Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Rural Development Minister Interacts with over 1100 Panchayats in KBK+ through the “Gram SAT- an ISRO Satellite

PIB Press Release, Aug 21, 2007
In a unique experiment to reach out to beneficiaries directly Dr. Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, Union Minister for Rural Development linked up to over 1100 Panchayats in Orissa through the “Gram SAT- An ISRO Satellite” and interacted on the rural development schemes under operation in Orissa with about 75,000 rural development functionaries/ PRIs/ villages directly.

The Ministry of Rural Development stands committed to bring about transparency and efficiency in implementation of its various schemes all over the country. As a part of this effort the Ministry has of late been initiating different proactive measures like online monitoring, social auditing, etc. In yet another measure in this direction the Ministry organized a direct interaction with the beneficiaries of Rural development schemes in Orissa spread in 30 districts, 314 blocks and 1179 Panchayats through Gram SAT.

Addressing the beneficiaries of various rural development schemes, the field level implementers of rural development schemes, the elected representatives of Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) Dr. Raghuvansh Prasad Singh told that this experiment would go a long way in taking the Government machinery to the doorsteps of the beneficiaries and mitigating their problems and issues. Dr. Singh also gave a detailed account of the financial and physical achievements of rural development schemes in Orissa in his address through the satellite. Dr. Singh informed that stern measures will be taken to stamp out any attempt at any level to deprive the beneficiaries from their rights and corruption shall not be tolerated in implementation of the rural development schemes. He urged the State Governments to ensure that benefits of the schemes are reached to the masses without any hindrances. The Minister had a face to face interaction with about 75,000 rural development functionaries/ PRIs/ villages directly. Also present in the occasion was Shri Chandra Shekhar Sahu, Union Minister of State for Rural Development. Sh. Sahu emphasized on the need of cooperation between the State and the Central Governments for effective implementation of rural development schemes.

The event which is first of its kind evoked tremendous enthusiasm and response from participants down up to the Panchayat level and nearly one lakh people were present at the Gram SAT centres. Some of the districts from where questions were asked are in the remote areas like Malkangiri, Nuapara, Kalahandi and Phulbani. This effort of the Ministry is also aimed at enhancing the awareness of the beneficiaries about their entitlement and various processes involved for getting the benefit of schemes. Through interaction, Ministry could get insight into field level problem, which shall help, in further planning and drawing up strategy in future.

Gram SAT pilot projects are being run in some select states of the country and are being utilized very effectively to reach out development messages directly to the villagers by ensuring community listening, viewing and linking up large body of villagers. In view of the high potential of this media the IEC Division of MoRD has initiated this unique experimentation. Appreciating the initiative, Dr. Singh directed to arrange for such conferences once in a month on rotational basis. The Minister shall discuss other technical options with ISRO to reach to the common masses including exploring the possibilities of creating a dedicated television and radio channel for rural development.

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