Flagship programmes derive their origin from the term flagship which is the main or most important ship of a country's navy and is symbolic of the main thrust of the nation's developmental policy.
Flagship schemes of the government of India are those schemes which are declared so by the union cabinet or the Development Evaluation Advisory Committee (DEAC) of Planning Commission. The list of flagship programmes can be modified by the DEAC or the Government from time to time.
While creating the Independent Evaluation Office (IEO), the following programmes have been identified as flagship programmes by the Cabinet:
1. Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme: The Act was notified on 7 September 2005 and is aimed at providing livelihood security through employment for the rural poor.
2. Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA):This programme was started with the objective of providing elementary education for all children in the age group of 6–14 years by 2010.
3. Mid Day Meal Scheme (MDMS): The MDM Scheme launched in 1995 aims to give a boost to universalization of primary education by increasing enrolment, retention, and attendance and simultaneously impacting upon nutritional status of students in primary classes.
4. National Rural Health Mission(NRHM): The main aim of NRHM is to provide accessible, affordable, accountable, effective, and reliable primary health care, especially to poor and vulnerable sections of the population. The programme sets standards for rural health care and provides financial resources from the Union Government to meet these standards.
5. Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) (Since 2015, Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) has been launched and JNNURM is to be subsumed into it.The Cabinet on 29 April 2015 approved Central funding under AMRUT to the projects sanctioned under JNNURM and not completed. JNNURM projects relating to urban development sanctioned during 2005 -2012 and achieved physical progress of 50 percent availing 50 percent of central assistance released and those sanctioned during 2012-2014 will be supported till March, 2017. Accordingly, 102 and 296 projects respectively will get Central support for balance funding to complete these projects. )
6. Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS)
7. Rashtriya Krishi Vikash Yojana (RKVY)
8. Prime Minister's Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY)
9. Indira Awas Yojana (IAY)
10. Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP)
11. Water and Sanitation Mission [National Drinking Water Supply Programme & Total Sanitation Campaign]
12. Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY) (Since July 2015 this Scheme has been subsumed in the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY) as its rural electrification component)
13. Skill Development Mission
14.Bharat Nirman: The objective of the Bharat Nirman Programme is to give top priority to rural infrastructure by setting time-bound goals under various schemes to develop rural housing, rural roads, irrigation, rural drinking water and rural electrification. The Programme imposes a responsibility on sub-national governments to create these facilities in a transparent and accountable manner .
In India's federal system of government, both the Union and State Governments have a defined role to play in achieving developmental goals. The Govt. of India in recognition of the role played by infrastructure in poverty removal has taken up massive all India programmes for development of physical infrastructure (rural housing, rural roads, rural electrification, irrigation, drinking water, urban infrastructure etc.) and human capital formation under different flagship programmes, mainly to promote education and health care.