Poverty Alleviation Current Affairs

Government merges Ministries of Urban Development, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation  

The Union Government has merged the Ministries of Urban Development and Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation to form the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.

With this merger, the Union Government now has 51 ministries. In 2004, there were total 42 ministries. The first government in independent India had just 17 ministries. 

Key Facts

The merger of ministries involved in policy making in urban areas into single ministry will help to ensure cohesiveness in formulating policies related to urban issues and cut the flab in bureaucracy.

These two ministries have a long history of mergers and de-mergers. This is third time the ministries have been merged. In 1952, they were one ministry which was known as the Ministry of Works, Housing and Supply. They were demerged in 1999, merged again in 2000 and bifurcated again in 2004.


The recent merger of ministries was based on the recommendation of a panel of secretaries. The panel in February 2017 had recommended the merger of the two ministries to increase efficiency in governance. It had recommended that the ministries of housing and urban poverty alleviation, and urban development be merged and that the AYUSH and pharmaceuticals ministries be brought under the Health Ministry. The panel also recommended the need to corporatise the Central Public Works Department (CPWD).


Cabinet approves signing of Agreement for establishment CIRDAP Centre in Hyderabad

The Union Cabinet approved signing of an agreement between the Union Ministry of Rural Development and Centre on Integrated Rural Development for Asia and the Pacific (CIRDAP) for establishment of CIRDAP Centre at National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRD&PR), Hyderabad.

CIRDAP Centre will give NIRD&PR advantage to have first-hand knowledge of networking with organizations specialized in rural development programmes and to build a repository of institutional knowledge for NIRD&PR.

This Centre will also help NIRD&PR to enhance its status in the region through linkages with other ministries and institutes in the CIRDAP Member Countries (CMCs).

It will also work on the implementation of integrated rural development, particularly poverty alleviation programmes within CMC member countries.


  • The CIRDAP is regional intergovernmental organization involved in rural development and poverty alleviation.
  • It was established in July 1979 at the initiative of the countries of the Asia-Pacific region and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the UN with support from several other UN bodies and donors.
  • Headquarters: Dhaka, Bangladesh.
  • Mandate: Promote regional cooperation and act as a serving institution for its member countries for promotion of integrated rural development through research action, training, information dissemination etc.
  • Members: So far there are 16 members. They are Afghanistan, Bangladesh (Host State), India, Indonesia, Iran, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam and Fiji. India is one of key founder members of it.