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Road Connectivity Project for Left Wing Extremism Affected Areas (RCPLWEA) Analytics

Road Connectivity Project for Left Wing Extremism Affected Areas (RCPLWEA) Analytics

Rural road connectivity is an important part of rural development. Evidence suggests that rural road connectivity plays a vital role in poverty reduction in rural areas. It provides access to amenities like schools, hospitals, agricultural markets, and even primary school education. In most rural areas, schools are located far away from villages, making it difficult to access them. This proves even more difficult in areas affected by Left Wing Extremism. 

Left Wing Extremism (LWE) is a type of armed insurgency against the state, which is motivated by leftist ideologies. Such armed insurgency often results in damaged social and physical infrastructure, with poor and marginalized sections, like the tribals, bearing its brunt. Therefore, in order to holistically address LWE in an effective manner, the government formulated a National Policy and Action Plan, adopting a multi-pronged strategy in the areas of security, development, ensuring rights and entitlement of local communities, etc. An initiative in this regard is the ‘Road Connectivity Project for Left Wing Extremism Affected Areas (RCPLWEA)’. 

In this analytics, using Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), we test the hypothesis that rural road connectivity has an impact on education in districts affected by LWE. 

What is RCPLWEA?

The Road Connectivity Project for Left Wing Extremist Affected Areas (RCPLWEA) is a separate vertical under ‘Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY)’. It aims at improving road connectivity in LWE affected States. The scheme was approved in December 2016 and has been implemented since 2017.  Initially, 12081 km of roads and 593 bridges were sanctioned for construction. The roads included under the scheme have been identified by the Ministry of Home Affairs in consultation with state governments and security agencies. The Ministry of Rural Development is the nodal Ministry for this project. This project concerns LWE activities in 9 prominent states in India viz., Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh. 

The project was supposed to be completed by the year 2020, however, it has been extended upto March 2023. These roads and bridges are very critical from a communication and security standpoint. According to a government press release, as of November 2021, 4490 km of roads and 105 bridges have already been completed under RCPLWEA  in 44 districts in 9 states. 

The main objectives of the scheme are as follows:

  1. To provide all-weather road connectivity with necessary culverts and cross-drainage structures in 44 districts (35 are worst LWE affected districts and 09 are adjoining districts), which are critical from security and communication point of view. The primary focus in improving road connectivity under this project is to bring people out of physical and functional isolation. Suitable road connectivity will create confidence in the governance structures, create job opportunities, uplift standard of living and thus help to keep the local populace away from LWE activities.
  2. Presently under PMGSY Guidelines, for most intensive 267 LWE blocks as identified by the Ministry of Home Affairs, unconnected habitations with a population of 100 and above, are eligible to be connected under PMGSY. Under this scheme, the population of the area has not been taken into consideration as the primary objective is providing seamless connectivity. The project will cover rural roads, village roads, other district roads and major district roads which are critical from the security standpoint. 

Testing the Hypothesis

As mentioned earlier, using ANOVA, here we test the hypothesis that rural road connectivity has an impact on the number of primary schools in districts affected by LWE. 

The RCPLWEA scheme is meant for 44 districts in 9 States as the figure below indicates:

Figure 1: States & Districts under the RCPLWEA Scheme

We collected data for the year 2020-21 from the Mission Antyodaya 2020 Portal and the Rural Dashboard meant for the PMGSY. From the Mission Antyodaya 2020 Portal, we collected data for the number of primary schools in the above mentioned 44 districts. From the Rural Dashboard, we collected data related to the length of roads constructed under the RCPLWEA Scheme in these districts. 

The null hypothesis of this analytics is that road development has no significant impact on education. Primary schools in particular districts have been taken as the variable to represent education. On the contrary, alternative hypothesis marks the significant impact road development has on education in LWE districts.

This is one of the ways how the impact of RCPLWEA can be studied. 

One-Way ANOVA 

Developed by Ronal Fisher, ANOVA stands for Analysis of Variance. A One-Way ANOVA is used to determine the statistical differences between the means of independent groups. In this analytics, we are testing if rural road connectivity has any significant impact on education. Therefore, the independent variable here is the number of primary schools (X), which represent education. The dependent variable is the length of roads constructed (in km) (Y).  

Thus, our Null and Alternative Hypothesis Statements are:

H0 : μX =  μY

HA : μX ≠ μY

Test Results:

The following figure shows a summary of the test:

Figure 2: ANOVA Table Summary

The RCPLWEA scheme covers 44 districts, thus, these 44 districts are the sample size. Consequently, the number of primary schools are taken from these 44 districts. The average length of roads constructed is 78.80 km, while the average number of primary schools is 951.02. The variance in the length of roads constructed is 4930.87, while variance for the number of primary schools is 2,44,051.46. 

In the ANOVA section, there are three important values that will determine whether or not to reject the null hypothesis. These are the P-value, overall F-value, and F-Crit. The test was conducted with a 5% significance level, (α = 0.05). 

According to the result, the P-value of 2.88141e-19 is much less than 0.05. Moreover, the overall F-value of 134.44 is much greater than the F-Crit value of 3.951. Thus, in accordance with the rejection criteria, given the test values, we reject the null hypothesis and accept the alternative hypothesis to conclude that there is sufficient evidence to suggest that rural road connectivity has a significant impact on education in the 44 districts affected by LWE.

This implies that this rural road connectivity initiative is encouraging and aiding residents in these districts to access school education and educate themselves. This will aid in further development of these districts. 

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