A brief overview of Rural Development Department
The main objectives of the Rural Development Department are: - to improve the socio-economic conditions of the rural community, to uplift the people living below the poverty line by providing wage employment, self-employment through income generating activities and also to create permanent assets for strengthening the rural infrastructure. Most of the programmes implemented by the Department are meant for poverty alleviation, reduction of unemployment or to give additional employment to enhance livelihood security of the people living in rural areas.
Formerly known as Directorate of Community Development, the name of the Department was changed to Rural Development Department in the year 1983-84. With the implementation of the Government of Mizoram Flagship Programme-the New land Use Policy (NLUP) and with the introduction of the new Rural Housing Scheme (Distribution of GCI sheet) in the year 1990, and on the recommendation of Dr. GVK Rao, who is a member of the GROUP I, to review the existing organisational set-up for on-going rural development and poverty alleviation programmes; the Rural Development Department of Mizoram was expanded and changed into Commissionerate. In 1999-2000, the Commissionerate of Rural Development was again changed to Directorate of Rural Development.
In Mizoram, all rural development schemes and other poverty alleviation programmes are implemented through a network of 26 (twenty-six) Rural Development Blocks and 11 (eleven) District Rural Development Agencies. The various organizations and institutions under the Department are briefly explained in the following paragraphs.
The Administrative Department
The Administrative Department i.e. the Secretariat is headed by the Secretary to the Government of Mizoram, Rural Development Department. The Secretary is presently assisted by Joint Secretary, Deputy Secretary, Under Secretary, Superintendent and other supporting staff in the Secretariat.
Directorate of Rural Development
The Directorate is headed by the Director who executes functions as the apex line department at the State level. The Director is presently assisted by one Joint Director, three Deputy Directors, one Executive Rural Engineer, one Assistant Director, one Veterinary Officer, one Project Officer (Horticulture), one Superintendent, four Assistant Rural Engineers and other supporting staff.
State Level Monitoring Cell and Internal Audit Cell
There is a State Level Monitoring Cell and Internal Audit Cell (SLMC & IAC) headed by the Project Director, which is engaged in monitoring, inspection and auditing of the accounts of Implementing Agencies of Rural Development Schemes.
District Rural Development Agencies (DRDAs)
At the district level, there are the District Rural Development Agencies (DRDAs) whose governing body is chaired by the Deputy Commissioner and which have a full-time Project Director. The DRDAs function as the District Office of the Rural Development Department in overseeing various Rural Development programmes since its inception. The Project Director is assisted by Assistant Rural Development Officer, Assistant Engineer, Rural Accounts Officer and other supporting staff.
Rural Development Blocks
We have 28 (twenty-eight) RD Blocks headed by the Block Development Officers, staff from the line departments and technical as well as clerical supporting staff. Lists of Rural Development Blocks with year of establishment are-
Date of creation
State Institute of Rural Development & Panchayati Raj (SIRD& PR)
The State Institute of Rural Development & Panchayati Raj (SIRD&PR) has been established at Durtlang Leitan to impart training to Rural Development Department functionaries and stakeholders of various rural development programmes at State, District, Block and Village levels. It aims to improve knowledge, skills and attitudes of officials and non-officials in the process of planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of rural development programmes. It spearheads consultations and seminars involving officials, scholars, civic leaders, GOs and NGOs to exchange ideas and experiences. It also undertakes extensive research on issues pertaining to rural development schemes. The Institute is headed by a Director, and manned by a team of faculty members and staff.
Social Audit Unit (MGNREGA)
As mandated by MGNREG Act 2005 and MGNREG Audit of Scheme Rules 2011, Social Audit Unit was established by the Government of Mizoram in 2012. It functions as an independent organization under the Governing Body of the Mizoram Society for Social Audit, Transparency and Accountability (MISSAAT) and directly funded by the Ministry of Rural Development, Govt. of India.
It is entrusted with facilitating the conduct of Social Audit by Gram Sabhas in all centrally sponsored schemes under the Ministry of Rural Development namely, MGNREGS, PMAY(G), PM-POSHAN and NSAP. The SAU is currently headed by a Director, Dy. Director and other supporting staff.