Over the borderline – Transforming the border villages | 3rd January 2023 | UPSC Daily Editorial Analysis

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What's the article about?

  • It talks about transforming the border villages to achieve the twin objectives of social development and border security.


  • GS3: Security Challenges and their Management in Border Areas – Linkages of Organized Crime with Terrorism;
  • Prelims


  • India has a total of 15,106.7 kilometers of international land border. Seven different countries share a border with India.
  • Border villages are generally underdeveloped due to difficult geographic terrain and accessibility issues.
  • Border villages are also critical in terms of security.
  • Cross-border terrorism and organised crimes such as money laundering, etc. can be tackled effectively with the help of these border villages.
  • Thus, the Union Government has launched several schemes to develop border areas, the latest being Vibrant Village Programme (VVP).

Borders of India:

Vibrant Village Programme (VVP):

  • It has been announced in the Finance Minister’s Budget Speech 2022.
  • The programme envisages coverage of border villages on Northern border having sparse population, limited connectivity and infrastructure, which often get left out from the development gains.
  • Convergence of existing schemes is proposed under VVP.

Other border area development initiatives:

  • Government of India is implementing the Border Area Development Programme (BADP) through the State Governments/UT Administrations in habitations located within 0-10 kms. from the first habitation at international border in 460 border blocks of 117 border districts in 16 States and 2 UTs.
  • These are Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Jammu & Kashmir (UT) and Ladakh (UT).
  • Under BADP, the annual action plans of the States/UTs consisting of works related to village infrastructure like roads and bridges, health, education, agriculture, sports, drinking water & sanitation etc. are considered and approved as per BADP guidelines in vogue.


  • The Government of India is paying special attention to the development of border villages, especially from a security perspective.
  • Borders could be permanently secured only when border villages are populated by patriotic citizens who are concerned for the country.
  • Mr. Shah asked the Border Security Force (BSF) to effectively use the Vibrant Village Programme (VVP).
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said the scheme signified the government’s “holistic approach” to ensure that these villages have all facilities.
  • The existing Border Area Development Plan of the MHA covers development of all border regions, and it is unclear how VVP will be different from that.
  • One year after it was announced, there is little clarity on the details of VVP, including on the question of whether it will cover all border areas or only the northern border with China as mentioned in the Budget.
  • The government has said VVP would cover construction of village infrastructure, housing, tourist centres, road connectivity, provisioning of decentralised renewable energy, direct-to-home access for Doordarshan and educational channels, and support for livelihood generation.
  • There were also plans to open the villages along the China border in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh and the Union Territory of Ladakh for tourists.

Way Forward:

  • Holding border areas close to the rest of the country is a dynamic challenge and requires a sensitive approach.
  • Borders divide people of shared ethnic and cultural heritage, who are unmoved by rivalries of nations that animate strategists.
  • Border villages that are properly developed and governed help to keep cross-border terrorism and organised crime at bay.
  • Thus, the development of the VVP scheme is a step in the right direction, but the scheme's vagueness must also be addressed.

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