• The ministry of rural development has recently incorporated new evidence into the design of a newly proposed scheme, tentatively named the Grameen Swarozgar Yojana (GSY).
  • GSY proposes a diverse framework to achieve poverty-free panchayats through generation of self-employment opportunities for the poor.
  • Keeping in mind a region’s natural resources and economic opportunities, GSY allows implementing partners to apply for government support in implementing self-employment generation projects specific to the needs of the ultra-poor, extremely poor and moderately poor without excluding any group.
  • A core and unprecedented component of GSY is a specific provision for the ultra-poor using the evidence from graduation approach. Through the proposed policy, approved implementation agencies will identify ultra-poor families using both the SECC data and community surveys. Thereafter, implementation agencies will receive government support to work with these families using the proven graduation approach.


If approved by the government of India, GSY will become the first government policy intervention backed by rigorous scientific evidence that will aim to provide sustainable livelihood opportunities to the ultra-poor at such a large scale. If India is to truly cater to the poor, such nuanced approaches are required to address the diversity within the country’s poverty.