Context: The Union Ministry of Rural Development launched “The Saras Collection” on the Government e Marketplace (GeM) portal, recently.
About the Saras Collection:
- A unique initiative of GeM and the DeenDayalAntyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM), Ministry of Rural Development, the Saras Collection showcases daily utility products made by rural self-help groups (SHGs).
- It aims to provide SHGs in rural areas with market access to Central and State Government buyers.
- Under this initiative, the SHG sellers will be able to list their products in 5 product categories, namely (i) handicrafts, (ii) handloom and textiles, (iii) office accessories, (iv) grocery and pantry, and (v) personal care and hygiene.
- In order to develop a scalable model capable of onboarding a large number of SHGs across the country in a short time frame, GeM has developed an Application Program Interface(API) based integration mechanism with the NRLM database.
Role of GeM: GeM will provide dashboards for functionaries at the national, state, district and block level to provide them real time information about the number of products uploaded by SHGs, and value and volume of orders received and fulfilled.
- In addition, Government buyers shall be sensitized through system generated messages/ alerts in the Marketplace about availability of SHG products on the portal.
- Potential buyers shall be able to search, view, cart and procure such products through the stipulated modes of procurement.
- In order to handhold and facilitate the SHGs in uploading their products, GeM, along with the State and National Rural Livelihoods Missions, are assisting the sellers with product catalogue management, order fulfilment and bid participation.
- GeM shall also collaborate with State functionaries to address the capacity building and training needs of SHGs, and build up their competencies required for order packaging, catalogue management and logistics.
- With inputs and assistance from NRLM and SRLMs, GeM will develop online learning resources and online webinars in vernacular content for SHGs.
- By providing SHGs with direct access to Government buyers, the Saras Collection will do away with intermediaries in the supply chain.
- This will ensure better prices for SHGs and spur employment opportunities at the local level.
- It is an attempt by GeM to partner in the growth story of SHGs.
The SHGs deserve to be specially commended for the manner in which they are fighting the COVID-19 pandemic valiantly at this time of national health emergency of unprecedented and historic scale.
- It is a one stop portal to facilitate online procurement of common use Goods & Services required by various Government Departments / Organizations / PSUs.
- It is a 100 percent Government owned Section 8 Company under the Company Act, 2013, set up as the National Public Procurement Portal for procurement of goods and services required by Central and State Government organizations.
- GeM provides an online, end to end solution for procurement of goods and services for all Central Government and State Government Ministries, Departments, Public Sector Enterprises (PSEs), local bodies and autonomous organisations.
- The platform reduces human interventions in procurement and enables transparency, cost savings, inclusiveness and efficiency of faceless standardized public procurement.
- DAY-NLRM aims to reduce poverty through promotion of diversified and gainful self-employment while creating skilled wage employment opportunities.
- The scheme supports building social capital and ensuring financial linkages to alleviate poverty and enhance the quality of the life of rural poor women.
- It has ambitious plans on innovations for alternate channels of financial inclusion like digital finance, creating value chains around rural products and improving market access, rural enterprise and strengthening community institutions.
Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana
- Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana - National Livelihoods Mission (NRLM) was launched by the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD), Government of India in 2011 as a restructured version of Swarna Jayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojna (SGSY).
- In 2015, the program was renamed Deendayal Antayodaya Yojana (DAY-NRLM).
- Mission: To reduce poverty by enabling the poor households to access gainful self-employment and skilled wage employment opportunities, resulting in appreciable improvement in their livelihoods on a sustainable basis, through building strong grassroots institutions of the poor.
- NRLM has set out with an agenda to cover 7 Crore rural poor households, across 2.5 lakh Gram Panchayats and 6 lakh villages in the country through self-managed Self Help Groups (SHGs) and federated institutions and support them for livelihoods collectives in a period of 8-10 years.
- In addition, the poor would be facilitated to achieve increased access to their rights, entitlements and public services, diversified risk and better social indicators of empowerment.
- NRLM believes in harnessing the innate capabilities of the poor and complements them with capacities (information, knowledge, skills, tools, finance and collectivization) to participate in the growing economy of the country.