Rural and Urban Development

IAS Prelims 2023
  • On 31st March, 1952, an organization known as Community Projects Administration was set up under the Planning Commission to administer the programmes relating to community development.
  • The Community Development Programme, inaugurated on October 2, 1952, was an important landmark in the history of rural development.
  • In October, 1974, the Department of Rural Development came into existence as a part of Ministry of Food and Agriculture.
  • On 18th August, 1979, this Department was elevated to the status of a new Ministry of Rural Reconstruction.
  • Ministry was renamed as Ministry of Rural Development and again converted into a Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
  • It was later rechristened as Ministry of Agriculture in September, 1985.
  • On July 5, 1991 the Department was upgraded as Ministry of Rural Development.
  • Another Department viz. Department of Wasteland Development was created under this Ministry in 1992.
  • In March, 1995, the Ministry was renamed as the Ministry of Rural Areas and Employment with three departments namely Department of Rural Employment and Poverty Alleviation, Rural Development and Wasteland Development.
  • Again, in 1999 Ministry of Rural Areas and Employment was renamed as Ministry of Rural Development.


  • MGNREGA is a rights based wage employment programme implemented in rural areas of the country.
  • This programme aims at enhancing livelihood security by providing not less than one hundred days of guaranteed wage employment in a financial year to every rural household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work.
  • In the first phase, MGNREGA was implemented in 200 most backward districts with effect from February 2, 2006 and was extended subsequently to additional 113 and 17 districts with effect from 1st April, 2007 and 15th May, 2007 respectively.
  • The remaining districts were included under the Act with effect from April 1, 2008. Thus the Act now covers all the rural districts (644) of the country.

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