Sectoral Planning

Sectoral planning is strategic planning for defined sectors or industries of the economy. ‘Sector’ in terms of ‘sectorial planning’ means the spatial planning under consideration of only one planning criteria (e.g. traffic, environmental heritage etc.). Sector planning focuses on a manageable area and considers the land use, transportation, environmental, and infrastructure needs unique to that portion of the community. Sectors are groupings of economic, social, and administrative activities based on the type of goods or services produced. 
A Sector plan is a long range plan for a specific geographic area of at least 15,000 acres in one or more local governmental jurisdictions. Sectors for planning are 
  •  Health 
  •  Education 
  •  Electricity 
  •  Transport 
  •  Tourism 
  •  Agriculture 
These sectors can be grouped under the three broad sectoral headings as follows, with the corresponding national accounts categories shown in brackets. 

Economic Sectors 

  •  Agriculture (Agriculture, fisheries and forestry)
  •  Manufacturing (Food and beverages manufacturing and other manufacturing) 
  •  Tourism (Hotels and restaurants, wholesale and retail trade and transport) 
  •  Commerce (Wholesale and retail trade and personal and other services) 
  •  Finance (Financial and business services) 
  •  Public administration (Public administration) 

Social Sectors 

  •  Education (Component of public administration and including two sub sectors of primary and secondary and post-secondary) 
  •  Health (Component of public administration) 
  •  Welfare and Social Services (Component of public administration) 

Infrastructure Sectors 

  •  Construction (Construction) 
  •  Electricity (Electricity and water) 
  •  Water (Electricity and water) 
  •  Transport (Transport and communications) 
  •  Communications (Transport and communications) 
Sectoral planning is deeply based on various sectors of economic activities such as primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary economic sectors. It is concerned with linear planning and certain infrastructural facilities in various sectors in the economy in particular and in the society in general. It promotes economic development in major sectors of the economy. This will include the promotion of rural economic development (agricultural sector) and the development of industrial policy frameworks for sectors, in order to support various industrial policies. 
Sectoral planning is divided into supra-local and local sectoral planning. On the one hand, it deals with linear, cross-community infrastructures, generally at state levels (E.g., highways, railways, tramways, magnetic levitation railways, airports, mining, waterways, protection areas, tipping sites and waste incineration plants) and on the other, with the local level (E.g. roads), where local authorities are responsible for sectoral planning. Sectoral Planning promotes policies in a number of key sectors, chosen for their labour absorbing capacity, technological contribution to the economy or earning of foreign exchange. 
Sectoral planning is directed at addressing both weak economic performance and large scale job losses (distressed sectors) as well as regeneration of economic activity in particular regions and areas. The main characteristics include 
  •  Sectoral Planning focuses on the planning and development of particular sector of economy 
  •  It is rather systematic approach 
  •  Sectoral planning helps in developing certain sector of economy as a result overall development of a region is not possible in this planning 
  •  It is more subjective 
  •  It is much useful in developed nations

Topographic Region/ Physiographic Region

India is home to various geographical features such as rivers, mountains, valleys, tablelands, seashores, deserts, and flat terrains. The country is a traveler's paradise. The states in northern India lie in the Himalayan Mountain Range. India is the seventh largest country in the world and covers a total area of 3,287,263 sq km. The shoreline of the country extends for 7,517 km and the longest river of the country is the holy Ganga or Ganges which is 2,510 km long. You will notice four separate regions in the country - the plains, the mountains, the southern peninsula and the desert. 
The eastern and middle portion of India is made up of productive Indo-Gangetic plains. The Thar Desert in Rajasthan is located to the northwest. The terra firma in southern India is nearly wholly made up of the Deccan plateau. There are two important mountain ranges in South India that are closely located to the seashores and they are the Western Ghats and Eastern Ghats mountain ranges. The Aravallis and the Vindhyachal are the other well-known mountain ranges of India. 
India is the seventh largest country with 2.4% of total area of the world. The Indian Mainland extends from 8°4′ north and 37°6′ North in length(latitudes). And between 68°7′ East and 97°25′ East in width (longitudes). This makes the North-south extension of 3214 km and East-west extension of 2933 km. At 23°30′ North, the Tropic of Cancer passes through the centre of India, dividing the country into two equal parts – Northern and Southern India. The Tropic of Cancer passes through eight states in India – Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Tripura and Mizoram. Physiographic divisions in India include 

1) The Northern Mountains 

The northern boundary of India is created by the northern mountain ranges known as Himalayas that form the natural border between India and Tibet. The Himalayan range is divided into Pir Panjal Range, Zanskar Range, Ladakh Range, Dhaula Dhar Range and East Karakoram Range. Apart from the Himalayan, other ranges are Siwalik Range lying in the outer Himalayas, Karakom Range, Patkai Range lying at the eastern part of India at the Burma border, Vindhya Range covering parts of central India, Satpura Range covering parts of central India being parallel to Vindhya Range, Aravalli Range covering areas of Haryana and Rajasthan states, the Western Ghats and the Eastern Ghats. 

2) The Indo-Gangetic Plains 

The plains named after the rivers flowing through them - Indus and Ganges, cover northern and eastern parts of India, stretching to cover some parts of Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh also. These rivers form tributaries that network the entire region. These tributaries are Yamuna, Chambal, Gomti, Sutlej, Kosi, Ravi, Beas, Chenab, Ghaghara and Tista. These rivers make the soil fertile and apt for farming which is widely practiced all over. This has led to tremendous increase in population with time. The plains are divided into four belts namely, the Bhabar belt, the Terai belt, the Bangar belt and the Khadar belt. The crops produced in these belts are wheat, rice, cotton, sugarcane, and maize. 

3) The Thar Desert 

It is ranked as the seventh biggest desert in the world that covers most of the Rajasthan and neighboring states of Haryana, Punjab and Gujarat. It also crosses the borders to touch Pakistan where it is known as Cholistan desert. It’s some parts are attributed by sand dunes and some have rocks. The vegetation in the area includes small trees, herb and shrubs. The sandy nature of the soil makes it get eroded quite often, due to speedy winds that blow with full force in the region. This region gets very less rainfall which is less than 150 mm in a year. Understanding the need of plantation in the region to avoid erosion, the Indira Gandhi Canal scheme was started in 1965 to irrigate the land. The common source of income for the people here is animal husbandry and agroforestry. 

4) The Central Highlands 

The highlands of central India are divided into three plateaus, the Deccan Plateau located between the western and eastern ghats, the Malwa Plateau at the western parts of India including states like Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, and the Chota Nagpur Plateau covering eastern states of India like Bihar, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh and Odisha. The Chota Nagour Plateau is rich in coal and metal ores and is divided into Ranchi plateau, Hazaribagh plateau and Koderma plateau. The Ranchi plateau is characterized by numerous falls. The Hazaribagh plateau is a part of Hazaribagh region, the lower part of which is known as Koderma plateau. Read more on the Central Highlands 

5) The Eastern and Western Coastal Plains 

These plains lie at the eastern parts of India spreading from the state Tamil Nadu to West Bengal. With rivers like Mahanadi, Kaveri , Krishna and Godavari flowing through them, Chilika Lake runs alongside them. The plains are divided into six regions – Coromandel Coast of Tamil Nadu, Kanyakumari Coast at the southern-tip of India, Krishna-Godavari delta at southeast of Vijaywada, Mahanadi delta in Odisha, and the south Andhra Pradesh coastal plain that covers the major parts of Eastern Ghat and Bay of Bengal. These coastal regions normally stay humid with frequent rainfall. Tall coconut palms adorn the eastern coastline, apart from the crops grown here. Fishing is the major occupation of the locals here. 
As the name suggests, they lie at the areas of Western Ghats forming the coastal parts of that are flanked by the Arabian Sea. They cover Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka and Kerala. Narmada, Zuari, Tapi and Mandovi are rivers that flux through them. The plains are divided into Konkan and Malabar Coasts. The Konkan coast runs through 700 km, covering parts of the Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra. The Malabar coast covers 845 km, stretching from Karnataka to the extreme south tip Kanyakumari through Kerala. All of the Malabar coast receives heavy rainfall that makes it suitably irrigated enough for farming. Read more on western and eastern coastal plains 

6) The Islands 

There are two main groups of islands – Andaman and Nicobar islands and Lakshadweep islands that are recognized as Union Territories (UT). Apart from them, Daman and Diu are also known as UT; they almost touch the mainland unlike Andaman and Nicobar and Lakshadweep. Andaman islands are composed of 572 tiny islands that serve as a great tourist attraction. The Nicobar islands are not accessible for the tourists. Inhabited by native tribes, their beaches stay deserted yet beautiful owing to lovely colors added to the waters by a variety of corals. The Lakshadweep islands comprise of 35 tiny islands that stand in the Laccadive Sea, just 200 to 400 km from Kerala, the southwestern coast of India.

Agro-Climatic Regions of India

Agro-climatic conditions mainly refer to soil types, rainfall, temperature and water availability which influence the type of vegetation. An agro ecological zone is the land unit carved out of agro-climatic zone superimposed on landform which acts as modifier to climate and length of growing period. The Planning Commission has categorized 15 agro-climatic zones in India, taking into account the physical attributes and socio-economic conditions prevailing in the regions.

1) Western Himalayan Region 

The Western Himalayan Region covers Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and the hill region of Uttarakhand. Topography and temperatures show great variation. Average temperature in July ranges between 5°C and 30°C, while in January it ranges between 5°C and -5°C. Mean annual rainfall varies between 75 - 150 cm; in Ladakh, however, it is less than 30 cm. There is alluvial soil in the valleys of Kashmir, Kullu and Dun, and brown soil in the hills. 
The valley floors grow rice, while the hilly tracts grow maize in the kharif season. Winter crops are barley, oats, and wheat. The region supports horticulture, especially apple orchards and other temperate fruits such as peaches, apricot, pears, cherry, almond, litchis, walnut etc. Saffron is grown in this region. The main problems of this region are poor accessibility, soil erosion, landslides, inclement weather, inadequacy of marketing and storage facilities. The population is generally rural-based and poor.

2) Eastern Himalayan Region 

The Eastern Himalayan Region includes Arunachal Pradesh, the hills of Assam, Sikkim, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, and the Darjeeling district of West Bengal. The topography is rugged. Temperature variation is between 25°C and 30°C in July and between 10°C and 20°C in January. Average rainfall is between 200 - 400 cm. The red-brown soil is not highly productive Jhuming (shifting cultivation) prevails in the hilly areas. 
The main crops are rice, maize, potato and tea. There are orchards of pineapple, litchi, oranges and lime. Infrastructural facilities in the region need to be improved and shifting cultivation controlled by developing terrace farming. 

3) Lower Gangetic Plain Region 

West Bengal (except the hilly areas), eastern Bihar and the Brahmaputra valley lie in this region. Average annual rainfall lies between 100 - 200 cm. Temperature in July varies from 26°C to 41°C and for January from 9°C to 24°C. 
The region has adequate storage of ground water with high water table. Rice is the main crop which at times yields three successive crops (Aman, Aus and Boro) in a year. Jute, maize, potato, and pulses are other important crops. Planning strategies include improvement in rice farming, horticulture (banana, mango and citrus fruits), pisciculture, poultry, livestock, forage production and seed supply. 

4) Middle Gangetic Plain Region 

The Middle Gangetic Plain region includes large parts of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. The average temperature in July varies from 26°C to 41°C and that of January 9°C to 24°C average annual rainfall is between 100 - 200 cm. It is a fertile alluvial plain drained by the Ganga and its tributaries. Rice, maize, millets in kharif, wheat, gram, barley, peas, mustard and potato in rabi are important crops. 

5) Upper Gangetic Plains Region 

In the Upper Gangetic Plains region come the central and western parts of Uttar Pradesh and the Hardwar and Udham Nagar districts of Uttarakhand. The climate is sub-humid continental with temperature in July between 26°C to 41°C and temperature in January between 7°C to 23°C. 
Average annual rainfall is between 75 - 150 cm. The soil is sandy loam. Canal, tube-well and wells are the main source of irrigation. This is an intensive agricultural region wherein wheat, rice, sugarcane, millets, maize, gram, barley, oilseeds, pulses and cotton are the main crops. 

6) Trans-Ganga Plains Region 

This region (also called the Satluj-Yamuna Plains) extends over Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi and the Ganganagar district of Rajasthan. Semi-arid characteristics prevail over the region, with July’s mean monthly temperature between 25°C and 40°C and that of January between 10°C and 20°C. 
The average annual rainfall varies between 65 - 125 cm. The soil is alluvial which is highly productive. Canals and tube-wells and pumping sets have been installed by the cultivators and the governments. The intensity of agriculture is the highest in the country. Important crops include wheat, sugarcane, cotton, rice, gram, maize, millets, pulses and oilseeds etc. The region has the credit of introducing Green Revolution in the country and has adopted modern methods of farming with greater degree of mechanization. The region is also facing the menace of waterlogging, salinity, alkalinity, soil erosion and falling water table. 
Some steps that may be required to make agriculture in the region more sustainable and productive are: 
  •  Diversion of some rice-wheat area to other crops like maize, pulses, oilseeds and fodder 
  •  Development of genotypes of rice, maize and wheat with inbuilt resistance to pests and diseases 
  •  Promotion of horticulture besides pulses like tur and peas in upland conditions 
  •  Cultivation of vegetables in the vicinity of industrial clusters
  •  Supply of quality seeds of vegetables and planting material for horticulture crops 
  •  Development of infra-structure of transit go downs and processing to handle additional fruit and vegetable production 
  •  Implementation of policy and programmes to increase productivity of milk and wool 
  •  Development of high quality fodder crops and animal feed by stepping up area under fodder production

7) Eastern Plateau and Hills 

This region includes the Chhotanagpur Plateau, extending over Jharkhand, Orissa, Chhattisgarh and Dandakaranya. The region enjoys 26°C to 34°C of temperature in July, 10°C to 27°C in January and 80 - 150 cm of annual rainfall. Soils are red and yellow with occasional patches of laterites and alluviums. The region is deficient in water resources due to plateau structure and non-perennial streams. Rain fed agriculture is practiced growing crops like rice, millets, maize, oilseeds, ragi, gram and potato. 

8) Central Plateau and Hills 

The region is spread over Bundelkhand, Baghelkhand, Bhander Plateau, Malwa Plateau, and Vindhyachal Hills. Semi-arid climatic conditions prevail over the region with temperature in July 26°C to 40°C, in January 7°C to 24°C and average annual rainfall from 50 - 100 cm. Soils are mixed red, yellow and black. 
There is scarcity of water. Crops grown are millets, wheat, gram, oilseeds, cotton and sunflower. In order to improve agricultural returns, measures to be adopted are water conservation through water saving devices like sprinklers and drip system; dairy development, crop diversification, ground water development, reclamation of ravine lands. 

9) Western Plateau and Hills 

Comprising southern part of Malwa plateau and Deccan plateau (Maharashtra), this is a region of the regur (black) soil with July temperature between 24°C and 41°C, January temperature between 6°C and 23°C and average annual rainfall of 25 - 75 cm. Wheat, gram, millets, cotton, pulses, groundnut and oilseeds are the main crops in the rain fed areas, while in the irrigated areas, sugarcane, rice and wheat, are cultivated. Also grown are oranges, grapes and bananas. 
Attention should be paid to increasing water efficiency by popularizing water saving devices like sprinklers and drip system. The lower value crops of jowar, bajra and rainfed wheat should give way to high value oilseeds. Improvement of milk production of cattle and buffalo through crossbreeding along with poultry development should be encouraged. 

10) Southern Plateau and Hills 

This region falls in interior Deccan and includes parts of southern Maharashtra, the greater parts of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu uplands from Adilabad District in the north to Madurai District in the south. The mean monthly temperature of July varies between 25°C to 40°C, and the mean January temperature is between 10°C to 20°C. Annual rainfall is between 50 - 100 cm.
It is an area of dry-zone agriculture where millets, oilseeds, and pulses are grown. Coffee, tea, cardamom and spices are grown along the hilly slopes of Karnataka plateau. Some of the area under coarse cereals may be diverted to pulses and oilseeds. Horticulture, dairy development and poultry farming should be encouraged. 

11) Eastern Coastal Plains and Hills 

In this region are the Coromandal and northern Circar coasts of Andhra Pradesh and Orissa. The mean July temperature ranges between 25°C to 35°C and the mean January temperature varies between 20°C to 30°C. The mean annual rainfall varies between 75 - 150 cm. The soils are alluvial, loam and clay and are troubled by the problem of alkalinity. Main crops include rice, jute, tobacco, sugarcane, maize, millets, groundnut and oilseeds. Main agricultural strategies include improvement in the cultivation of spices (pepper and cardamom) and development of fisheries. 
These involve increasing cropping intensity using water efficient crops on residual moisture, discouraging growing of rice on marginal lands and bringing such lands under alternate crops like oilseeds and pulses; diversifying cropping and avoiding mono cropping; developing horticulture in upland areas, social forestry and dairy-farming. 

12) Western Coastal Plains and Ghats 

Extending over the Malabar and Konkan coastal plains and the Sahyadris, the region is humid with the mean July temperature varying between 25°C to 30°C and mean January temperatures between 18°C to 30°C. The mean annual rainfall is more than 200 cm. The soils are laterite and coastal alluvial. Rice, coconut, oilseeds, sugarcane, millets, pulses and cotton are the main crops. 
The region is also famous for plantation crops and spices which are raised along the hill slopes of the Western Ghats. The agricultural development must focus attention on raising of high value crops (pulses, spices and coconut). Development of infra structural facilities and promotion to prawn culture in brackish water should be encouraged. 

13) Gujarat Plains and Hills 

This region includes the hills and plains of Kathiawar and the fertile valleys of Mahi and Sabarmati rivers. It is an arid and semi-arid region with the mean July temperature reading 30°C and that of January about 25°C. The mean annual rainfall varies between 50 - 100 cm. 
Soils are regur in the plateau region, alluvium in the coastal plains, and red and yellow soils in Jamnagar area. Groundnut, cotton, rice, millets, oilseeds, wheat and tobacco are the main crops. It is an important oilseed producing region. The main strategy of development in this region should be canal and groundwater management, rain water harvesting and management, dry land farming, agro-forestry development, wasteland development and developing marine fishing and brackish/back water aquaculture development in coastal zones and river deltas. 

14) Western Dry Region 

Extending over Rajasthan, West of the Aravallis, this region has an erratic rainfall of an annual average of less than 25 cm. The desert climate further causes high evaporation and contrasting temperatures 28°C to 45°C in June and 5°C to 22°C in January. Bajra, jowar, and moth are main crops of kharif and wheat and gram in rabi. Livestock contributes greatly in desert ecology. 
The main areas needing a thrust for development are rainwater harvesting, increasing yield level of horticultural crops like water melon, guava and date palm, adopting high quality germ plasm in cattle to improve their breed; and adopting silvi-pastoral system over wastelands.

15) Island Region 

The island region includes Andaman-Nicobar and Lakshadweep which have typically equatorial climate (annual rainfall less than 300 cm; the mean July and January temperature of Port Blair being 30°C to 25°C respectively). The soils vary from sandy along the coast to clayey loam in valleys and lower slopes. 
The main crops are rice, maize, millets, pulses, arecanut, turmeric and cassava. Nearly half of the cropped area is under coconut. The area is covered with thick forests and agriculture is in backward stage. The main thrust in development should be on crop improvement, water management and fisheries. Improved variety of rice seeds should be popularized so as to enable farmers to take two crops of rice in place of one. For fisheries development multi-purpose fishing vessels for deep sea fishing should be introduced, suitable infrastructure for storage and processing of fish should be built up, and brackish water prawn culture should be promoted in the coastal areas. 

Resource regions

Natural resources are material and constituent formed within environment or any matter or energy that are resulting from environment, used by living things that humans use for food, fuel, clothing and shelter. These comprise of water, soil, minerals, vegetation, animals, air and sunlight. People require resources to survive and succeed. Everything which happens naturally on earth are natural resources that is minerals, land, water, soil, wind that can be used in many ways by human being.
The total cultivable area in India is 19,45,355 km² (56.78% of its total land area), which is shrinking due to population pressures and rapid urbanisation. India's major mineral resources include Coal (4th largest reserves in the world), Iron ore, Manganese ore (7th largest reserve in the world as in 2013), Mica, Bauxite (5th largest reserve in the world as in 2013), Chromite, Natural gas, Diamonds, Limestone and Thorium. The major resource region in India include

1) Western Himalayan Region

This region consists of three distinct sub zones of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh hills. Lands of the region have steep slopes in undulating terrain. Soils are generally silty loams and these are prone to erosion hazards.

2) Eastern Himalayan Region

Sikkim and Darjeeling hills, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Tripura, Mizoram, Assam and Jalpaiguri and cooch bihar districts of West Bengal fall under this region, with high rainfall and high forest cover. Shifting cultivation is practiced in nearly one third of the cultivated area and this has caused denudation and degradation of soils with the resultant heavy runoff, massive soil erosion and floods in the lower reaches and basins.

3) Lower Gangetic Plain Region

This region consists of West Bengal. Soils are mostly alluvial and flood prone.

4) Middle Gangetic Plain Region

This region consists of 12 districts of eastern Uttar Pradesh and 27 districts of Bihar plains. This region has a geographical area of 16 million hectares and rainfall is high. About 39% of gross cropped area is irrigated and cropping intensity is 142%.

5) Upper Gangetic Plain Region

This zone consists of 32 districts of Uttar Pradesh. Irrigation is through canals and tube wells. A good potential for exploitation of ground water exists.

6) Trans Gangetic Plain Region

This zone consists of Punjab, Haryana, Union territories of Delhi and Chandigarh and Sriganganagar district of Rajasthan. The major characteristics of this area are highest net sown area, highest irrigated area, high cropping intensity and high ground water utilization.

7) Eastern Plateau and Hills Region

This zone consists of eastern parts of Madhya Pradesh, southern part of West Bengal and most of inland Orissa. The soils are shallow and medium in depth and the topography is undulating. Irrigation is through tanks and tube wells.

8) Central Plateau and Hills Region

This region consists of most parts of Madhya Pradesh and south eastern Rajasthan. This region has undulating topography with sandy soils.

9) Western Plateau and Hills Region

This zone comprises the major part of Maharashtra, parts of Madhya Pradesh and one district of Rajasthan. The average annual rainfall of the zone is 904 mm. The net sown area is 65% and forests occupy 11%. The irrigated area is only 12.4% with canals being the main source.

10) Southern Plateau and Hills Region

This zone comprises 35 districts of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamilnadu, which are typically semi-arid zones. Dry land farming is adopted in 81% of the area.

11) East Coast Plains and Hills Region

This zone comprises of east coast of Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh and Orissa. Soils are mainly alluvial and coastal sands. Irrigation is through canals and tanks.

12) West Coast Plains and Ghats Region

This zone comprises west coast of Tamilnadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Goa with a variety of crop patterns, rainfall and soil types.

 13) Gujarat Plains and Hills Region

This zone consists of 19 districts of Gujarat. This zone is arid with low rainfall in most parts and only 32.5% of the area is irrigated largely through wells and tube wells.

14) Western Dry Region

This zone comprises 9 districts of Rajasthan and is characterized by hot, sandy desert, erratic rainfall, high evaporation and scanty vegetation. The ground water is deep and often brackish. Drought is the common feature of the region.

15) Islands Region

This zone covers the island territories of Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshadeep, which are typically equatorial with rainfall of 3000 mm spread over 8-9 months. It is largely a forest zone with undulating lands. Depending on the variation in ecological characteristics of one region from the other, they have different types of vegetation, which suits best to their ecological conditions.


National Capital Region (NCR)

National capital region

The National Capital Region (NCR) is the designation for a conurbation or metropolitan area in India. It encompasses the entire national capital territory of Delhi, including New Delhi and urban areas surrounding it in neighbouring states of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. NCR is India's largest and one of the world's largest agglomeration with a population of over 46,069,000. All the areas of NCR together generated GDP of $128.9 billion in 2011-2012, which was 7.5% of the Indian GDP. Delhi and its urban region have been given the special status of National Capital Region (NCR) under the Constitution of India's 69th Amendment Act of 1991.
In July 2013, NCR was expanded to include 3 more districts, Bhiwani and Mahendragarh in the state of Haryana, as well as Bharatpur in the state of Rajasthan. This brought the number of districts in NCR to 19, with the total NCR area increasing 34% to 46,208 km2. Before July 2013, NCR had a total area of 34,144 km2 spanning over 16 districts in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, and Rajasthan, together with the National Capital Territory of Delhi, with the Nation Capital as its core.
On 9 June 2015, Government of India approved the inclusion of three more districts in NCR - Jind and Karnal in the state of Haryana and Muzaffar nagar in U.P. There are now a total of 22 districts (plus Delhi NCT) within NCR, covering a total area of 58,332 km2.
A total of 22 districts in three neighbouring states of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan along with whole of the National Capital Territory of Delhi constitute the National Capital Region (NCR) of India as defined in National Capital Region Planning Board (NCRPB) Act, 1985.
The concept of the National Capital Region was first mentioned in 1962. The plan was to develop a metropolitan region around Delhi in order to divert the escalating pressure of population from Delhi. This plan was necessary in order to protect Delhi's infrastructure from extreme pressure.

Participating States and their Districts in NCR  

  1. National Capital Territory of Delhi - It covers Delhi and New Delhi.
  2. Haryana – Bhiwani, Faridabad, Gurgaon, Jhajjar (Jhajjar and Bahadurgarh),
  3. Mahendragarh, Panipat, Rewari, Rohtak, Sonipat, Mewat, Palwal, Jind, Karnal
  4. Uttar Pradesh – Baghpat, Bulandshahr, Gautam Buddha Nagar District (Noida and
  5. Greater Noida), Ghaziabad, Muzaffarnagar, Meerut Hapur,
  6.  Rajasthan – Alwar, Bharatpur

Zones of NCR

  •      Faridabad - Ballabgarh Complex
  •      Ghaziabad – Loni - Bulandshahr Complex
  •      Gurgaon - Manesar Complex
  •      Noida - Greater Noida Complex
  •      Sonipat - Bahadurgarh Complex
  •      Sonipat - Kundli Complex

The planning body for the region is the National Capital Region Planning Board (NCRPB). It has issued two regional plans, the "Regional Plan 2001, National Capital Region" approved in 1988, and the "Regional Plan 2021, National Capital Region" approved in 2005. Topics covered by the 2001 plan included transport, telecommunications, power and water supply, waste and sewerage, education, health, the environment, housing and the "counter magnet" areas. The 2021 plan extended these with the additional topics of social infrastructure, heritage, tourism, rural development and disaster management.


Five Stages of Multi-Level Planning in India

The concept of multi-level regional planning may be defined as 'planning for a variety of regions which together form a system and subordinate systems'. In multi-level planning, the various levels of planning provide bases for higher level planning. Similarly, the higher level regional plans provide the basic framework for the lower level plans. In such plans, there is direct participation of the people in the planning process. In multi-level planning, every region/unit constitutes a system and hence, the planning process becomes more effective. In India following five stages of multi-level planning have been recognized. These include.

National Level Planning

At national level, Planning Commission is the nodal agency responsible for the countries planning. The Prime Minister is the Chairman of this Commission. It not only prepares Plans for the country but also coordinates the sectored development works of different ministries of the central government, states and union territories. The functions of the planning commission are supervised through the National Development Council.

The Planning Commission has been granted constitutional status through 52nd Amendment of the Constitution. No big plan can be executed without its prior approval by the Planning Commission. The Commission formulates three types of plans.

  •         Perspective plans for 15-25 years
  •         Five year plans
  •         Annual plans within the framework of five year plan.

The planning commission is headed by Prime Minister of India, it has full time members who assist the Prime Minister in planning and provide advice and guidance for formulation of five year plan. The full time members consists of Deputy Chairman and includes experts from various fields like economics, industry, science and general administration. It also includes ministers from relevant portfolios like Finance, Agriculture, Home Ministry, Health, Chemicals and Fertilizers, Information Technology, Law, HRD and Minister of State for Planning.

Organization Structure & Functions

It has 11 main departments and 20 sub ordinate departments and that makes 31 divisions for which the planning commission concentrates on planning. It has two main divisions of function. They are General Planning Divisions and Programme Administration Divisions. The main function of the commission is planning. The other functions includes economic survey, human resources and capital assessment in the country. It also concerns with removing any factor impeding the growth of the country.

Planning Commission

The Planning Commission is the technical body for facilitating the planning process in our country. It was set up by the Government in March, 1950. Its functions are

  • To make an assessment of the material, capital and human resources of the country, including technical personnel and investigate the possibilities of augmenting such of these resources as are found to be deficient in relation to the nation’s requirements
  • To formulate a plan for the most effective and balanced utilization of the country’s resources
  • To determine priorities, define the stages in which the plan should be carried out and propose the allocation of resources for the due completion of each stage
  • To indicate the factors which tend to retard economic development and determine the conditions which, in view of the current social and political situation, should be created for the successful execution of the plan
  • To determine the nature of the machinery, which will be necessary for securing the successful implementation of each stage of the plan in all its aspects
  • To appraise, from time to time, the progress achieved in the execution of each stage of the plan and recommend the adjustments of policy and measures that such appraisal may show to be necessary
  • To make such interim or ancillary recommendations as appear to be appropriate either for facilitating the discharge of the duties assigned to it or, on a consideration of prevailing economic conditions, current policies, measures and development programmes or on an examination of such specific problems as may be referred to it for advice by the central and state governments.

Planning Commission renamed as ‘NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog’ in 1st January,2015,which is a policy think of the Government of India, established with the aim to achieve sustainable development goals and to enhance cooperative federalism by fostering the involvement of state governments of India in the economic policy-making process using a bottom-up approach. Its initiatives include "15 year road map", "7-year vision, strategy and action plan", AMRUT, Digital India, Atal Innovation Mission, Medical Education Reform, Agriculture reforms (Model Land Leasing Law, Reforms of the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee Act, Agricultural Marketing and Farmer Friendly Reforms Index for ranking states), Indices Measuring State’s Performance in Health, Education and Water Management, Task Forces on Agriculture and Elimination of Poverty. Its functions are

  •  To evolve a shared vision of national development priorities sectors and strategies with the active involvement of States in the light of national objectives.
  • To foster cooperative federalism through structured support initiatives and mechanisms with the States on a continuous basis, recognizing that strong states make a strong nation.
  • To develop mechanisms to formulate credible plans at the village level and aggregate these progressively at higher levels of government.
  • To ensure, on areas that are specifically referred to it, that the interests of national security are incorporated in economic strategy and policy.
  • To pay special attention to the sections of our society that may be at risk of not benefiting adequately from economic progress.
  • To design strategic and long term policy and programme frameworks and initiatives, and monitor their progress and their efficacy. The lessons learnt through monitoring and feedback will be used for making innovative improvements, including necessary mid-course corrections.
  • To provide advice and encourage partnerships between key stakeholders and national and international like-minded Think tanks, as well as educational and policy research institutions.
  • To create a knowledge, innovation and entrepreneurial support system through a collaborative community of national and international experts, practitioners and other partners.
  • To offer a platform for resolution of inter sectoral and inter departmental issues in order to accelerate the implementation of the development agenda.
  • To maintain a state-of-the-art Resource Centre, be a repository of research on good governance and best practices in sustainable and equitable development as well as help their dissemination to stake-holders.
  • To actively monitor and evaluate the implementation of programmes and initiatives, including the identification of the needed resources so as to strengthen the probability of success and scope of delivery.
  • To focus on technology up gradation and capacity building for implementation of programmes and initiatives.
  • To undertake other activities as may be necessary in order to further the execution of the national development agenda, and the objectives mentioned above.

State Level Planning

At state level the mechanism of the planning is almost same of the national level. The state Planning Board acts like national planning com­mission and coordinates the development plans of different ministries and the districts. It also has the responsibility of the formulation, implementation and monitoring of state plan. It is in constant touch with Planning Commission regarding the formulation of plans and allocation of resources.

Under the federal set up of the country states enjoy autonomy in certain state subjects and play pivotal role in the implementation of planning programmes. It is at state level that all sorts of economic and social data are available and development plans could be formulated keeping regional interests and demands in mind. Hence, there is a need for more rigorous exercise of planning at state level. Those states which are conscious of their responsibility and are showing interest in plan formulation and implementation are displaying better performance in development programmes.

The Executive head of a state is the Governor, who is appointed by the President of India on the advice of the Prime Minister of India. As in the case of the Centre, the Governor does not directly exercise the powers that are vested in him. They are exercised through the Council of Ministers headed by the Chief Minister. The advice of the Council of Ministers is binding on the Governor. The Council of Ministers works through the secretariat that is headed by a secretary. The main functions of the secretariat relate to assisting the ministers in policy making and in discharging their legislative responsibilities, co-ordination of policies and programmes, supervision and control of expenditure, efficient running of administration, etc. The Council of Ministers has a number of departments functioning under it which can be broadly classified into three categories:

1.   Development departments (having the departments of agriculture and animal husbandry, rural development, public works and industries)

2.      Social welfare departments (having the departments of education, health and social welfare)

3.      Coordinating departments (having home, revenue, finance and planning departments)

The Central Government has the power to legislate on the subjects given in the Union List while the State governments have powers to legislate on the subjects given in the State List. As far as subjects contained in the Concurrent List are concerned, both central and state governments have powers to legislate on them, but in case of conflict, the central law prevails. Organised activities such as industries, minerals, railways and telecommunications come under the Centre's responsibilities, while agriculture, collection of land revenue, irrigation, power, public health, education, local self-government, and several other important subjects come under the control of states.

District Level Planning

The concept of the district-level planning is based on the principle of local level planning. It also assumes that success of the planning needs greater mobilization and utilization of local resources. Below the state, district occupies a pivotal position in planning because of its location and administrative advantages.

Not only it has sufficient administrative and technical expertise and good source of data and information to carry out plan programmes but has well-knit system to involve people’s participation and make the gains of planning to reach to the grass root level. The district board consists of elected representatives who can play significant role in the process of planning. Hence, there is a sizeable group of scholars who consider district as an ideal and viable unit of micro level planning.

District Planning is the process of preparing an integrated plan for the local government sector in a district taking into account the resources  (natural, human and financial) available and covering the sectoral activities and schemes assigned to the district level and below and those implemented through local governments in a state. District is the most suitable administrative unit for decentralized planning below the state level as it possesses the required heterogeneity and is small enough to undertake people in planning and implementation and to improve productivity; district planning is an important tool. Its contents  will be as follows.

  •           Agriculture and allied sectors
  •           Availability and development of water sources
  •           Industries – especially traditional, small industries including food processing
  •           Infrastructure including power
  •           Drinking water and sanitation
  •           Literacy, school education
  •           Health and medical facilities
  •           Poverty reduction and basic needs
  •          Gender and children
  •          Social justice – SC / ST, Persons with disability

It is also argued that gram panchayat and development block are too small to act as the smallest unit of planning. Also there is complete lack of administrative framework and data collec­tion system at these two levels. Hence, there would be a number of difficulties in the formulation and execution of plans at village and block levels.

Although the importance of district level planning was realized during the times of community development plans but the real breakthrough came with the Third Five Year Plan (1961-1966) in which emphasis was laid on the district -level planning to remove inter district and intra district disparities and make optimum utilization of natural and human resources at district level.

Its formulation and implementation are looked after by the District Planning Officer (DPO) or the District Magistrate. Despite this elaborate system, the task of preparing a reasonably sound district plan has not made much headway in the states due to following constraints.

  • Some lurking reluctance on the part of Governments and their sartorial heads to devolve sufficient authority (administrative and financial) to the planning bodies at the district level.
  • Lack of effective co-ordination at the district level between various agencies involved in the planning exercises.
  • Institutionalized arrangements, for seeking consultation with various participants in the planning process, were either not well established or not sufficiently encouraged and developed.
  •  Lack of trained staff, both in terms of number as well as quality. The inadequacy of training was a serious constraint.
  • Lack of appropriate and reduced methodologies for planning, in tandem with the capabilities available at the local level. In this context, the non-availability of trained planning personnel posed a serious problem.
  • Planning without a clear and full understanding of the realities of resource constraints.
  • The database presented its own problems. Although a surfeit of data is available at the local level from numerous sources, appropriate methodologies for selecting the “critical minimum information” for local planning from this mass of data and using the same for some simple analysis for decision making, without going into highly sophisticated techniques, had not emerged,
  • Lack of people’s participation in planning.

Block Level Planning

Block is an important unit of micro level planning. These development blocks were created to supervise the implementation of development plans under the Community Development Programme initiated during the first five year plan. Each district was divided into a number of blocks and each block comprised about 100 villages, with a population of about 60,000.

The programme visualized mobilization of local resources, participation of the people in the decision making and implementation of the development schemes. Hence, a new unit of planning was created at block level under the leadership of a block development officer and a team of various specialists and village level workers (officers).The Fifth Five Year Plan) (1978-1983) opted for area planning with a preferment for block level planning for achieving employment objectives and emphasis on rural development.

The main objective of this planning was to absorb local labour surpluses and greater involvement of people in the formulation and implementation of development plans. Hence, by the end of 1983 adopt system of block level planning integrated into national system was available

It is an action oriented planning pertaining to the development of agriculture, irrigation (mainly minor irrigation), soil conservation, animal husbandry, pisciculture, forestry, minor processing of agricultural products, small and cottage industries, creation of local level infrastructure, and development of social services like water supply, health, education, shelter, sanitation, local transport, and welfare plans. The entire process of block level planning passes through seven stages. These include

  •         Identification phase
  •         Resource inventory phase
  •         Plan formulation phase
  •        Employment plan phase
  •         Areal or layout plan phase
  •         Credit plan phase
  •         Integration and implementation phase

The main objectives of such planning include, creation of skill to promote self-employment and self-reliance, improvement in pro­ductivity and optimum utilization of local resources. Thus the main focus of such planning is the identifi­cation of target group, introduction of development plans to generate employment, popularization of minimum need programmes and implementation of special programmes for weaker section of the society.

Objectives of Block Level Planning

The objectives of block planning should, to the extent possible, be in harmony with national planning goals. The following are the key objectives of block level planning.

  • Increase in employment and income, particularly of the poor, through optimal growth in the area and through public employment programmes
  • Distribution of gains from development in a manner that they reach the weaker sections, i.e. marginal farmers, agricultural labourers etc.
  •  Building social and economic infrastructure in the area
  •  Increasing the availability and accessibility of social services through minimum need and other programmes and extending the reach of the public distribution system
  •  Building institutions/organizations to protect the interests of the poor and the vulnerable in the area
  •   Upgrading technology, increasing productivity and contributing to skill formation
  •   Optimum utilization of the development potentials of the region
  •   Solution to the problems of unemployment
  •    Self-reliance
  •   Removal of socio economic disparities
The following activities are planned at the block level.
  •          Agriculture and allied activities
  •          Minor irrigation
  •          Soil conservation and water management
  •          Animal husbandry and poultry
  •          Fisheries
  •          Forestry
  •          Processing of agricultural produce
  •          Organizing input supply, credit, and marketing
  •          Cottage and small industries
  •          Local infrastructure
  •          Social services
  •          Drinking water supply
  •          Health and nutrition
  •          Education
  •          Housing
  •          Sanitation
  •          Local transport
  •          Welfare programme
  •          Training of local youth and updating of skills of local population

Panchayat Level Planning

The Panchayat Raj System involves a three tier structure: village level, block level and district level. The first tier at village level is commonly known as Gram Panchayat (village assembly), the second tier at block level as Panchayat Samiti and the third tier at district level as Zila Parishad.

According to the provisions of the Panchayats Act 1996 the election to the village Panchyat is held at an interval of 5 years. Through the Constitution Amendment Act 1992 the Panchayat (also called Gram Sabha) has been authorized to look after the preparation and implementation of plans for economic development and social justice. The respective state has been given discretionary powers to prescribe powers and functions to the Gram Sabha to act as an institution of self-government.

It has also been advised to constitute a District Planning Committee to consolidate the plans prepared by the Panchyats and Municipalities and prepare an integrated development plan for the district as a whole. It has also been directed to constitute a State Finance Commission (SFC) to review every five years, the financial position of Panchayats and to make recommendations about the principle governing the distribution of revenues between the state and the Panchyats, and determination of the grants in aid to the Panchayats from the consolidated funds of the state.

The implementation of the plan at the Panchayat level is the responsibility of the Village Development Officer (VDO) and the secretary and is supervised by the Gram Sabha. Under the existing provisions, funds for the Gram Sabha (Village Panchayat) are directly being allocated from the centre to execute rural development programmes like Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP) and Jawahar Rozgar Yojna (JRY) etc.

The Panchayat has also been entrusted with the responsibility for the promotion of agriculture, rural industries, provision of medical relief, maternity, women and child welfare, maintaining common grazing grounds, village roads, tanks, wells, sanita­tion and execution of other socio-economic programmes. In some places, they are also authorized to supervise primary education and collect land revenue. Presently, Gram Panchayats are involved in the identification of beneficiaries in antipoverty programmes. There are about 2.20 lakh Gram Panchayats, 5,300 Panchayat Samitis and 400 Zila Parishads in the country.

It has been found that elected representatives of Panchayat Raj Institutions are largely unaware of the political and economic dimensions of development issues and lack planning and managerial skills.

Multi-level Planning opposed to centralized planning is an exercise where local institutions are actively involved not only at the implementation level but MLP is a more integrative effort that seeks to involve all hierarchies of administrative, geographical, political and regional levels in planning process. It seeks to involve active participation of the lower hierarchical levels in information generation, data collection, policy suggestion, plan implementation & monitoring of all developmental activities.

A planning process can be either single level or multi-level. In the single level planning, the formulation of plans and decision making are done at the national level; the process is centralized and the lower territorial levels come into the picture only at the implementation stage. On the other hand, in the multi-level planning process, the national territory is divided into small territorial units, their number depending upon the size of the country, the administrative, the geographical and cultural settings. The Panchayat has also been entrusted with the responsibility for the following.

·         Promotion of agriculture

·         Rural industries

·         Provision of medical facilities

·         Maternity, women and child welfare

·         Maintaining common grazing grounds, village roads, tanks, wells

·         Sanitation

·         Execution of other socio-economic development programmes

  • Anti-poverty programmes