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NEW DELHI, Jan 19 (NEPS): Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister of Panchayati Raj, Rural Development, Mines & Parliamentary Affairs said the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) are the backbone of successful and good governance system for any country. Speaking on the occasion of inauguration of two-day National Conclave for Elected Women Representatives (EWRs) of PRIs, organised jointly by Ministry of Panchayati Raj, UN Women and National Institute of Rural Development & Panchayati Raj (NIRD&PR) at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi today, the Minister said the participation of women in PRIs was a must for the meaningful development of their villages. He said the members of Self Help Groups (SHGs) in collaboration with the Elected Representatives of the Panchayats were contributing in poverty alleviation and economic development of our villages. On this occasion, the Minister also released the “Guidelines of GPDP” (Gram Panchayat Development Plan). He said the book would be helpful to the Gram Panchayats for the preparation of their plans. Tomar also said Prime Minister, Narendra Modi always expressed concern for clean and self sufficient rural India. He said under the recommendations of 14th Finance Commission, Government decided to give more than Rs. 2 lac 192 crores to Gram Panchayats for five years period. Out of this, more than Rs.1 crore have been released to them. He said Prime Minister also launched a new scheme named “Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyaan” (RGSA). He said if India was to be a developed country then it was necessary that along with the cities, the rural India should also be developed, strengthened in capacity building, education and technical efficiency. Earlier Secretary, Amarjeet Sinha delivering keynote address to the gathering said under Sabki Yojna Sabka Vikas, the Government had initiated Gram Panchayat Development Plan (GPDP) to give a chance to the Gram Panchayats to participate in planning for themselves and to provide sufficient financial resources to them. He said under the scheme Deendayal Upadhyay Grameen Ajeevika Mission, 5.80 Cr. women were associated with Self Help Groups. The Secretary expressed his happiness that a number of rural women were now contributing in the occupations, which till now were possible only for male members. Deputy Country Representative of UN Women, Ms. Nishtha Satyam speaking on the occasion, appreciated the efforts being made by the Union Government and the State Governments in India for the development of Rural Areas.