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Tuesday, Dec 07, 2021
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Inclusive Growth

'Community Participation Is Critical'

The minister of state for commerce and industry says, "You cannot be a panchayati raj fundamentalist. It could be one of the answers, and not the only one."

'Community Participation Is Critical'
'Community Participation Is Critical'
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

On the weaknesses in implementation and the role of community participation: It cannot be a top-down approach. Social audits through concurrent evaluation is an important tool as it brings out the problems on a real-time basis and helps to correct and feed back solutions into the programme. Involvement of elected institutions or representative institutions like the self-help groups (SHGs) brings about a greater degree of transparency. For the first time, programmes have been funded on a critical or larger scale, so, people are beginning to take interest in them from the management point of view also.

Community participation is critical to the success of development programmes. Bringing about innovations in programmes is one thing, but another serious concern is the inequality. Poverty may be coming down in India but inequality between the rich and the poor and, more importantly, between South India and other regions like, say, east of Kanpur, is growing. In 1994, I had written that India has not only a PoK problem but also an EoK (east of Kanpur) one. Things are beginning to change a bit with investments coming into Orissa and West Bengal. But Jharkhand, Bihar and the Northeast are areas where we do not have the development that you see in the south, and parts of the north and the west.

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