The 73rd Constitution Amendment Act has given a thrust to a new paradigm of planning at the grassroots level. With this amendment, the Gram Panchayats together with Block and Zilla Panchayats would make plans as per their local resources and felt-needs, and undertake necessary programmes of direct importance to the community and also to the individuals. The rational allocation of resources is of prime importance in order to utilise them optimally for village development. In this very context, this book attends to the problems in local level planning, provides a process for involve- ment of local people, presents the strategy for improving the capacity of local institutions and finally suggests methodology for micro-planning. It is broadly classified as under : 1. Institutional Framework 2. Methodology for Micro-level Planning 3. Convergence of Resources and Services The book provides a framework for local level participatory planning and methodology which is easy to use by local panchayats viz., gram panchayat, block and district. It is hoped this book shali prove indis- pensable for development functionaries and panchayat members at local levels, policy makers, and academicians. Besides India, this book will also be useful in developing countries for undertaking micro- level planning by local institutions. **Contents and Sample Pages**
Mr. D.N. Gupta joined Indian Administrative Service (IAS) in 1989. For the last decade he has been closely associated with development planning, and management of implementation of various social and rural development programmes. He has worked in various capacities in the state of Orissa. He has held posts of Sub- collector, Malkangiri sub-division; Project Director, Tribal Development Project, Koraput; Managing Director, Orissa Textiles Mills, Cuttack; District Collector, Sonepur district; and Joint Secretary, Departinent of Weifare, Govt. of Orissa. He was Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Rural Development, Govt. of India. He has extensively worked in the field of watershed development, participatory planing, and training. His specialisation is in the field of micro-planning, project design and management of programmes. Besides, his areas of interest pertain to development administration, governance and decentralisation. He has written several articles on development issues and book titled Rural Development System. Presently, he is working as Fellow, Institute of Social Sciences (ISS), New Delhi.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
The necessity of development planning has been felt since Independence. Initially, the emphasis was laid on planned economy in which the state planned everything for the benefit of people at the lower levels. Such an approach failed to involve people tap their potential in the development. And, with the rising disparity among regions, unequal distribution of income within a region and persistent problem of poverty, planners at the higher level have to rethink about such a top-down approach and pressed the need for decentralised planning in development. Though, since 1960s, this approach gained wide recognition among policy makers, academicians, administrators and research scholars, but it was as late as in 1992, bottom-up approach got the constitutional recognition after 73rd Constitution Amendment Act. The Act seeks to take planning at the Gram Panchayat level with the active participation of people. It is hoped that plans -repared with the involvement of people would represent the telt-needs and aspirations of all the groups of the village, and wou.d, therefore, be sustainable for the socio-economic development of the people.
The present book draws from field research work at Gram Panchayat level. This research work was carried out in six states by the author. Based on the action oriented research study that involved an in-depth analysis of the present planning system, and through a detailed planning exercise in the Gram Panchayats for the preparation of action plan using a process approach; a comprehensive planning framework and methodology was evolved. The work has been organised in three parts. Part I deals with planning setup and process, role of DPC, capacity building of development functionaries, roles and responsibilities of various development functionaries, functions that are to be assigned to three tiers, and the support system. The part II specifically deals with methodology for planning which includes tools and techniques that are necessary for planning at GP, Block and District levels. Part III covers issues that are vital for convergence of resources and services at the planning and implementation Stages.
The analysis categorically brings out the deficiencies in the planning at the District, Block and GP levels. These are mentioned below:
1. First, the database which is the basic requirement for the planning is not developed for undertaking planning exercise.
2. Second, the infrastructure, in terms of adequate office building, record room for data-storage, and facilities such as computers for data analysis and networking, is missing at Block and Gram Panchayat levels, and only partially some facilities are available at district level and those are also not enough to carry out any meaningful planning exercise.
3. Thirdly, the planning, which is a Specialised exercise involving good knowledge and skills, is not supported by the adequate and trained manpower. It also shows that participatory planning at Gram Panchayat is hampered by a number of factors such as: lack of awareness among people at grassroots level, lack of capabilities in elected members and line departments, influence of individuals in the Gram Sabha meeting and poor Participation of women.
One of the important findings of this study is that the expenditure made on training is infinitesimal in comparison to total expenditure on development, while training has strong bearing on the ability of the PR members and development functionaries to formulate local level plans. It suggests that the expenditure on training should be taken as investment.
What is crucial here is that the tools and techniques that are presented in the book are prepared through a process of study of existing planning methodology at the local tiers, examination of issues involved in inter-sectoral planning, study of Kerala model of planning, and learning lessons from the planning exercise undertaken at the Gram Panchayat level under the Action Research Project. Further, the methodology was tested in six Gram Panchayats of the concerned six states where the research work was undertaken, and found to be simple, exhaustive and easy-to-use by PR members and other development functionaries for the preparation of plan.
The analysis on convergence critically examines the factors that are inhibiting the process of convergence at the grassroots level and identifies multiple schemes for similar purpose, multiplicity of departments for similar programmes, and missing links and resource-gaps in the programme design as the prominent factors that need to be addressed. It also points out how these factors are affecting the planning, implementation and monitoring of programmes.
The author suggests for initiating certain policy measures by the Central and State Governments which are crucial for the success of convergence of resources and services. The prominent among them include: strengthening participatory planning with adequate resource commitment for capacity building programmes, strengthening administrative setup with a focus on single line administration, improving planning units and delivery system at local tiers.
The book provides a very meticulous and comprehensive work on grassroots planning that would be of considerable interest to policy makers and benefit immensely the development functionaries at local levels.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
Against the backdrop of 73rd Constitution Amendment Act that empowers the gram sabha for the planning at the gram panchayat, a new paradigm of planning has begun. With this amendment the gram panchayat would make plans as per their local resources and felt-needs, and undertake necessary programmes of direct importance to the community and also to the individuals.
The purpose of the participatory integrated development planning at gram panchayat is to bring out the critical issues of importance to community with the involvement of people for the preparation of plan. Such plan represents the felt-needs and aspirations of all the groups of the village and also the plan so prepared would be sustainable for the socio-economic development of the people. The integrated planning for the holistic village development should encompass the whole gamut of issues concerning all the sectors and people, and also provide the basis for optimal and rational allocation of funds so as to have equitable and balanced development. Besides, it should facilitate the process of convergence of resources and services for their efficient application and for achieving the desired development objectives. In other words, it should contain the following:
1. the assessment of the existing resources, needs and problems;
2. formulation of objectives and alternative status for development; and
3. designing suitable development progammes and / projects to fulfill the desired objectives of the plans.
Therefore, in the context of above, in order to enable the panchayats to take up the task of participatory planning and to facilitate the preparation of plans at local levels, a planning framework together with a suitable planning methodology is necessary at all the three tiers viz., gram panchayat, block and district. Only then will it be viable to have plans from the below which will reflect the aspirations and needs of people, and also to ensure the integration of all the sectors.
For preparing planning framework and to formulate planning methodology at three tiers, a study was undertaken under Action Research Project-Integrated Village Development Planning. Under this project, an attempt was made to study the planning system at local tiers in six states viz., Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Maharashtra, Orissa, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu. More specifically, the study included issues such as people’s participation in planning, capacity of planning units to formulate the development plans, role of DPC and PRIs in planning, and the methodology of planning. Besides, the Kerala model of planning under people’s campaign was studied to learn lessons from this model. The study helped in understanding the weaknesses in the present planning system, and also in appreciating the strength of planning system in Kerala.
Finally, based on the action oriented research study that involved an in-depth analysis of the present planning system, and through a detailed planning exercise in the gram panchayats for the preparation of action plans using a process approach, a comprehensive planning framework and methodology was evolved.
The present work has been organised in three parts.
Part one deals with planning setup and process, role of DPC, capacity building of development functionaries, roles and responsibilities of various development functionaries, functions that are to be assigned to three tiers, and the support system.
Chapter one begins with the need for decentralisation in the development process. It also discusses the prerequisites for successful decentralised planning.
Chapter two discusses the weaknesses of the present planning system. It specifically examines the organisational system at district, block and gram panchayat levels, the support system in terms of database development and data analysis facilities, and the planning process at all the three tiers. It critically analyses the reasons that are hampering the preparation of people’s plan at the gram panchayat level, and thus affecting the basic foundation of the constitutional amendment.
The analysis categorically brings out the deficiencies in the planning at all the three tiers. These are: firstly, the database which is the basic requirement for the planning is not developed for undertaking planning exercise; secondly, the infrastructure, in terms of adequate office building, record room for data storage, and facilities such as computers for data analysis and networking is missing at block and gram panchayat levels, and only partially some facilities are available at the district level that are also not enough to carry out any meaningful planning exercise; and lastly, the planning which is a specialised exercise involving good knowledge and skills, is not supported by adequate and trained manpower. It also shows that participatory planning at gram panchayat is hampered by a number of factors such as: lack of awareness among people at the grassroots level, lack of capabilities in elected members and functionaries at panchayat level, influence of individuals in the gram sabha meeting, poor women participation, and interference by family members especially of thé husbands of woman elected members. The analysis further brings out that the planning exercise at local tiers is merely a compilation of proposals submitted by various departments.
The problems of multiple schemes, multiplicity of departments, and resource gap and missing links within the programmes create various constraints for achieving the objective of convergence of resources and services at the grassroots level. And, the development efforts continue without addressing this crucial issue of convergence that has a strong bearing on the effectiveness and the efficiency of implementation of development programmes. Thus, it is a great challenge as to how the village development planning should be carried out in order to ensure not only the optimal allocation of resources but also the convergence of resources for their efficient end use.
Besides, the constitution and role of district planning committee (DPC) requires further examination in the context of the fact that planning requires both specialised knowledge and skills, and systematic and in-depth analysis. With regard to the status of planning system, a comparison has also been drawn between Kerala on the one hand and other states on the other. It clearly depicts that Kerala stands apart with respect to various indicators viz., role of government, environment for participatory planning at the gram panchayat level, capabilities of elected representatives at panchayat level, infrastructural and manpower support, formulation of planning methodology and process, and devolution of funds.
Chapter three makes suggestions for establishing the requisite planning setup at the three tiers. It makes a close examination of the present constitution and role of DPC and lays stress on having experts in the DPC and formation of sector-wise resource groups, technical committees and appraisal committees for assisting DPC in the formulation of district plan. It stresses the need for having block and GP level planning committees in order to provide these tiers adequate support for the preparation of their plans. It recommends the desired organisational setup for three tiers, viz., district, block and gram panchayat, which would facilitate the process of integrated development planning and implementation.
Chapter four looks into the capacity building of PR members and development functionaries. It takes clue from Charles V. Kidd (1980), who has noted, "The interest in training arises from the realisation that lack of trained manpower poses obstacles to development as formidable as those pertaining to scarce resources, inadequate capital and insufficient technology." Further, it expresses concern on the infinitesimal expenditure made on training in comparison to total expenditure on development. It stresses that in order to facilitate the PR members to perform effectively and to improve the level of performance of development functionaries, desired capabilities viz., technical, administrative and behavioural need to be developed in them. In the context of participatory planning and development, it emphasises on effective training for equipping the functionaries with appropriate knowledge and skills for the said capabilities.
It also attempts to identify the training needs for each sector and the training modules for decentralised participatory planning.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
Item Code: NAU327 Author: D.N. Gupta Cover: HARDCOVER Edition: 2004 Publisher: Books India International, New Delhi Language: English Size: 8.50 X 5.50 inch Pages: 344 Other Details: Weight of the Book: 0.61 Kg