Prime Minister’s Rural Development Fellowship
Prime Minister’s Rural Development Fellowship
The Prime Minister’s Rural Development Fellowship (PMRDF) is an initiative of the Ministry of Rural Development, implemented in collaboration with State Governments. The program emphasizes the reduction of poverty and improvement in the lives of the rural inhabitants. This article covers the scheme in detail.
The scheme has been launched with the object of:
- Rendering short-term catalytic support to the district administration in IAP districts to improve the program delivery.
- Developing a cadre of dedicated and competent development leaders and facilitators who could be a resource for rural development over the long term.
- Engaging with stakeholders such as the Government, public sector institutions, and civil society actors in promoting the efficiency of social protection programs.
The scheme is implemented and administered by various institutes and organizations, which includes:
- The Council for Advancement of People’s Action and Rural Technology (CAPART), under the Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India, will be the administering agency. The body will be responsible for personnel-related matters of the Fellows and engagement of agencies.
- The Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) will be the knowledge partner. The body will be responsible for recruitment, orientation, academic programme, and on-field mentorship of the Fellows.
- The Rural Department of the respective states will act as nodal agencies in their respective states.
- The District Collectors will be engaged in administering the work of Fellows in the field and their immediate well-being.
Fellows and their Roles
The application for selection of Fellows, who will play a significant part in this program will be sought through public advertisements. Interested candidates must furnish their application as per the format specified by the Central Government, which is to be addressed to a place mentioned in the advert. The application process includes an All India Competency Assessment Test (AICAT), Written Test, and Personal Interview.
The Fellows so appointed would be required to spend time and effort in understanding the historical, geophysical, agro-ecological, social and economic contexts of the district. They are entrusted with the following functions:
- Working with institutions of the poor in building their capacity and helping them in accessing their rights and entitlements.
- Facilitating capacity building in Self-Help Groups (SHGs) and institutions of local democracy, such as panchayats.
- Conducting socio-economic analysis of the local areas at the Block Level and determining the felt needs of the people.
- Aiding the district administration in local area planning.
- Lending assistance for the better implementation of poverty alleviation programmes, particularly MGNREGA, NRLM, National Rural Drinking Water Programme, etc.
- Conducting action-research to discover better ways of programme delivery by the district administration.
- Designing and implementing innovative projects.
- Providing feedback on rural development initiatives.
Duration of Fellowship
The span of fellowship under the programme would be for two years or less. Selected candidates are necessitated to accept the terms and conditions governing the Fellowship contract through an agreement.
Fellows are selected based on the following eligibility criteria, which are as follows:
The candidate must be:
- An Indian citizen.
- Aged between 22-27 during application. Candidates of the SC/ST category may apply if they are aged 32 or less.
- A graduate from recognized University who has undergone a four-year degree course. Graduates whose degree tenure was lesser than four years must hold a postgraduate degree from a recognized university. It may be noted that a postgraduate course spanning one year would be valid if the degree/diploma is recognized by the AICTE/MCI/UGC.
- Has attained a minimum mark of 50% in the aggregate or equivalent grade at the graduate or Post-Graduate level, whichever is qualifying.
- Was declared physically fit by the Government Medical Hospital for performing the designated work.
- Must be acquainted with local language and customs.
- Have work experience in the related fields.
- Should have excelled in extra-curricular activities such as art, culture, sports, etc. at high school/college level.
- Should have been a leader in high school/college/workplace.
Note – 15% of seats will be reserved for Scheduled Casted and 15% for the Scheduled Tribes. Candidates who have been provisionally selected in the final result sheet for PMRD Fellowship would be hindered from the Fellowship if he/she did not complete the full term of Fellowship in their earlier stint as a PMRD Fellow.