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Planning for the backward area UPSC |Regional Development and Planning | Geography of India

 UPSC Previous years question:

  • Enumerate alternative strategies of planning for backward regions. ( 2011)
  • Identification of industrially backward areas and problems in their development.
  • Evaluate the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme. ( 2014)
  • Is planning for a cluster of villages a viable option, when planning for backward areas of the country? Discuss with suitable examples ( 2015)
Planning for the backward area:
Backward Area development is a tool to reduce regional development disparity.
The regional development disparity means uneven Socio-Economic development in different geographical regions. 
Regional disparity causes many challenges such as social conflict, unplanned migration, left-wing extremism.

Planning for backward development started from the first five years plan; Schemes such as basic minimum requirement program, community development program, etc; were related to Backward areas development.

In 1971, Pande Committee identified the backward areas based on the techno-industry parameter( road length, railways length, industry, electricity consumption, etc) suggested regional imbalance can be minimized by establishing industries of all types in backward areas through financial and fiscal incentives.

Backward areas development started in the fifth five-year plan( 1974-79),
The following programs included under the special program for development;
  • Desert Areas development
  • Drought Prone Area Development
  • Hill Areas Development
In 1981, the National Committee on the development of backward areas recommended all hill areas having more than 600 m height and is not covered under tribal sub-plan treated as Backward Hill Areas.

In 1997, the Planning Commission identifies the 100 most backward poorest districts in the country based on the following criteria:
  • Per Capita Income
  • % of people living below the poverty line
  • Sex ratio
  • Child Mortality rate
  • % of the urban population
  • % of people involved in agriculture
  • Literacy rate
  • Per capital Electricity consumptions
  • Availability of Infrastructure

NITI Aayog made a three-year action plan for the following backward development programs:
  • North Himalayan States
  • North Eastern States
  • Coastal Regions
  • Islands
  • Desert Areas
  • Drought prone areas program
For a detailed explanation, watch the below video:

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