Author(s): Kuldeep Kumar, Redwanullah Abdi
The purpose of the present study is to identify and analyse the significant socioeconomic issues and underlying opportunities in the development of rural areas in the state of Himachal Pradesh, India. The study conducted a critical review of literature and survey-based interview with all the households of five selected villages in the rural areas of Himachal Pradesh. The study identified and analysed major socio-economic issues and challenges of rural areas development on the basis of significant factors like, population, education level, occupation pattern, schemes for rural development, livestock assets, land coverage, basic amenities and road connectivity. The study has been significant in identifying certain areas to pay heed to help and uplift the community like education levels, animal husbandry, agriculture products etc. The study emphasized on major challenges being faced by the rural areas and to create opportunities of gainful self-employment for the rural families, especially disadvantaged sections, ensuring sustainable livelihood, enriched environment, improved quality of life and good human values. continuous awareness campaign regarding state government and central government schemes and designing smart village project could be one step solution for all the challenging issues in the sustainable rural development. The study emphasised on the need for optimum use of resources available and the maximum benefit of schemes provided by the state and central government for the harmonious development of the villages covered under the present study. The overall development of rural areas may be achieved through future development research, effective use of local resources, extension of appropriate technologies and up gradation of skills and capabilities with community participation. Although the scope of study was limited to selected villages in rural areas of Himachal Pradesh, the study could be further applied and extended to other similar parts of the state and other states in north and north eastern part of India.