Rural Development Minister launches NIRDPR’s e-learning portal

Delhi/Hyderabad: Narendra Singh Tomar, Hon’ble Minister for Rural Development, Agriculture and Farmers Welfare and Panchayati Raj, launched ‘GramSwaraj,’ an online learning platform designed and developed by National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRDPR) along with ‘Kaushal Bharat Portal’. The launch took place during the General Council Meeting of NIRDPR held at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi on Monday.

Aimed at educating the millions of elected representatives of Panchayat Raj Institutions (PRIs), ‘GramSwaraj’ offers 43 courses on Panchayati Raj and Rural Development in Hindi and English, with special focus on Panchayat Governance and Skill Development. The objective is to offer training simultaneously to a large number of functionaries and beneficiaries anytime from anywhere.

Traditional classroom methods take considerable time and can also make it difficult to scale or sustain knowledge. ‘GramSwaraj’ is an attempt by NIRDPR to bridge the knowledge gap and provide an opportunity of learning from anywhere, anytime and from any device.

At present this portal hosts certificate courses related to Panchayat Governance and Skill Development, both English and Hindi. It is proposed to offer courses in regional languages also in the near future. GramSwaraj Portal can be accessed from the URL –  http://gramswaraj.nirdpr.in/

The Institute is responsible for carrying out the core activities associated with the implementation of this program as a Central Technical Support Agency (CTSA) of the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD).

Launch of ‘Kaushal Bharat‘ is a nationwide initiative where data from all the States is collated in one system, enabling data security and data analytics for quality analytical reports and the scheme improvement.

Lauding NIRPR for launching this online platform to empower Panchayat Raj Institutions, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar, Hon’ble Minister for Rural Development, Agriculture and Farmers Welfare and Panchayati Raj, said, “NIRDPR is very prestigious Institute which plays a crucial role in bringing rural transformation through innovative techniques. I urge NIRDPR for their timely support to State Institute of Rural Development (SIRDs), and to come up with a roadmap for State upliftment in the rural sector.”

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The Special Features of ‘GramSwaraj’ online learning platform, designed and developed by NIRDPR, include:

  •  Web-based and compatible with Mobile, Tab, Laptop and Desktops systems,
  • Presently hosts 43 courses related to Panchayati Raj and Rural Development in Hindi and English, with special focus on Panchayat Governance and Skill Development (DDU-GKY),
  • It sets a stakeholder-based, and role-based learning path for each learner.
  • Embeds a gamified system to lead a learner through the learning path and help them close the competency gaps.
  • Provision for online assessment, assignment, and certificate, based on set criteria.

Speaking about impact of this initiative on Rural Development, Dr. W.R. Reddy IAS, Director General, NIRDPR, said, “We have formulated an online platform ‘Gram Swaraj’ with special focus on Panchayat Governance and Skill Development for elected representatives of Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs). It is a very innovative platform that will provide experiential learning and will bring behavioral change among people. A mobile application is also launched leveraging technology.”

Speaking about ‘Kaushal Bharat’ initiative, Dr. Reddy added, “The Ministry of Rural Development has notified the use of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) where models are integrated to facilitate the States to capture the data or information related to the projects under the DDU-GKY by the process prescribed in Standard Operating Procedures (SOP).  Usage of Kaushal Bharat is free and the States have to pay no charges.”

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‘GramSwaraj’ has been designed by NIRDPR as an e-Learning Platform to empower Rural India. The need: Mahatma Gandhi’s vision of empowering rural India through local self-governance as a way of development of the nation can only be fulfilled if the knowledge, skill, and attitude of the stakeholders responsible for developing 2,50,000 gram panchayats of the country are developed in a real-time and standardized manner. 

Highlighting the unique aspects of ‘GramSwaraj,’ Dr C. Kathiresan, Associate Professor and Head, Centre for Panchayati Raj, NIRDPR, said, “GramSwaraj is developed such a way that any individual interested in understanding Panchayat Governance can use this platform, as the courses cover a lot of field-level experiences from elected representatives and beacon leaders. It can be accessed from any device, anywhere, anytime”

The capacity building for about 3 million elected representatives and another 3 million official functionaries is to be achieved in a window of 4-5 years for effective functioning and sustainable rural development. Despite the earnest effort of NIRDPR, State Institute of Rural Development (SIRD) and other Government agencies, all stakeholders are not getting the opportunity for getting trained on various areas.

‘GramSwaraj’ is a major initiative to bridge this gap and achieve the Rural development goals of the Government of India.

NIRDPR as an apex training and capacity building organisation of the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) and Ministry of Panchayati Raj (MoPR) has the mandate to build capacities and train various levels of stakeholders including Elected Representatives and field level functionaries working at the panchayat level, on a continuous basis.

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