How do District Rural Development Agencies (DRDAs) help in the reduction of rural poverty in India?
- DRDAs act as Panchayati Raj Institutions in certain Specified backward regions of the country.
- DRDAs undertake area-specific scientific study of the causes of poverty and malnutrition and prepare detailed remedial measures.
- DRDAs secure inter-sectoral and inter-departmental coordination and cooperation for effective implementation of anti-poverty programmes.
- DRDAs watch over and ensure effective utilization of the funds intended for anti-poverty programmes
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
[UPSC Civil Services Exam – 2012 Prelims]
(a) 1, 2 and 3 only
(b) 3 and 4 only
(c) 4 only
(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4
- The District Rural Development Agency (DRDA) has traditionally played a key role at the district level in supervising the implementation of anti-poverty programs under the Ministry of Rural Development.
- Since April 1999, a separate DRDA Administration has been established to manage administrative expenses.
- The funding for DRDAs is shared between the central government and state governments, with a ratio of 75:25.
- However, starting from 2008-09, the funding pattern for the North Eastern (N.E.) states has changed to a ratio of 90:10. In the case of Union Territories (UTs), the central government provides the entire funds (100%) under the Scheme.
District Rural Development Agencies (DRDAs)
- DRDA serves as a supporting and facilitating organization, playing a crucial role as a catalyst in the development process. Their responsibilities include effective coordination with various stakeholders such as line departments, Panchayati Raj Institutions, banks, financial institutions, NGOs, and technical institutions.
- However, it’s important to note that DRDAs are expected to coordinate effectively with Panchayati Raj institutions but not perform their functions. Therefore, statement 1 is incorrect.
- The main role of DRDA involves planning for the successful implementation of anti-poverty programs, coordinating with different agencies for effective program execution, empowering the community and rural poor in decision-making processes, ensuring adherence to guidelines and quality, reporting implementation progress to authorities, and promoting transparency. Hence, statement 3 is correct.
- DRDA is responsible for monitoring the utilization of funds allocated for anti-poverty programs and needs to develop a deeper understanding of the processes required for poverty alleviation. Therefore, statement 4 is correct.
- DRDAs are also expected to enhance awareness among the rural poor about rural development and poverty alleviation. Additionally, they should strive to promote transparency in program implementation by periodically publishing program details.
- However, DRDAs are not specifically mandated to conduct area-specific scientific studies on the causes of poverty and malnutrition or prepare detailed remedial measures. Therefore, statement 2 is incorrect.