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Union Cabinet allocates Rs 5,142 crore to develop 300 smart village clusters

  • Seeking to bridge the rural-urban divide, government will set up 300 rural clusters by 2019-20 across the country as the Union Cabinet approved Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission with an outlay of Rs 5142.08 crore.
  • The mission aims to spur economic, social and infrastructure development in rural areas.
  • The preferred mode of delivery would be through Public Private Partnerships while using various scheme funds.
  • Rural Development Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh said the earlier scheme was only limited to the private sector.
  • The State Governments would identify the clusters in accordance with the framework for implementation prepared by the Ministry of Rural Development.
  • The scheme will function with 14 mandatory components to ensure an optimum level of development of a cluster, which include skill development training linked to economic activities, digital literacy, fully equipped mobile health unit and inter-village road connectivity.
  • The mission, which is said to be modelled on a similar initiative in Gujarat, will focus on creating community assets and improving basic infrastructure such as roads, shelter, power and drinking water in rural belts.
  • These clusters would be developed by provisioning of economic activities, developing skills and local entrepreneurship and providing infrastructure amenities, the Rurban Mission will thus develop a cluster of Smart Villages.
  • The Mission also has an Innovation budget towards facilitating research, development and capacity building.

Source: ET

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