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Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission

  • 21 Feb 2020
  • 5 min read

Why in News

The 4th Anniversary of the launch of Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission (SPMRM) was observed on 21st February, 2020.

  • SPMRM is a scheme launched by the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) in 2016 to deliver integrated project based infrastructure in the rural areas, which will also include development of economic activities and skill development.
  • A predecessor to SPMRM was the Provision of Urban Amenities to Rural Areas (PURA), announced in 2003.

Provision of Urban Amenities to Rural Areas

  • Provision of Urban Amenities to Rural Areas (PURA) was aimed at provision of urban amenities and livelihood opportunities in rural areas to bridge the rural urban divide thereby reducing the migration from rural to urban areas.
  • PURA was treated as a “Project” and not a government scheme – Private sector partners had to prepare a detailed business plan.

Key Points

  • Mission's Objectives: Bridging the rural-urban divide-viz: economic, technological and those related to facilities and services.
  • Rurban Clusters: There are 2 categories of clusters: Non-Tribal and Tribal.
    • Rurban clusters are identified across the country’s rural areas showing increasing signs of urbanization - i.e. increase in population density, high levels of non-farm employment, presence of growing economic activities and other socioeconomic parameters.
    • For the purposes of SPMRM, Rurban areas refer to a cluster of 15-20 villages having about 30 to 40 lakh population. The clusters will be geographically contiguous Gram Panchayats with a population of about 25000 to 50000 in plain and coastal areas and a population of 5000 to 15000 in desert, hilly or tribal areas.
  • Role of states: The State Government identifies the clusters in accordance with the Framework for Implementation prepared by the MoRD.
    • For the selection of clusters, the MoRD is adopting a scientific process of cluster selection which involves an objective analysis at the district, sub district and village level, of the demography, economy, tourism and pilgrimage significance and transportation corridor impact.
  • Funding: SPMRM is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS).
    • The Mission has 2 fund streams: Convergence through various schemes (Central sector, centrally sponsored schemes, State sector/ sponsored schemes/ programmes, CSR funds etc) and Critical Gap Funds (CGF).
  • Progress: Under the mission 300 Rurban clusters are envisaged to be developed in a time bound manner. Of these 296 clusters have been selected and Integrated Cluster Action Plans (ICAPs) approved.
    • The Mission is seeking extension by 2 years to complete all the identified works.
    • Spurred by the success of Rurban clusters, NITI Aayog has proposed a new and extended programme for over a 1,000 clusters in next 3 years.


  • As per Census of India, the rural population in India, stands at 833 million, constituting almost 68% of the total population.
  • Further, the rural population has shown a growth of 12% during the 2001-2011 period and there has been an increase in the absolute number of villages.
  • Ensuring availability of amenities to rural populace is one of the top priorities of the central government.
  • Large parts of rural areas in the country are not stand-alone settlements but part of a cluster of settlements, which are relatively proximate to each other. These clusters typically illustrate potential for growth, have economic drivers and derive locational and competitive advantages.
    • Hence, making a case for concerted policy directives for such clusters. These clusters once developed can then be classified as 'Rurban'.
    • Therefore, taking cognizance of this, the Government of India, has launched the SPMRM aimed at developing such rural areas by provisioning of economic, social and physical infrastructure facilities.


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