In AWE Webinar on Looking Beyond Cities-Urbanization of Rural India, held on 30th September,2020



In AWE on Wednesday, 30th September, 2020.


Dipika Tuteja, Founder of In AWE, introduced the concept of the title, Looking Beyond Cities-Urbanization of Rural India. The aim of the webinar was to bring a way forward to develop a Cluster of Model Villages. She talked about how in 2015, when the idea of SMART CITIES was initiated by the present government, it was found that the major challenges of each city were slums and poverty.

She said “Pandemic crisis with nationwide lockdown in most countries world over has brought about much introspection relative to each country. Our concern is India and its fight for future planning. What we saw, mass reverse exodus of migrants to their native villages, it diluted governments efforts of containing the virus. Our future resilience to any other such disasters requires a deeper thinking and planning for both urban and rural areas.”

She further said,

  • Sensing this need, we undertook this study to help rural communities to build necessary civil infra-structures.
  • These initiatives are aimed at improving quality of life in the adopted areas and bringing much needed comfort to women, children and poor in general and controlling or limiting migration to the cities.
  • WHAT WE PROPOSE IS A PARALLEL DEVELOPMENT – DEVELOPING BOTH URBAN AND RURAL AREAS IN A WAY THAT THEY ARE INDEPENDENT AND NOT DEPENDENT UPON EACH OTHER for BASIC FACILITIES- which includes transportation, connectivity, health centers, education, besides employment that is the key to migration.

The discussion was started by the team of officials from the Development and Panchayats Department, Government of Haryana, under the leadership of Mr. Sudhir Rajpal, IAS, Principal Secretary to the Government of Haryana.

Mr. Veenus Nathalia, Assistant Engineer IT, gave us an insight into the various ongoing initiatives launched, in his scope of work.

  • Preparation of Gram Panchayat Development Plan (GPDP) for all the Gram Panchayats across the State for financial year 2020-21 in convergence with Mission Antyodaya survey
  • Successful implementation of Panchayati Raj Institutions Accounting Software

(PRIASoft)-Public Financial Management System (PFMS) integrated model in

the State of Haryana: Gram Panchayats are now maintaining their online accounts

and doing digital transactions with their Digital Signatures for Central Finance

Grants received from MoPR, GoI.

  • Setting up of Gram Sachivalayas (Village Secretariat) in convergence with rural

CSCs: Around 1850 Gram Sachivalayas have been established in Haryana. Out of

which, VLEs have been shifted in around 1020 Gram Sachivalayas and delivering

e-Services to the rural citizens.

Mr. M.L Garg, Joint Director, Panchayats, talked about the Swachch Bharat mission and solid waste management. Some of the accomplishments are:

Swachh Bharat Mission- Gramin (SBM-G):

  • Haryana State has achieved 100% IHHLs coverage.

Achieved 1st Rank as per Swachh Survekshan Grameen Awards 2018

across the country and 1st Rank as per Swachh Survekshan Grameen

Awards 2019 in North Zone.

  • Door to door collection of waste in every village is being initiated.
  • Construction of Gobardhan projects @ Rs.50 lac per district on the lines of

village Nayagaon project in Hisar district that provides household gas

connection at 1/3rd price of LPG.

  • Faecal Sludge Management on the lines of Nilokheri Block in every Block

to be initiated with purchase of equipment like tractor and sucking

machine and its linkage with existing STPs.

  • Construction of Community Sanitary Complexes in remaining 2000

villages of Haryana

  • 1359 Solid Waste Management (SWM) projects have been sanctioned so

far. 754 have been completed and 172 are in progress.

  • 1323 Liquid Waste Management (LWM) projects have been sanctioned

so far. 536 projects have been completed and 462 projects are in progress

  • Construction of Animal Hostel in Ugara Village, District Ambala.
Dr. Upadhyay, Chairman DNR Foundation, talked about his projects done in Rajasthan and the learnings from them.
Architect Mr. Goonmeet Singh Chauhan, Founder Partner Design Forum International, presented transformative ideas for the rural economy from his recently published book ‘Invertonomics’. His idea to increase farmer’s income by providing proper storage facilities will facilitate other development in the rural areas besides creating job opportunities.
Dr Kadambari, Chief Executive PHD Rural Development Foundation, apprised us about the aspects of corporate social responsibility and its scope in rural development.

Lastly as an inspiration of private initiative, Ms. Punam Chopra, Director DPNC Consultants, talked about the various rural development projects- check dams, schools upgradation etc., completed by her along with the other batchmates from FMS.

Mr. Sudhir Rajpal concluded the discussion by highlighting the many schemes being planned. These are aimed as a circular initiative where the land owned by panchayats is leased to private players to set up industries. This will generate revenue while creating jobs for the youth. He also agreed that private investment is required as there is shortage of public infrastructure. He also suggested the need of architects and planners in the re-planning of the village’s masterplans.
  • The many development schemes launched and being worked upon by the government are in the interests of villages and villagers.
  • The gap to reinforce governments initiatives can be filled up by private participation. This could be under CSR by organizations or industries setting up in or around villages.
  • Planners and architects can play an important role in the overall development.

#ruraldevelopment #swachchbharatmission #architects #grampanchayats