Essay on Issues and Challenges of Rural Development in India

General News | Feb-03-2022

Essay On Issues And Challenges Of Rural Development In India

Rural development generally refers to the socio-economic development of the people living in the rural areas. When we say rural areas, it can be defined as a geographical location that is situated away from towns and cities. Such areas are generally sparsely populated and have lesser number of facilities. The problems of rural areas in India are different from the problems of urban areas.

As per RBI, Rural areas are those areas that have a population of less than 49,000 (tier-3 to tier-6 cities). Typical rural areas are characterised by low population density and small settlements. India, being an agriculture-reliant economy, has a large number of people living in the rural areas whose income is dependent on agriculture. Not just that, over 70% of India’s rural population make substantial contributions to the overall economy of the country. That being said, people living in the rural areas have a huge contribution towards the economy of India. The problems of rural community are not just agrarian issues but also infrastructure, health, economic issues.

This brings us to the importance and need for rural development in India. With huge extents of rural areas all across the country, there are several different rural problems in India

In this article, we will discuss the various issues and challenges associated with rural development in India. From the areas that pose the greatest challenges to the details and complications, let us take a look at which rural problems in India need urgent attention.

The Key Issues of Rural Areas

People in the rural areas definitely lead a simple life. But that does not mean that there are no problems in their lives. Rural areas have a range of problems related to their social and economic conditions as well as other infrastructural facilities, healthcare, education and a lot more. India having a huge population and a great extent of rural areas, managing and addressing these issues can be a really challenging task.

Lack Of Education Facilities

One of the key problems existent in the rural areas of India is a major lack of education facilities. A huge portion of the rural population of India continue to remain uneducated even in today’s time. The educational infrastructure is seriously poor in India and a huge number of villages in India do not even have schools.

Even if some villages have schools, a lack of infrastructure leads to these existing schools not having any or adequate teaching and non-teaching staff. A lot of educational facilities are not in working conditions as well. When talking about the key issues of rural areas of India, it must be mentioned that every factor is related to each other and also greatly affects another.

For instance, the lack of education in these areas leads to poor economic growth. Not just that, it is also a reason that has contributed to the increase in traditionalism, and superstitious beliefs among the people living in rural areas. Due to a lack of formal education, rural people also have lesser chances to qualify for a job.

Not Enough Civic Amenities

India has huge extents of rural areas, as said earlier and it is pretty challenging to provide all such areas with adequate civic amenities. The basic most necessary civic amenities include medical facilities, transport facilities, medical facilities, as well as communication facilities like radio, TV, newspaper, telephone, etc.

Most of these are not available in the rural areas, or even if it is, it is not up to the expected quality that can satisfy the people. Sometimes it becomes difficult for the rural people to get the daily required necessities of life.

Economical Issues

Rural India has a pretty bad economic condition. This has been a result of years of colonial rule as well as a number of other factors. Amongst key factors are the huge increase in population in India as well as a lack of education. More than 40% people are living below the poverty line in India and a majority of them are from the rural parts of the country.

Other factors that have caused an economic crisis in these areas include disintegration of joint families which leads to subdivision and fragmentation of land holding, huge load on land, as well as traditional methods of cultivation, unemployment and other factors.

Social Issues

Illiteracy and poverty have their own fallacies. These two things being very prevalent in rural areas has led to a lot of problems and social issues in rural India. It can be said that rural people have become victims of bad habits and practices. Poor societal structure and a range of other issues have led rural people to adopt a range of bad habits.

Other issues like untouchability and caste discrimination have led to a huge issue in rural areas. These raging social issues are also a major issue in the way of rural development in India. Not just that, the traditionalism of rural people is also a big issue. It is a fact that the majority of the rural population in India are traditional and custom-bound.

Not just that, education is not adequate, and most of them being superstitious gets in the way of development. Rural people are also skeptical regarding the development programmes of the government and do not easily accept changes.

Faulty Administration

The biggest problem in the way of successful rural development in India is a faulty administration system. While there’s a lack of education and political awareness in these areas, a corrupt or faulty administration system leads to further grievances for the rural people. The inefficient functioning of the rural administrative bodies is a major hurdle that led to poor development of rural areas in India.

Not just that, the rural administrative bodies have also been criticised in the past as inefficient, defective, and corrupt. This is one of the major areas that need to be addressed to ensure proper rural development in India.

Areas That Need To Be Addressed To Ensure Rural Development In India

 With the above causes mentioned, there are different issues and challenges that need to be addressed to ensure proper and successful rural development in India. Let us take a look at these aspects.


 The first condition that needs to be rectified is unemployment in rural areas in India. Unemployment is a major issue in rural areas in India. Being unemployed, rural people are not able to generate a source of income and would naturally experience poverty. Lack of sufficient financial resources to meet the living requirements of a person’s family, leads to a majority of issues.

Authorities need to increase the involvement of rural people in minority jobs. While agriculture and farming practices are regarded as the primary occupations of rural people in India, they also need additional job opportunities for sustenance and all-round development.


 The root to a majority of problems in rural areas is inadequate education. This is why, education is one of the key areas that needs to be looked into while aiming for the development of rural areas. With the growth of education facilities individuals can get the basic literacy skills of reading, writing and arithmetic. Not just that, with better literacy skills, they would also have better abilities to take up a job or achieve employment.

Education will also lead to awareness and people can step up with better decisions for themselves and their sustenance. It will definitely make for better economical conditions in the longer run. That being said, when we say education, the key area that needs to be addressed is the schooling of young minds. Rural areas lack enough schools and proper schooling facilities. This is one of the key areas that needs to be looked into.

Improvement in the schooling infrastructure in the rural areas of India will lead to sustainable growth and development of rural areas in the near future. With better education, the future generations will have access to better financial resources which will lead to a better life and living conditions.

Health Care Facilities

It is unfortunate that rural people in India do not have access to proper and adequate health care facilities. It is one of the key areas that need to be addressed and looked into while aiming for the growth and development of rural areas. It is one of the basic responsibilities of the government and good health care facilities is something that is essential for rural development in India.

How Is Rural Development Influenced by The Constitutional Provisions Of India?

  • Directive Principles is contained in Article 40: The State shall take steps to organize the village panchayats and shall endow them with such authority and powers as may be necessary for their functioning as autonomous units.
  • Through the 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act of 1992, Panchayati Raj Institutions were provided with a constitutional recognition and responsibility for promoting rural growth across the India.
  • The Eleventh Schedule of the Constitution gives up to 29 issues such as land improvement and agricultural extension that are meant for the Panchayati raj institutions.

Government Programmes for the Rural Problems in India

National Rural Employment Guarantee Act of Mahatma Gandhi (MGNREGA) of 2005:

  • The programme was introduced as a form of social protection protecting the right to work.
  • This programme is viewed as a very comprehensive implementation by the Ministry of Rural Development in conjunction with the state governments.
  • The Gram Sabha and the Gram Panchayat decide on how the MGNREGA work shelf is ordered and approved.
  • MGNREGA constitutes a social audit that encourages the transparency and accountability.

Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM):

  • In June 2011, the Ministry of Rural Development launched the centrally sponsored scheme.
  • To eliminate the rural poverty by providing better access to financial services nationwide for impoverished households and also, promote multiple sources of income.
  • Community Investment Fund and the Revolving Fund contributed over Rs. Fifty-six crores compared to around Rs. 32 crore in the same period of FY 18.

The Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY):

  • It aims to build a road that can be used in all the seasons to bridge disjointed habitations.
  • The isolated communities having fixed populations (as per the 2001 census, more than 500 in plain areas and above two hundred fifty in the North-Eastern States, Hill states deserts& tribal Areas.) should be connected to uplift their social economic status.

Gramin Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana

  • To support the BPL (below povert line) rural population in constructing new dwellings and converting their living kutcha houses to pucca ones by providing full grants.
  • SC/STs, liberated bonded labourers and the members of non-SC ST groups; widows or surviving family members from defense personnel killed in action, former service persons including retired paramilitary forces with disabilities as well as minorities etc
  • The SECC census of 2011 serves in the identification of many beneficiaries.
  • The maximum expenditure that was allocated to the FY 2021–was 5854 Cr, which is twice as much compared to FY 2020 over the same time period.
  • One of its main objectives is to merge village development by simultaneous usage all the Central and State programmes into the PMAGY, which aims at empowering backward groups in India.

Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana

  • In this village development project developed in October 2014 by the Indian government, each member of parliament shall compose three villages' worth to create physical and institutional infrastructure
  • The Saansad Adarsh Gramme Yojana (SAANJHI) was launched on October 11, in the year 2014.
  • The government plans to create three Adarsh Gram by March 2019. After that, by 2024 five of these Adarsh Grams every one year will be selected and established.

NRU Mission (National Rurban Mission):

  • The SPMRM Rurban Mission aims at improving these rural areas with the provision of physical, social and economic infrastructure.
  • The mission aims at developing 300 Rurban clusters within the next five years.
  • In order to create a cluster of "Rurban Villages," the National Rurban Mission (NRuM) adheres to the following vision: "Evolution of a village cluster that retains and nurtures the life rhythms of rural community development with emphasis on equality, inclusiveness without sacrificing those facilities is considered to be essentially urban in its character."
  • Rurban clusters should be well developed; basic services shall also be provided and local economies shall be enhanced.

The National Security Assistance Programme (NSAP)

  • It is one of the responses towards realization of DPSP, which are Constitutional provisions in India. It mandates the State to undertake a range number of welfare programmes addressing the problems of rural areas in India within its resources.

Mission Antyodaya

  • It combines the government programs with Gram Panchayats as well as the basic planning unit. It does this through employing the saturation strategy that utilises both the financial and human capital to ensure economic stability and solve issues in rural settlements.

National Rural Health Mission (NRHM)

  • The government created the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), which seeks to provide affordable and readily available healthcare services in order to address the challenges with regards.

Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA)

  • Programmes such as Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) have highlighted the need for universal basic schooling in rural areas, rendering education another crucial issue. Its encompassing goals include raising the level of learning for the children, eliminating gender and socioeconomic disparities in education, retaining universal access to early childhood programs.

Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY)

  • To increase productivity in farming techniques, initiatives such as Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY) has been launched. These programs show that the government is committed to development based on inclusion by addressing rural problems in India affecting communities and general improvement.

Final Thoughts

Rural development in India is one of the key areas that need to be addressed in modern times. India needs it and the government needs to take proactive measures to lead to the development of rural areas and the living conditions of rural people. Rural development in India is possible and can be done when the right initiatives are taken for the development of the social, economic and living conditions of the people living in the region.

Although India has done very well by dealing with problems of rural community, it nonetheless takes continuous effort and ingenuity to manage the detailed problems facing a rural populace. The government is focused on equitable growth as evidenced by its efforts in the arenas of infrastructure development, healthcare and also education among others.

However, it is very crucial to continue working on comprehensive and sustainable plans that empower the rural populations by ensuring equal access of attention, resources as well.

Thus, in order to permanently promote the life of those residing in villages around India states cooperation between governmental and non-governmental sectors is necessary. India may come more nearer to achieving comprehensive development and narrowing the gap between urban and rural areas with particular attention being paid to problems of rural community.


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