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Hyderabad: Webinar on Integrated Panchayat Planning by NIRDPR under Azadi Ka Amrit Mahostav (India @75) initiative

National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRD&PR) has organized a Webinar on Integrated Panchayat Planning. The webinar is the first of a series planned as a part of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav (India @75) initiative by the Government of India. The webinar was started with a welcome address by Dr. C Kathiresan, Associate Professor and Head, School of Local Governance, NIRD&PR.

Highlighting the “Importance of Panchayat Planning for Holistic & Sustainable Development” Dr. Anjan Kumar Bhanja, Associate Professor, CPRDP&SSD, NIRD&PR said that “even after 20 years of 73rd & 74th Constitutional Amendments, Panchayats have not evolved as institutions of local self-government and able to play a role that is expected from them”. Shri S.M Vijayanand, IAS (Retd.), Ex-Chief Secretary, Government of Kerala stressed that “planning should be a beginning activity in addressing the developmental challenges and the most integrated plan is the most efficient plan. The concept integration may be within the sectors and across  the sectors and convergence could be a post facto activity.”

Dr. C. S Kumar, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Government of India spoke on the focus areas of Ministry and mentioned that “the focus has shifted from quantity to quality, so plans prepared by panchayats at all levels (GPDP/BPDP/DPDP) will be evaluated on quality terms. He further emphasized the importance of deploying human resources in strengthening GPs”.

Dr. M.N Roy, IAS (Retd.) Ex-Additional Chief Secretary said that “the environment for the integrated planning should be created through various orders and acts at State level and planning should not stop/wait for the policy environment but can still adopt the integrated planning by strengthening supply and demand”.

Shri Dilip Kumar Pal, Project Team leader for Creating Model GP Clusters, NIRD&PR highlighted the requirement of integrated planning at all tiers of Panchayat and emphasized the need for a set of guiding principles that will serve as a roadmap for holistic planning.

Padma Shri Popat Rao Powar, Ex- Sarpanch of Hiware Bazar, Maharashtra, has presented a practitioner’s view of integrated Panchayat planning.  During his talk, he covered various issues related to integrated planning like convergence, the importance of Gram Sabha, and evidence-based perspective planning. The webinar was concluded with the vote of thanks from Dr. Pratyusna Patnaik, Assistant Professor, NIRD&PR.

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