Why in News? Department of Rural Development released the ranking of Gram Panchayats under Mission Antyodaya. Context • Article 243G of the Indian Constitution mandates preparation of plans for economic development and social justice by Panchayats and through this process Panchayats are expected to evolve into institutions of local selfgovernance. • However, due to multiple layers of planning, administration and resource allocation to tackle deprivations, the efforts are often dispersed in time and space, leading to suboptimal results. • Variance in selection criteria across schemes as well as spatial and temporal mismatch in supporting the same individual/household through government scheme results in different schemes targeting different individuals/households resulting in under-utilization of capacity and sub-optimal outcomes. • Further, despite substantial public investment being made for strengthening rural economy and livelihoods base of the poor; due to multidimensionality of poverty, there is a need to optimize efforts through inter-sectoral approach. • Hence, it is necessary to develop a model framework-along with enhanced financial allocation- based on convergence, accountability and measurable outcomes to ensure that the resources are effectively spent in providing ‘sustainable livelihoods for every deprived household’. Importance of GP level planning • It captures felt local needs and provides better appreciation for local potential and ensures easy access to resources, entitlements and services. • It provides space for integration of people’s knowledge and wisdom into local development efforts. • It responds to differential needs of different groups while mobilizing all the sections and encourages their participation in the local governance. • It helps to forge better bond between the panchayats and local citizens while ensuring responsive governance. • It improves overall service delivery and motivates volunteerism. Framework for Implementation for Mission Antyodaya • The framework makes use of Information & Communication Technology to ensure that the benefits reach those who are most deserving as per SECC Data. • Through a robust Management Information System linked to schemes data bases, it would be possible to ensure endto-end targeting against defined set of indicators to measure progress against the base line. • Over 25 Departments and ministries of central and state governments will be participating in this mission. • The data from different schemes would be put in public domain for complete transparency. • The states have selected Gram Panchayats (GPs)/clusters which are either GPs with achievements like ODF, crime/dispute free GPs award winning GPs, or are covered under other schemes. Key Outcomes envisaged • Strong infrastructure base for selected GPs/clusters through prioritised implementation of schemes in line with the GPDPs/cluster development plans. • Effective social capital promoting participatory planning and implementation of the schemes engaging wide range of stakeholders at GP/cluster. • Enhanced economic opportunities through diversified livelihoods including non-farm sector, skilling of rural youth and women, development of value chains and promotion of enterprise. • Strengthened democratic processes through capacity building of PRIs, public disclosures, GP level formal and social accountability measures such as social audit . Key Processes under Mission Antyodaya • Carry out baseline survey of households and monitor the progress periodically. • Ensure convergence of programmes/ schemes targeted towards development of rural areas. • Institutionalize partnerships at Gram Panchayat/cluster between PRIs, community organizations, NGOs, SHGs, institutions and field level functionaries of different departments (e.g., ASHA workers, Anganwadi Workers, etc.) • Promote enterprise through partnership with institutions and professionals . Ranking of Gram Panchayats • The broad parameters used areo Infrastructure Parameters o Economic development and Livelihood o Health, nutrition and sanitation o Women Empowerment o Financial Inclusion • Tellapur gram panchayat in Telangana has been found to be the best village in the country followed by Parapatla in Andhra Pradesh. • The most developed panchayats include 33 from Andhra Pradesh and 21 in Tamil Nadu. • Just 7 Gram panchayats from north India figure among the top 83 panchayats.