The World Bank recently conducted an assessment of the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) rural roads programme and its impact. As per the report released by the World Bank, rural roads built under the PMGSY, meant to establish ‘farm to market connectivity’, in fact, “triggered a shift from farm to non-farm employment”. The assessment, which was done between 2009 and 2017 in the rural habitations, points out that with roads in place, people chose employment opportunities outside their habitations over expanding their farming.
Key Points of the World Bank report about PMGSY:
- Because of PMGSY roads, the rate of primary employment in the non-farm sector progressed by about 12 percentage points in the rural areas studied. This increase signifies a 33 per cent rise in the average share of non-farm primary employment in 2009 in habitations that were connected after 2009.
- As per the World Bank’s report, it is the men that switch to non-farm employment while women step in to take care of the farms. Women’s entry in the workforce is the main reason for the 5.5 per cent increase in employment in connected rural areas.
- The report states that the shift to non-farm employment was more pronounced in hilly areas.
- The report also shows that the rural connectivity under PMGSY has made a positive impact on child immunisation, childbirths in hospitals, and schooling of both boys and girls in Indian rural areas.
- The share of babies delivered at home decreased by around 30 per cent in the connected rural habitations. This decrease is greater in those areas that are more remote from urban agglomerations.
- It showed 0.7 more years of schooling in 2017 in the connected habitations and also showed that young children were less likely to fall ill owing to vaccination take-up in children under 4 years increasing by 15 percentage points.
What is Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY)?
The Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) is a Centrally sponsored scheme run by Government of India to provide connectivity to unconnected rural areas as part of a poverty reduction strategy.
When was PMGSY launched?
The Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana was launched in 2000 by the then Prime Minister Atal Bihar Vajpayee. The PMGSY is under the Ministry of Rural Development.