Having attainted political independence in 1947, the attention of the leaders of the Nation came to be focused on devising a policy and action plan for achieve in socio-economic development, through economic restructuring, rehabilitation of displaced persons, minimization of regional disparities, establishment of an egalitarian and socialistic society, etc. Various priorities were selected and coordinated to correspond with the gargantuan magnitude and the wide spectrum of the complexities of the problems involved. Of the various priorities that came to be made a basis for the strategizing for a rapid and sustained development, special emphasis was given to the development of the rural segment with a pointed focus on Community Development. This was in consonance with the socio-economic conditions of the Indian masses, the bulk of whom lived in villages and were engaged in agriculture and allied activities for their livelihoods and sustenance. Their productivity, performance and quality of life were anything but satisfactory. It was this fact that called for immediate attention and action for the amelioration of their conditions.
The need, urgency and importance of the strategy of Rural Development have been pronouncedly reflected in the various Five Year Plans and in the Programmes and Schemes as adopted by the Central and State Governments from time to time. Indeed all the Rural Development Programmes and Schemes aimed at improving the livelihood and quality of life profiles of the masses by the mobilization of the requisite resources and their optimum utilization.
The Haryana Institute of Rural Development (HIRD) was set up, at Nilokheri in Haryana in 1990, as the apex Training and Research Institute in the field of Rural Development in the State. HIRD is an autonomous body under the Department of Development and Panchayats, Government of Haryana.
The setting up of the SIRDs for providing facilities for training, research and consultancy, etc., in Rural Development, is the result of a decision of a High-Powered Committee constituted at the Government of India level. Subsequently, the European Economic Community agreed to provide sufficient funds for the creation of basic infrastructure for these institutions in every state. It also agreed to finance the SIRDs on a recurring basis to the extent of 50 per cent. The remaining 50 percent expenses are to be borne by the concerned State Governments with the specific objectives of revamping the training infrastructure and enabling the administrative functionaries, the elected representatives of the PRIs and the ultimate target beneficiaries to derive maximum advantage out of the resources being allocated for various Rural Development and related Programmes in the State. Another important dimension was added to the responsibility of the HIRD because of two very crucial central Acts, Mahatma Gandhi NREGA and RTI Act. NREGA was extended in all the districts of the country from April 2008 and accordingly the responsibility of the HIRD for the capacity building of all the stakeholders right from grassroots level to the district level administration increased many fold. Literature, reading material, training module were to be prepared and circulated among all the stakeholders. RTI Act also added training activities of the HIRD. For this purpose, the Institute will have to do capacity building of the SPIOs, ASPIOs and the representatives and functionaries of the Panchayati Raj Institutions through training and awareness campaigns.
The Vision of the HIRD is to play a critical role in the implementation of the plans of economic development and social justice by the PRIs as envisaged under the 73rd Constitutional Amendment (1992) and in execution of the flagship programmes of the Ministry of Rural Development such as Mahatma Gandhi NREGS, NRLM, TSC, IAY and Welfare Schemes of the Government of Haryana. Besides, it seeks to play a pro-active role in good governance through the promotion of RTI regime.
Therefore, it aims at
strengthening its faculty and infrastructure for this purpose. It also
plans to create specialized centres for playing its due role in the above
processes. Further, it seeks to update the training modules & methodology
and to undertake Action Research for realizing these objectives. Steps are
also underway for associating senior academicians from the universities
and research institutions with its research projects on the status of
rural development and decentralized governance in the State. These
endeavours will go a long way in fulfilling its mission.