The institute has also been undertaking research studies on different subjects of rural development and Panchayati raj. Research is a crucial activity which will provide important material inputs for effective implementation of different programmes, schemes, conduct training programmes. The findings of the research will provide a good feedback to the government on the implementation of various developmental programmes, effectiveness in their implementation. During the year 2016 – 17, the institute has undertaken following research studies.
Study on backwardness of Gaon Panchayats on the basis of the availability of basic amenities (Amar Gaon Khoni) : The SIPRD, Assam has undertaken a research study on identification of backwardness in panchayats on the basis of the some parameters based on the basic amenities available in the panchayats. Subsequently information so collected from the field have been put into a software called “Amar Gaon Khoni”. The institute prepared the parameters on the following broad subjects:
1. Profile of the Gaon Panchayat.
2. Villages covered under the Gaon Panchayat.
3. Name of the Secretary and President of Gaon Panchayat.
4. Basic facilities available.
5. Panchayat infrastructure relating to agriculture, business, health, road, market etc.
6. Educational infrastructure.
7. Household information.
9. Livelihood promoting infrastructure.
The institute developed a questionnaire having all the basic information about the panchayat besides the details of the village headmen. The questionnaire has two sections, one section contains marks and other section has no marks. Question with no marks are general information while question with marks are meant for real evaluation. Moreover, there are specific questions on agriculture, education, health, livelihood, social, infrastructure and finance and business sector. Against each question there is mark and it has been put into an algorithm, which was given the shape of software.
The software so developed by the institute can provide a scale to judge the performance of the panchayat periodically with a data base which churn out various reports, most essential for both macro and micro level planning. The data base can be further enhanced with better IT technology to serve the need of the user using the method of both segregation and aggregation. The software can generate report activity wise which can be further focused on administrative zones for micro planning. The complete data base have been divided into three geographical zones of panchayat, block and district and it is further divided into four performance category of vulnerable, marginal, average and good. This has enabled to give a bird’s eye view of the state both by geographical zone as well as by gradation.
With each district, blocks and panchayats have their own cumulative score and again which can be further narrowed down to activity wise, it become extremely helpful for the micro and macro level planning of rural development. The software based score shall be an indirect watch dog and element of competition will come in as each village, panchayat, block and district have their individual cumulative score for comparison with their peers. The panchayats have been graded in the following categories based the marks attained through the parameters:
• Total marks : 200
• Good : 150 – 200
• Average : 100 – 149
• Marginal : 60 – 99
• Vulnerable : 0 – 59
• Amar Gaon Khoni is a dynamic platform where the datas of the rural infrastructure at the panchayat level have been made available for any kind of use.
• The software has calculated the available rural infrastructure of every panchayat and accordingly the blocks and districts have put them in scale.
• The data base allows the user to see the scale in various parameters ranging from descending to ascending besides in gradation way or in activities way.
• The semi urban blocks are doing well and the data base clearly reflects that trend.
• Out of the top 10 most backward blocks, eight belongs to Cachar and Dhubri districts.
• The findings were presented before the academician, Vice Chancellors, serving and retired bureaucrats, development experts, economists, bankers and they unanimously, accepted that the data base is revolutionary and has potentiality to change the rural landscape forever with smart use.
Preparation of a holistic Gram Panchayat Development Plan is a pre-requisite for utilizing the FFC Grant. Involvement of every segment of the community through PRA exercises, household survey, institutional survey, focused group discussions is important for preparing a holistic plan. During the process of preparing the plan, huge number of activities will have to be undertaken from district to Gram Panchayat level. To institutionalize the planning process for rolling out the preparation of Gram Panchayat Development Plan, the SIRD has takenup a few Gram Panchayats wherein the preparation of holistic Gram Panchayat Development Plans have been taken up on an action research mode.
Objectives of the study: The study has been conducted primarily with two objectives:
Micro level objectives:
• To observe the views and opinion of people on implementation of GPDP.
• To assess the technical and organizational aspects of GPDP.
• Understanding the modalities of programme implementation (action planning) at the panchayat level.
• To analyse the scope of integrating GPDP with other activities of the panchayats.
• Making suggestions so as to develop a model GPDP based on overall performance.
Macro level objectives:
• To discuss the process of decentralization and micro level planning as being generally practiced in the country. • Role of panchayat in development planning. • Scope and content of panchayat planning. Summary of the study: • An epic effort has been observed as the SIPRD despite its limited resource have unrolled the GPDP process in Assam.
• The biggest success of the 2016 – 17 exercises has been the resonance it has created in the length and breadth of the state. Couple of years more determined push, the whole rural scenario is going to change with the successful implementation of GPDP.
• It is a mammoth task to reach out to the 2200 panchayats of Assam and the SIPRD in fact reached to the ground to oversee, handhold and further the awareness programme of the GPDP.
• Initiated by the SIPRD to motivate the ordinary villagers of Assam to get involved and prepare their own development plan, almost the entire strength of the SIPRD including Faculties and technical staff, have fanned out to every nook and corner of the state to unroll the GPDP process.
• There have been major challenges as lot of moss have gathered under the decades of inertia at the panchayat level as the prevailing system prefer to maintain the status quo.
• To reach the desired goal and full participation of the villagers in the GPDP, at least two more year of sustained campaign shall be needed and for that there can be special programme for the SIPRD in the next two coming years.
• The SIPRD have gone far beyond their resources, both interms of manpower and logistics to reach out to the panchayats. As they have to spread thin, manier times the awareness level of the villagers have not reached the desired level.
• The SIPRD has far outstripped its strength in trying to mobilize the panchayats of Assam. As the panchayats are in their last league of elected term, the fatigue factor has been noticed in a section of the panchayat leadership. The fresh election expected in 2017 is expected to through up new energetic and enthusiastic leadership.
The institute has implemented a self employment project called Chief Minister’s Jeevan Jyoti Swaniojan Yojana. Under the programme, the institute assisted large number of youth, women, farmers for their income generation through government subsidy and bank loan. The institute involved third party to evaluate the activities that have been taken up by the assisted youth, their sustainability etc. During the study, it has been found that more than 60% youth are doing well, 20% are doing marginal and rest are bad. After getting the feedback through the evaluation study, the institute took follow up action.
Skill development is now of the priority areas. The corporate sector as well as the non-government organizations in the country too is focusing on imparting skill based education to the youths. With Assam being one of the focus states of Government’s Skill India Mission, a lot of effort is being made to fast track the skill development process in the state. The institute has undertaken a research study on the assessment of skill development initiative in Assam. Following is the summary of the study:
• Poor placement after training.
• Very few trainees started venture after training.
• Low loan application and procurement.
• Mixed awareness on government skill development initiatives.
• Proper implementation of DDU-GKY. Need better monitoring for PMKVY implementation in Nagaon.
• Majority satisfied with training.
• Majority satisfied with quality and number of trainers.
• Majority satisfied with facilities in training centres.
• Majority satisfied with government efforts for skill development.
• Targeting skill development at all levels of the skill pyramid.
• Spreading awareness on the need for skilling.
• Popularising the skill loan scheme.
• Ensuring quality of training.
• Panchayats as facilitator of loans.