Rural Development Current Affairs

Government launches Aarambh mobile app for road maintenance  

The Union Ministry of Rural Development launched Aarambh mobile app for performance based maintenance contracting and community contracting for maintenance of rural roads.

It was launched jointly launched by Union Minister for Panchayati Raj, Rural Development, Drinking Water & Sanitation Narendra Singh Tomar and visiting ILO Deputy Director General (Policy) Deborah Greenfield.

Aarambh mobile app

Aarambh mobile app aims at use of Geographic Information System (GIS) based mapping for making road inventories, condition surveys and producing cost estimates and other relevant data for preparation and monitoring of annual road maintenance plans. Its usage will help to enhance the service delivery of the state level institutions in planning and implementing performance based rural roads maintenance contracts. 

Concept and Guidance Note for Mobilizing Funds for Maintenance of Rural Road

In addition, the Ministry also launched a Concept Note and Guidance Note for Mobilizing Funds for Maintenance of Rural Road. The note outlines innovative ways, that can be adopted by State Governments for mobilizing additional funds for road maintenance and also adopt international best practices worldwide. It will help states to overcome challenge of resource mobilization for rural roads maintenance.

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Union Cabinet approves Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan for rural digital literacy

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved ‘Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan’ (PMGDISHA) to make 6 crore rural households digitally literate by March 2019.

PMGDISHA is expected to be one of the largest digital literacy programmes in the world. This approval comes in line with the announcement made by Union Finance Minister in the Union Budget 2016-17.

Key Facts
  • Under the scheme, 25 lakh candidates will be trained in the FY 2016-17; 275 lakh in 2017-18; and 300 lakh in 2018-19. The outlay for this project is Rs. 2,351.38 crore to usher in digital literacy in rural India.
  • To ensure equitable geographical reach, each of the 250,000 Gram Panchayats across the country will be expected to register an average of 200-300 candidates.
  • Digitally literate persons will be able to operate computers/digital access devices, send and receive emails, access government services, browse internet, search for information, undertaking cashless transactions, etc..
  • The scheme will be implemented under the supervision of Ministry of Electronics and IT in collaboration with States/UTs through their designated State Implementing Agencies, District e-Governance Society (DeGS), etc.
Background

As per the 71st National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) Survey on Education 2014, only 6% of the total 16.85 crore rural households have a computer. It highlights that more than 15 crore rural households i.e. 94% do not have computers. Besides, significant numbers of these households are likely to be digitally illiterate.

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