The Vice President of India, M Venkaiah Naidu has said that we need rigorous empirical research to make good, people-centric policies.

Naidu was addressing the gathering after releasing the book ‘Staniya Svasasan Mei Addhi Aabadhi’ authored by Dr Sadhana Pandey, in New Delhi on Thursday.

Naidu while quoting a report based on a sample survey of women representatives elected to the position of Sarpanch in gram panchayats said, most of women elected to these positions are in the age group of 26-36 years, married, living in nuclear families, completed secondary school and are from middle income category.

He quoted the survey saying that, all women across all age and income groups have highlighted education as the most important factor for women’s advancement in all fields including politics. The younger generation was much more aware of the need to focus on development issues like health, environment, planned motherhood and economic independence.

Naidu added that, most women recognised the importance of radio and television in enhancing awareness but also felt some films to be inappropriate for younger audiences.

Naidu said that it is an empirical study that captures the voices of the rural women who are occupying positions of authority at the local level.

Naidu further said that It can help the policy makers to understand the perspectives of women representatives and address the key issues of education, health, nutrition, information sharing, economic independence and empowerment.

The Vice President commended the author on this valuable effort and hope that she and other researchers will do similar surveys in other parts of India.