By Navneet Mishra
New Delhi, Feb 22 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s signature scheme ‘Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana’ (SAGY) has received a setback as records show that less than half of MPs have not yet adopted a village in under the scheme in 2019-2024, the second term of the Modi government.
While the scheme had witnessed healthy participation from legislators in the first phase, there has been lack of interest among legislators in the later years.
This prompted the Union Ministry of Rural Development to write to the Members of Parliament urging them to adopt villages for their all round development.
The Rural Development Ministry in its meeting on December 19-20, 2019, found that only about 250 villages have been adopted by the MPs so far in the second term of the Modi government.
Given the lack of interest among legislators to the scheme, the Rural ministry wrote twice to the MPs – first on July 11 and then on October 8, 2019. According to sources in the rural ministry, this made the MPs think and now about 300 villages have been adopted, a marginal increase. The total legislators including the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha stand at 788.
The Rural Development Ministry has issued guidelines to all the MPs and has asked the chief secretaries of the states to conduct orientation programs for the MPs to push them to adopt villages.
IANS is in possession of the letter written by Dr Ashish Saxena, the deputy director of policy, planning and monitory division of the rural development ministry. According to the letter, in order to speed up the process of village adoption programs by the MPs, the district collectors have been asked to review the progress made in this regard.
Under SAGY, each Lok Sabha Member of Parliament has to adopt a village in her or his constituency, and take care of its holistic development using existing resources. The legislators should also implement rural schemes and use MPLADS funds for the purpose.
Rajya Sabha MPs can select a village in any district of the state from which they have been elected.
An MP can identify any village, except her or his native village, or one to which their spouses belong.
When the scheme was first envisaged in 2014, it was decided that each MP would adopt five such villages.
In the current phase, only 225 of the 543 Lok Sabha MPs and 58 of 245 Rajya Sabha MPs adopted a village.
In the first phase, a healthy 500 Lok Sabha and 203 Rajya Sabha MPs had adopted villages. In the second phase, the numbers came down to 364 and 133 MPs, respectively.
However, given the lack of enthusiasm on the part of MPs to adopt villages in the last leg, this is expected to be a tough ask.