4 Sep :The Ministry of Rural Development has decided to constitute an Expert Group to recommend a more suitable methodology for conducting the next Below Poverty Line (BPL) Census. This initiative has been taken keeping in view the complicated process of identification of BPL families in the rural areas and hence the long felt need to evolve a simple and more transparent methodology so as to identify and capture the actually poor BPL households in the rural areas and also to consider some other related issues.
The Expert Group will be headed by Shri M.Shankar, Former Secretary,Rural Development and will have 16 members including Prof. Raghav Gaiha Prof. of Economics, Faculty of Management Studies,Delhi University;Dr.N.J.Kurien, Former Adviser,Planning Commission, Gurgaon; Shri P.Sainath, “The Hindu”, Mumbai; Shri Harash Mander, Commissioner of Supreme Court, New Delhi; Dr. M.N.Roy.Principal Secretay RD, Gov. of West Bengal, Kolkata; Shri K.Raju, Principal Secretary, Government of Andhra Pradesh, Hyderabad; Shri Ram Lubhaya, Principal Secretay RD, Govt. of Rajasthan, Jaipur; Shri Manoj Kumar Singh, Commissioner (RD), Government of Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow; Dr. Santosh Mehrotra, Senior Consultant (RD) Planning Commission, New Delhi; Shri Devendra Kumar Commissioner & Secretary, Rural Development Deptt., Govt. of Assam; Shri Wilfred Lakhra, Retd. IAS, New Delhi; Smt. Aruna Roy, Mazdoor Kissan Shakti Sangathan; Dr. N.C. Saxena, Commissioner of Supreme Court, New Delhi and also have representatives from the Ministry of Rural Development.
The Terms of Reference (TOR) tor for the Expert Group are: To recommend more suitable methodology to conduct the next BPL Census with simple, transparent and objectively measurable indicators for identification of BPL for providing assistance under the programmes of Ministry of Rural Development; To recommend institutional system for conducting survey, processing of data validation and approval of BPL List at various levels; To recommend institutional mechanism of address grievance of public on exclusion/inclusion in the BPL List; To briefly look at the relationssip between estimation and identification of poor and the issue of putting a limit on the total number of BPL families to be identified and any other recommendation to make the exercise of BPL simple and acceptable.
The Expert Group will submit its report within six months.