Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission (SPMRM)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the SP Mukharjee National Rurban Mission (SPM NRM) on February 21, from Kurubhat in Rajnandgaon district of Chhattisgarh.

The word ‘rurban’ (rural+urban) refers to an area which possesses the economic characteristics and lifestyles of an urban area while retaining its essential rural area features. PM referred to rurbans as territories ‘with soul of village and facilities of city’.The National Rurban Mission aims to spur social, economic and infrastructure development in rural areas by developing a cluster of 300 Smart Villages over the next 3 years across the country.. SPMRM was announced in the Union Budget 2014-15.


After India gained its independence, despite of a plethora of welfare schemes and activities aimed at rural areas in successive five year plans, a skewed development model increasing the disparities between the rural and the urban areas has proliferated. Lack of livelihood opportunities, modern amenities and services for decent living in rural areas led to migration of people to urban areas. There are wide gaps in the availability of physical and social infrastructure between rural and urban areas.

A predecessor to SPMRM was the Provision of Urban Amenities to Rural Areas (PURA), announced in 2003. This concept was given by former president Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and discussed in his book ‘Target 3 Billion’. It aimed at Provision of urban amenities and livelihood opportunities in rural areas to bridge the rural urban divide thereby reducing the migration from rural to urban areas. PURA was for holistic and accelerated development of compact areas around a potential growth center in a Panchayat (or group of Panchayats) through Public Private Partnership (PPP) by providing livelihood opportunities and urban amenities to improve the quality of life in rural areas. PURA is treated as a “Project” and not a government scheme – Private sector partner had to prepare a detailed business.


The Mission aims at development of rural growth clusters which have latent potential for growth, in all States and UTs, which would trigger overall development in the region. The clusters will be geographically contiguous Gram Panchayats with a population of about 25000 to 50000 in plain and coastal areas and a population of 5000 to 15000 in desert, hilly or tribal areas. These clusters would be developed by provisioning of economic activities, developing skills & local entrepreneurship and providing infrastructure amenities. The Rurban Mission will thus develop a cluster of Smart Villages. The mission will reduce pressure on the cities and provide a new avenue to the village people. Rurban Mission is aimed at reducing the burden of migration to the cities, thereby strengthening of rural areas and de-burdening the urban areas; hence leading to balanced regional development and growth of the country.

To ensure an optimum level of development, fourteen  components have been suggested as desirable for the cluster, which would include;  Skill development training linked to economic activities, Agro Processing/Agri Services/Storage and Warehousing, Digital Literacy, Sanitation, Provision of piped water supply, Solid and liquid waste management, Village streets and drains, Street lights, Fully equipped mobile health unit, Upgrading school /higher education facilities, Inter-village road connectivity, Citizen Service Centres- for electronic delivery of citizen centric services/e-gram connectivity, Public transport., LPG gas connections.



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