Rural development means total all-round socio-economic development of the rural masses. Many policies and programmes have been designed with the aim of alleviation of rural poverty in our country. Notwithstanding long efforts with regard to removing poverty and unemployment efficacious results could not be obtained. In the year 1978-79, the principal contents of CAD, DPAP, SFDA and MFAL were integrated into a new programme called “Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP)”. This programme was extended to cover the entire country and its scope expanded to all activities in the primary, secondary and tertiary sectors.
In this book, the role and performance of the IRDP at the national and state level has been evaluated. The impact of any rural development programme can be discerned by the output achieved. As IRDP aims at providing income generating assets and self-employment opportunities for the rural poor, an attempt has been made in this book to study the impact of the programme in poverty alleviation and employment generation of agriculturalists in a backward district of Madhya Pradesh. The study also looks into various implementation aspects of the IRDP in order to suggest some viable ways and means to streamline and strengthen the programme. Based on the empirical data, certain suggestions presented in the book may prove useful for policy planners, NGOs, administrators and academic researchers.