New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Saturday said the Indian development model has to be demand-driven instead of the present supply-driven one and the aspirations of people living in villages need to be met.
"There have been government schemes for rural development earlier also, but they have not brought about any transformation," Modi said while launching the Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (MP's model village scheme) here.
Under the scheme, members of parliament have to adopt three villages and develop them as model villages. Work on one of the villages has to be completed by 2016 and the other two by 2019.
There are more than 600,000 villages in India and a little less than 800 MPs. If each MP adopts three villages then almost 2,400 villages can be developed into model villages by 2019.
Under the Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS), each MP has the choice to suggest to the district collector work to the tune of Rs.5 crore per annum to be taken up in his or her constituency.
Modi had announced the scheme during his Independence Day speech and said it would be launched on the birth anniversary of Jai Prakash Narayan.
Modi said: "We have to change our attitude. MPs should not think of any political activity when they go to the villages they adopt."
The prime minister said he would also adopt a village in Varanasi, the constituency from where he was elected to the Lok Sabha.
"I too have to select a village for Varanasi, have received the guidelines. Will go there, discuss and decide," he said.
Asking every MP to adopt a village and work for its development, Modi said: "Whichever party the MP belongs to, he or she has to keep working among people and spend a lot of his time to get work done for the government."
For the MPs elected from cities, the prime minister urged them to look at a village that is close to their city.
"MPs can select a village in their state... This is not a scheme about money. It is people driven and guided by people's participation, guided by the MPs," he said.
"Since independence, all governments have tried to remove poverty and uplift rural India. Schemes should be made according to changing times," Modi said, adding that new elements need to be added all the time.
"We should create an atmosphere where people are proud of their villages," he said, adding that the aspirations of rural people are not less than those in urban areas.
He said a debate had been going on for long on whether the Indian development model should be from top to bottom or from bottom to the top.
"Discussions do help. But those who are working have to begin work somewhere," he said.
Rural Development Minister Nitin Gadkari said it was due to the bad state of village infrastructure that the urban areas are also under pressure.
"If villages are developed then people will stop coming to the cities," he said.
The prime minister also released a booklet giving guidelines to MPs for developing the adopted villages.