Thursday, March 4, 2021
Home Politics Changing face of Rural India and how it could impact 2019 elections

Changing face of Rural India and how it could impact 2019 elections

It is becoming increasingly difficult these days to differentiate between fact and fiction, truth and propaganda. Hence, in the spirit of transparency, before going forth with my analysis, I would like to declare that I am a Central Government Employee and my father is an Assistant Engineer in Irrigation Department under the Uttar Pradesh Government.

This article is my observation of ground realities, far away from the gaze of main stream media. This might explain how BJP won 325 out of 403 seats in UP and where did those votes come from. The constituency I chose to analyse is Raebareli, Lok Sabha seat of Mrs. Sonia Gandhi.

Before we analyze the impact on the ground, lets go through the foundation laid down by a “DESI”, non-technocrat Prime Minister

  1. Jan Dhan Yojna– Under this scheme banks were given the task of opening bank accounts of citizens with minimum documentation and zero balance.
  2. The Payment of Wages (Amendment) Act 2017, mandates employers to pay wages to workers through cheque or by transferring their wage to their bank account without their written authorization.
  3. Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and other Subsidies, benefits and services) Act, 2016 makes the seeding of Aadhaar number for PDS and MNREGA. It is the foundation stone of Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) .

In Raebareli, I met a gentleman who owned a Plywood factory with 200 odd workers. Earlier he used to pay them Rs.200 daily with their signature on vouchers made for the amount of Rs.450. He used to also show only 50 workers at labour commissioner’s office, when in reality he employed 200 workers, thus stealing PF of 150 workers. Now with mandatory bank transfer/cheque under The Payment of Wages (Amendment) Act 2017 there is no way to hide the number of workers from labour commissioner as payments have to be made directly to the bank accounts of all 200 workers. These accounts were opened under Jan Dhan Scheme. All those workers are now covered under EPF along with PM Social Security Schemes for Life as well as Accidental Insurance.

During his first year as Prime Minister, when Modi neither scrapped MNREGA nor reduced its funds, he was questioned by his own supporters. While the questions mounted, this is what the Prime Minister did with the scheme and why he thought it was necessary to retain MNREGA and maintain the funds allocated to it :

The relative who was hosting my stay, was in-charge of overseeing implementation of MNREGA. After DBT and AADHAAR, it’s a closed chamber with no leakages. Pictures of daily work have to be uploaded via an app which also captures geo-location. If 2 jobs are within a distance of less than 10 metre, It is not accepted and payments can’t be made. Payments are now made on daily basis after AADHAAR authentication of worker towards his account. No geo-location work can be repeated for 2 years.

This fact was further confirmed when I spoke to my father who is handling irrigation/water conservation projects funded by Central Government, in Lalitpur District of Bundelkhand. Payments are released only after verification of work via GIS by location obtained from uploaded pictures. All forged workers have been removed from system and the genuine workers are getting the full payment due to them.

Next gram sabha elections would be interesting to follow as the main source of funds for Pradhans have dried up due to AADHAAR-DBT implementation.

Next major effect is on PDS-AADHAAR. After Aadhaar feeding, more than 35% fake cards have been cancelled. The distribution is happening only through Aadhar POS machines. PDS shop owners have started asking for fixed monthly commission now while previously such demands were never made. When one analyses closely, one realises that the reason for such demands surfacing now is because the PDS-Aadhaar link has killed the main source of corruption in PDS as there are no incentives now for them.

Aadhaar-PDS (click on the image for larger size)

Another good news is a pilot project on DBT of Urea subsidy. I am sure when it is implemented pan India, it will transform the rural areas, since currently, unless one pays extra, one can’t get subsidised Urea from government shops. Here is the progress on the Pilot Project.

DBT implementation status (click on the image for larger size)

Two ministers who are performing exceptionally well and who would make a difference during the 2019 campaign are Mr. Piyush Goyal and Mr. Dharmendra Pradhan. The Power situation has vastly improved in just the last 3 years since the Modi Government came to power. It may be a low impact issue for urban middle class but in rural areas and in villages, IT IS THE ISSUE. Villages that were immersed in darkness for the last 65 years are now getting 16-18 hours of daily power supply. It has revolutionised the villages and has made android phones and televisions a household thing in areas that did not have access to these gadgets earlier.

For our urban elite, progress can be measured only when the lesser privileged own iPhones or Galaxy S8, but for people who had no access previously, a basic android phone with Whatsapp and cheap data, thanks to Jio, is enough. Even in poor households with 6-10 members, you will find at least 1 Android phone with WhatsApp. It has revolutionised the consumption of news too.

Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana is another trump card, changing the equations in Rural India. 5 years back, in my own village of 200 odd residents, only a paltry 10-15 people had LPG Connections. That mandate of 2014 changed it all. Now everyone has LPG connection. Those who could afford, got it due to easy availability, those who couldn’t afford, got it thanks to Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana.

With these revolutionary changes, one perhaps doesn’t even need to ask those MNREGA Workers, MSME workers and Villagers who they might vote for in 2019.

These are of course my personal observations. But I do believe the story wouldn’t be much different in any of the villages across the country. The country is marching ahead on the path of Vikaas. And while the urban elite might not see the changes, the changes are happening at a dizzying speed.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

Arun Verma
Central Govt employee working at ICAR-IVRI, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmer Welfare.

Related Articles

Trending now

‘Freedom House’ downgrades India from ‘free’ to ‘partly free’: Read how it is wholly funded by the US govt and has ties to George...

Freedom House downgraded India based on facts they did not find convenient and a fallacious narrative woven by left and Islamists

Crores of undisclosed income, unexplained cash receipts and more: IT Dept discovery so far in raids against Anurag Kashyap, Taapsee Pannu

Income Tax department (IT dept) conducted raid on properties linked to filmmaker Anurag Kashyap, actress Taapsee Pannu and others

China has the ability to seriously challenge the stable and open international system: The US Secretary of State

Tony Blinken said that in order to win the global economy, the US needed to push back unfair trade practices of China

‘I am 25 and never had sex’: LGBT activist, accused of raping another woman, had said on stage that she is incapable of having...

Earlier this week, a yoga trainer took to Instagram to accuse Dureja of raping her under pretext of performing Shamanic rituals.

Jharkhand: Five members of a family, including a five-year-old child axed to death by villagers over ‘black magic’ suspicions

Five members of a family killed by villagers after a priest said that their witchcraft is responsible for deaths and diseases in the villages

Trolls use fake, photoshopped images to attack Kangana Ranaut for pictures of a fruit smoothie

Kangana Ranaut faced troll attack after sharing a photo of a smoothie she had made. Trolls claimed that she had copied food image from the internet.

Recently Popular

PM Modi and his mother abused live on air by a caller on a BBC radio show on Sikhs in the UK

BBC edited the program and the host offered apology after caller abused PM Modi and his mother during a live radio show

“Are you so creatively bankrupt”? Director of ‘Yeh Ballet’ slams Deepika Padukone starrer new Levi’s ad for plagiarising design ideas

Sooni Taraporevala said that the 'copycat culture' in India needs to be called out and cancelled after the set used in new Deepika Padukone starrer Levi's ad was plagiarised by the makers.

Her husband used to talk vulgar to girlfriend in front of her: Here is what the lawyer of Ayesha, who jumped into Sabarmati river,...

Ayesha, who committed suicide by jumping into the Sabarmati River in Gujarat on March 1, had a disquiet marital life

‘Inserted her hand claiming she was planting a tree’: LGBT activist Divya Dureja accused of sexual assault under pretext of shamanic ritual

A popular LGBT activist Divya Dureja has been accused of sexual assault by Elodie Gendron under pretext of a Shamanic ritual.

Crores of undisclosed income, unexplained cash receipts and more: IT Dept discovery so far in raids against Anurag Kashyap, Taapsee Pannu

Income Tax department (IT dept) conducted raid on properties linked to filmmaker Anurag Kashyap, actress Taapsee Pannu and others

Income Tax raids conducted at around 22 locations linked to Taapsee Pannu, Anurag Kashyap and Vikas Bahl in tax evasion case

Simultaneous raids are being conducted at the homes and linked properties in Mumbai, Pune and some other locations of Taapsee Pannu, Anurag Kashyap and others
- Advertisement -

 

Connect with us

253,195FansLike
521,906FollowersFollow
23,800SubscribersSubscribe