Answer :

Initiated during the 4th Five Year Plan, the objectives of drought prone area programme was providing employment to people in drought-prone areas and creating productive assets. The programme laid emphasis on the construction of labour-intensive civil works, initially. But later on, it emphasised on irrigation projects, land development programmes, afforestation, grassland development and criterion of basic rural infrastructure, such as electricity, market, credit and services.


The National Committee on Development of Backward Area observed that this programme is largely confined to the development of agriculture and allied sectors with major focus on restoring ecological balance. Moreover, as growing population pressure is forcing society to utilise the marginal lands for agriculture, and, thereby causing ecological degradation, there is a need to create alternative employment opportunities in the drought-prone areas.


The Planning Commission of India (1967) identified 67 districts of the country prone to drought. These districts are spread over Rajasthan, Gujarat, Western Madhya Pradesh, Marathwada region of Maharashtra, Rayalseema and Telangana plateaus, Karnataka plateau and highlands and interior parts of Tamil Nadu.


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