) Possible mechanisms for measuring the institutional capacity of PRIs. The participants raised various questions during the interactions about integrating GPDP and BPDP issues in DPDP, usage of Mission Antyodaya Gap Report in e-GramSwaraj portal, the convergence of the schemes, and inclusion of green goals in DPDP.

Dr. M. N. Roy, IAS (Retd.), Ex-Additional Chief Secretary to the Government of West Bengal, Shri Saroj Kumar Dash, Joint Director, SIRD, Odisha, Dr. C. Kathiresan, Associate Professor & Head, CPRDP&SSD, NIRDPR, Dr. K. Rajeshwar, Assistant Professor, CICT, NIRDPR, Md. Taqiuddin, Senior Consultant, CPRDP&SSD, NIRDPR, Shri Dilip Kumar Pal, Project Team Leader for Creating Model GP Clusters, CPRDP&SSD, NIRDPR, Dr. Anjan Kumar Bhanja, Associate Professor, CPRDP&SSD, NIRDPR and Shri Vamsi Krishna Nukala, Senior Programme Management Consultant, PMU for PCMGPCs took various sessions of these training programmes.

At the end of the training programme, most of the participants shared their feedback on these training programmes. Shri Aditya Vidyasagar, Participatory Planning & Training Methodology expert from Uttar Pradesh expressed that, “In fact all the sessions were interactive, and therefore more productive. Sessions were Community-Connect-Oriented too, which I believe is the soul of making a Social Welfare Programme result-centric! I feel free to say that the content, pedagogy, and delivery by the experienced members of the faculty, who are loaded with the Ground-feel have been the crux to streamline trainees for Institutional Strengthening of PRIs, Capacitating the EWRs with the Panchayat Governance.” Another participant, Smt. Sneha Nehi, District Social Development Coordinator from Bihar stated that “This five-day Online Training on Institutional Strengthening of PRIs was an interesting and engaging one. The practical examples, discussions and practice work exercises helped me learn the concepts in a better way and also enhanced the utility of the training in dealing with various challenges related to the topic”. Shri Ramakrishnan, Consultant of Kerala Institute of Local Administration expressed that “The training gives a better understanding on roles, responsibilities and functioning of PRIs. The constitutional and statutory provisions supporting financial management are exciting and give more confidence in working in the area. The overall arrangement, coordination, presentation, recap and evaluation of the programme was excellent and model to other institutions. Follow up of this kind of training programmes may be encouraged”. Another participant Shri Prabhash Chandra Jha, Project Manager-Capacity Building, SPRC Bihar stated that “State Panchayat Resource Centre, Dept. of Panchayati Raj, Govt. of Bihar would like to extend sincere thanks to all the faculty members of NIRDPR for capacitating us with different facets of issues and challenges pertaining to institutional strengthening of the Panchayati Raj Institutions and means of achieving it. The training was highly informative and enriching. The visual illustrations made the content easily understandable.” These training programmes were coordinated by Dr. Anjan Kumar Bhanja, Associate Professor, CPRDP&SSD, NIRDPR, with support from Project Management Unit Team for Model GP Clusters.

CMPRP organises a Virtual Training programme on Marketing Skills for SHG members of Haryana

The Centre for Marketing & Promotion of Rural Products (CMPRP), National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRDPR), Delhi Branch organised its first training programme on marketing skills for the members of self-help groups recommended by SRLM of Haryana State from 05th July to 07th July, 2021 through online mode.

Dr. G. Narendra Kumar, IAS, Director General, NIRDPR inaugurated the programme on 05th July, 2021. Welcoming all the participants, he said that the training programme would be helpful for SHG members in marketing and promotion of their products.

Smt. Alka Upadhyaya, Additional Secretary and Mission Director (NRLM), Ministry of Rural Development and Shri Charanjit Singh, Joint secretary (RL), MoRD also addressed the participants.

The objective of the training programme was to train the SHGs for adopting better packaging and latest design for their products, better understanding of product design, product photography, promotion of rural products through online marketing channels and social media, improving their communication and behavioural skills, pricing, value chain and quality of products, customer care strategies, proper placement and decoration of products in stalls/shops and other marketing skills, etc. The training focused on building the capacity of SHG members, enabling them to produce and sell market-driven products.

The training course was designed by the Centre in consultation with experts from NIFT, Indian Institute of Packaging, IIMC, FDRVC, etc. Apart from Shri Chiranji Lal Kataria, Assistant Director & HoD, CMPRP, Dr. Akanksha Shukla, Associate Professor & Head (i/c), CDC, NIRDPR, Hyderabad and Shri Dharmendra Singh, Programmer, NIRDPR Delhi Branch, renowned guest speakers including Prof. Hemant Joshi, Professor (Retd.), IIMC, Dr. Aparna Dwivedi, journalist, Smt. Ritika Agarwal, NIFT, Shri Shakti Katre, Assistant Professor, NIFT, Shri Alok De, CEO, FDRVC and Smt. Ranjana Chitkara, ex-Manager, Dilli Haat delivered lectures during the training programme.

Nine sessions on the following topics were held during the three-day training on marketing skills for SHG members. The sessions included introductory session, promotion of rural products through e-marketing and social media, better product photography, basic communication skills, sales communication & psychology of buyers, devising media strategy through online communication, better designing & packaging of rural products & branding of products, value chain, quality, pricing of products, price tagging, placement and proper decoration of products in the stall/shop and feedback.

A total of 35 SHG members from the State of Haryana participated in the three-day online training programme. After completion of training, the feedback from the participants was taken through Training Management Portal. The programme received positive feedback from the participants and esteemed speakers.

There was a consensus that the programme would be highly useful for the members of SHGs for marketing and promotion of their products in future. The training concluded with a note of appreciation and gratitude by the programme coordinator. The programme was coordinated by Shri Chiranji Lal Kataria, Assistant Director & HoD, (Centre for Marketing & Promotion of Rural Products), NIRDPR-Delhi Branch with the support of Shri Dharmendra Singh, Programmer, Shri Sudhir Kumar Singh, Research Officer, Shri Jagat Singh, Assistant and Shri Suresh Prasad, Jr. Assistant of the Centre. After the submission of feedback form, e-certificates were issued to all participants.

Rejuvenating Civil Society Organisations for People’s Action to Rural Development

Dr. G. Narendra Kumar, IAS, Director General, NIRDPR addressing the participants

The civil society organisations played a key role in rural development through mobilising the community and catalysing the people’s actions for change as well as direct implementation of intervention in several development sectors.

In all rural development programmes, care has been taken to see that all the existing policies and procedures are reviewed and they are encouraged and supported through people’s participation in an organised way through local bodies, associations or voluntary organisations.

Supplemental action by voluntary agencies is an invaluable help in optimising the results of rural development programmes. Therefore, serious efforts have to be made to involve civil society organisations in various development programmes, particularly in the plans and implementation for rural development programmes.

Against this backdrop, the Centre for CSR, PPP and PA, at the NIRDPR Delhi Branch organised a training programme on ‘People’s Action Programme on Rejuvenating Civil Society Organisations for Rural Development Programmes’ for voluntary organisations through online mode. This programme was conceptualised to build knowledge of CSOs about rural development schemes and programmes which will enable them to act as resource persons in rural areas for socio-economic development.  The aims and objectives of the programme were:

  • To create awareness among the participants about various rural development schemes and programmes implemented by the Ministry of Rural Development.
  • To equip them with the knowledge and skills for organising economic and social development activities and management of rural development programmes.
  • To appraise them about the roles of various stakeholders of rural development.
  • To enable them to act as the catalysts for the benefits of rural people for their socio-economic development.

Dr. G. Narendra Kumar, IAS, Director General, NIRDPR delivered the welcome speech.  Highlighting the role of civil society organisations (CSOs) and voluntary organisations (VOs), the Director General said that they could play numerous roles in government policy structure, reaching out to the people in governance-deficient areas, changing the mindset of rural community, facilitating Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs), advocacy, social audit, etc.

The sessions of the training programme were developed by covering the main schemes of Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India. The following topics were delivered during the training period:

S. No.                         TopicsName of the Resource Persons
1Community Development: Challenges and ModelsDr. Murugesan Ramasamy Director, NIRDPR-NERC, Guwahati, Assam
2Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA): Providing                                     wage employment and establishing durable assetsDr. Jyothis Sathyapalan Head, Centre for Wage Employment & Livelihood, NIRDPR, Hyderabad
3National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM): Ensuring self-employment and skill developmentDr. Radhika Rani Head, NRLM Cell, NIRDPR, Hyderabad
4Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana: Housing for allDr. S Ramesh Sakthivel Head, Centre for Innovations and Appropriate Technology, NIRDPR, Hyderabad
5Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana: Constructing quality all-weather roads  Shri Sunil Kumar Joint Director, National Rural Infrastructure Development Agency, Ministry of Rural Development, New Delhi
6National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP): Providing social pensionDr. T. Vijaya Kumar Associate Professor, NIRDPR-NERC, Guwahati, Assam
7Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Rurban Mission: Transforming rural areas; Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) and Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM)Dr. R. Ramesh Head, Centre for Rural Infrastructure, NIRDPR, Hyderabad
8Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDU-GKY) – Skill development, wage employmentShri Surajit Sikdar, Assistant Director, Skill Innovation Hub NIRDPR, Hyderabad

In total, 32 representatives of CSOs/NGOs from 10 States (Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Jharkhand, Kerala, Odisha, Telangana, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and West Bengal) participated part in this programme. The programme received an overall effectiveness score of 90% from the participants with 96% speaker effectiveness, 94% attitudinal change, 93% knowledge, 92% in course content and skill. 

The participants of the programme

Dr. Pranab Kumar Ghosh, Course Director thanked the participants, resource persons and team members for the successful conduct of the programme and anticipated the following outcomes during the post-training period:

  • The strong presence and active engagement of the CSOs will be relevant to the development and governance deficient districts.
  • The CSOs will be deployed in the key interventions for a longer duration for planning and monitoring the rural development programmes.
  • CSOs will be involved relatively more in the implementation of existing schemes rather than in policymaking and designing of fresh schemes.

Dr. Pranab Kumar Ghosh
Assistant Director & Head,
Centre for CSR, PPP & PA,
NIRDPR Delhi Branch

OLM aids Jagi Padiami’s journey from farmer to entrepreneur

Jagi Padiami in her farm

Jagi Padiami is a small and marginal tribal woman farmer hailing from Koimetela village of Kalimela block in Malkangiri district, Odisha. She lives with her husband and three children and the family owns a very small holding of 1.5 acres, which is largely fallow land. Apart from this, daily wage labour was the other source of income for them. Jagi Padiami’s total annual income never crossed Rs.30,000.

She is a member of Jagannath SHG that was formed in September 2018. The SHG was adopted by Odisha Livelihoods Mission (OLM) in November 2018 with support of OLM Community Mobilise (CRP-CM). A Cluster Level Forum (CLF) was formed in July 2018 and it is facilitated by OLM.

The OLM, by design, helps the community (SHG) to identify the GPLF cadres like MBK, CRP-CM, Prani Mitra, Krishi Mitra & Bank Mitra for the Koimetela village level services as well as skill building of cadres in specified areas like agriculture, livestock, institution building, etc. Jagi’s life took a positive turn after she learnt how to ensure regular de-worming and vaccination to reduce mortality of her birds after following the training provided by the Veterinary department at Block and GP levels. Jagi was keen to absorb the takeaways of the training as she envisaged poultry as a possible source of income for her five-member family. The CRP and Prani Mitra provided her all support by regular visits her house and by supplying medicine, vaccine, etc.

Jagi, who is also the member of Poultry Cluster of Koimetela GPLF, previously had only 12 desi birds in her backyard poultry enterprises. She received 14 chicks of Rainbow Rooster chicken breed from the GPLF support of Prani Mitra. As a part of Odisha Livelihoods Mission’s strategic intervention in livestock theme, regular vaccination of poultry birds, goats and cattle has been planning and executing since 2020 through the Prani Mitras at each CLF, which was a paid service. The Veterinary department provided a kit containing: ORS- 2 Packet, Vimeral, Amprolium Powder, Ox Tetracycline Powder, Supplements including Vaccines like Lasota, Fowl Pox, Booster, Mukteswar Strai, etc. Due to the exercise, the mortality rate of poultry birds saw a 20 per cent drop in March 2021. This added to Jagi’s income and she made a profit of Rs. 3,500 to 4,000 in two-month period. Jagi purchased an additional 26 birds and now she has a total 40 birds. She sells the male bird in local market at the rate of Rs. 300 per kg. Along with Jagi’s hard work, the intervention and support of Odisha Livelihoods Mission has helped in elevating her status from a wage labourer to livestock entrepreneur; thereby gifting her an additional livelihood and earning option.

Ms. Rosalin Das
Block Project Manager
Kalimela Block
Malkangiri District, Odisha

CDP&A, TSIRD organises Orientation Training Programme to Panchayat Secretaries

The Centre for Decentralise Planning and Administration (CDP&A), Telangana State Institute of Rural Development (TSIRD), Rajendranagar, Hyderabad organised an Orientation Training Programme to Panchayat Secretaries as per the instructions of the Secretary, PR&RD department, Telangana State. 

The training programme for the first batch was conducted from 26th-28th July, 2021. The participants were newly recruited Panchayat Secretaries in Telangana State. 

The contents of the programme include salient features of Telangana Panchayat Raj Act, 2018, Model Village, Gram Sabha meetings and PESA Act 1996, Duties and Responsibilities of Gram Panchayat  Standing Committees and Sarpanch, Introduction to MGNREGS, Gram Panchayat meetings, Duties and Responsibilities of Panchayat Secretary, House Tax and Non taxes and Assessment, MGNREGS Works, Haritha Haram, Solid & Liquid waste Management, E Panchayat Applications, Layout and Building permissions, Execution of GP works, Regulatory Provisions in Telangana Panchayat Raj Act 2018, Maintenance of Gram Panchayat Records and GP Audit.

The programme aims to provide knowledge to the newly recruited Junior Panchayat
            Secretaries on various subjects in their day-to-day work in field
            along with newly enacted Telangana PR Act, 2018.

The event was presided by the Principal Secretary, Panchayati Raj & Rural Development, the Commissioner, PR&RE, Deputy Commissioners of PR&RE department, SBM Director, Principal of Extension Training Centre, JD(Trg.), JD(PR), JD(RD) of TSIRD, Faculty of ETC, Rajendranagar graced the occasion.

Outcome:- 1. They will become well versed in the subjects dealing day to day in the field.

                  2. They will be able to find solutions to all the issues arises during their day-to-day duties

                  3. They will beget awareness in implementation of the Act provisions their duties

Shri Sandeep Kumar Sultania, IAS, Secretary, PR&RD (3rd from right) addressing the participants, also seen Shri M. Raghunandan Rao, Commissioner, PR&RD department, Telangana (4th from right)                                 

Van Mahotsav Week: SIRD, HP undertakes Plantation Drive

Himachal Pradesh State Institute of Rural Development, Fairlawn, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh organised a plantation drive on 29th July, 2021 as part of the ‘Van Mahotsav Week’ observed from 26th -31st July, 2021. The programme was inaugurated by Shri Vivek Bhatia, IAS, Director, HPIRD, who planted an Oak sapling on the boundary of the Institute. Other faculty members participated in the event by planting and adopting one plant each. Besides this, the officer trainees of HAS and other allied services undergoing foundation training in the institute planted Oak and Pine saplings.

The plantation drive was undertaken with the support of Karavan, an NGO working for environmental protection. They had joined hands with SIRD, HP in planting the saplings and also to extend handholding support for three years for the sustainability of plants. Shri Vivek Bhatia appreciated the efforts of Karavan and informed that the government and non-government organisations working together for environmental protection can serve the objective of ecological balance.

Vocal for Local: SIRD, HP organises expo of SHG products

Shri Vivek Bhatia, IAS, Director, HPIRD at the exhibition

The State Institute of Rural Development, Himachal Pradesh at HIPA, Shimla organised an exhibition of products made by the Self-Help Groups (SHGs) on 29th July, 2021 under the ‘Vocal for Local’ campaign. The exhibition was inaugurated by Shri Vivek Bhatia, IAS, Director, SIRD, HP. He appreciated the work of SHGs, especially the handicraft items made from pine needles. The pine needle products serve the twin objectives i.e., it provides income support to rural women and it is an effort to preserve the environment by picking up the pine needles which do not allow anything to grow on the land where it falls besides being highly sensitive to catch fire in the forest.

Shri Vivek Bhatia interacted with the SHG women and requested the SIRD faculty members to explore the possibilities of hosting the SHG products on online shopping sites such as Amazon, Flipkart, etc., and organising a federation for SHGs in the State under the Vocal for Local canvas of Atmanirbhar Bharat.       

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