India is a country of villages and about 50% of the villages have very poor socio-economic conditions. Since the dawn of independence, concerted efforts have been made to ameliorate the living standard of rural masses. So, rural development is an integrated concept of growth and poverty elimination has been of paramount concern in all the consequent five year plans. Rural Development (RD) programmes comprise of following:
- Provision of basic infrastructure facilities in the rural areas e.g. schools, health facilities, roads, drinking water, electrification etc.
- Improving agricultural productivity in the rural areas.
- Provision of social services like health and education for socio-economic development.
- Implementing schemes for the promotion of rural industry increasing agriculture productivity, providing rural employment etc.
- Assistance to individual families and Self Help Groups (SHG) living below poverty line by providing productive resources through credit and subsidy.