Bulk of India's population lives in rural areas. According to 2011 Census, rural population formed 68.8 percent of the total population of the country.
Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India, is the nodal agency for rural development in India. It co-ordinates, implements and funds schemes which aim at ensuring that the fruits of economic development reach the villages and the common man.
Rural development implies both the economic betterment of people as well as greater social transformation. Increased participation of people in the rural development process, decentralisation of planning, better enforcement of land reforms and greater access to credit and inputs go a long way in providing the rural people with better prospects for improved quality of life. Improvements in health, education, drinking water, energy supply, sanitation and housing coupled with attitudinal changes also facilitate their social development.
Various schemes/programmes have been launched for rural development including the following: Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), Swarnjayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY) [restructured as National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM)], Indira Awaas Yojana (IAY), Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY), National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC), Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and Mid-day Meal Scheme (MDMS).