Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Program: Most Important Topic for 2021 RBI Assistant Exam

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  • The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) , also known as Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS) is Indian legislation enacted on August 25,2005. The MGNREGA provides a legal guarantee for one hundred days of employment in every financial year to adult members of any rural household willing to do public work-related unskilled manual work at the statutory minimum wage. The Ministry of Rural Development (MRD) , government of India is monitoring the entire implementation of this scheme in association with state governments
  • This act was introduced with an aim of improving the purchasing power of the rural people, primarily semi or un-skilled work to people living below poverty line in rural India. It attempts to bridge the gap between the rich & poor in the country. Roughly one-third of the stipulated work force must be women.
  • Adult members of rural households submit their name, age & address with photo to the Gram Panchayat. The Gram Panchayat registers households after making enquiry & issues a job card. The job card contains the details of adult member enrolled & his/her photo. Registered person can submit an application for work in writing (for at least fourteen days of continuous work) either to Panchayat or to Programme Officer.
  • The Panchayat/Programme officer will accept the valid application & issue dated receipt of application, letter providing work will be sent to the applicant & also displayed at Panchayat office. The employment will be provided within a radius of 5 km if it is above 5 km extra wage will be paid.

Key Facts That Users Should Know About MNREGA

  • MGNREGA guarantees hundred days of wage employment in a financial year, to a rural household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work.
  • Individual beneficiary oriented works can be taken up on the cards of Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes, small or marginal farmers or beneficiaries of land reforms or beneficiaries under the Indira Awaas Yojana of the Government of India.
  • Within 15 days of submitting the application or from the day work is demanded, wage employment will be provided to the applicant.
  • Right to get unemployment allowance in case employment is not provided within fifteen days of submitting the application or from the date when work is sought.
  • Receipt of wages within fifteen days of work done.
  • Variety of permissible works which can be taken up by the Gram Panchayats.
  • MGNREGA focuses on the economic & social empowerment of women.
  • MGNREGA provides “Green” & “Decent” work.
  • Social Audit of MGNREGA works is mandatory, which lends to accountability & transparency.
  • MGNREGA works address the climate change vulnerability & protect the farmers from such risks & conserve natural resources.
  • The Gram Sabha is the principal forum for wage seekers to raise their voices & make demands. It is the Gram Sabha & the Gram Panchayat which approves the shelf of works under MGNREGA & fix their priority.

Implementation Status

  • The scheme was introduced in 200 districts during financial year 2006 - 07 & 130 districts during the financial year 2007 - 08
  • In April 2008 NREGA expanded to entire rural area of the country covering 34 States & Union Territories, 614 Districts, 6,096 Blocks & 2.65 lakhs Gram Panchayat.
  • The scheme now covers 648 Districts, 6,849 Blocks & 2,50, 441 Gram Panchayats in the financial year 2015 - 16.

Activities Covered under MGNREGA

  • Union Rural Development Ministry has notified works under MGNREGA, majority of which are related to agricultural & allied activities, besides the works that will facilitate rural sanitation projects in a major way.
  • The works have been divided into 10 broad categories like Watershed, Irrigation & Flood management works, Agricultural and Livestock related works, Fisheries and works in coastal areas & the Rural Drinking water & Sanitation related works.
  • Briefing the MGNREGA 2.0 (the second generation reforms for the rural job scheme) the priority of the works will be decided by the Gram Panchayats in meetings of the Gram Sabha՚s & the Ward Sabha՚s.
  • The Rural development also informed that the 30 new works being added in the Schedule 1 will also help the
  • Rural sanitation projects, as for the first time toilet building, soak pits and solid and liquid waste management have been included under MGNREGA. Though the overall 60: 40 ratio of labour & material component will be maintained at the Gram Panchayat level but there will be some flexibility in the ratio for certain works based on the practical requirements.
  • Construction of AWC building has been included as an approved activity under the MGNREG Act. ‘Guidelines for construction of Anganwadi Centers’ under MGNREGS have been issued jointly by Secretary, WCD and Secretary, Ministry of Rural Development, on 13th August, 2015. Under MGNREGS, expenditure up to ₹ 5 lakh per AWC building for construction will be allowed. Expenditure beyond ₹ 5 lakh per AWC including finishing, flooring, painting, plumbing, electrification, wood work, etc. will be met from the ICDS funds.

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