MGNREGS (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Economy)

News-CRUX-10     24th November 2023        

Context: Recently, according to Union Ministry of Rural Development data, it was revealed that out of the 34 States and Union Territories, only six have recently completed a social audit of works done under the MGNREGS in more than 50% of gram panchayats.

Key Points

  • Kerala is the only State to cover 100% gram panchayats.
  • States to cross the 50% mark: Bihar (64.4%), Gujarat (58.8%), Jammu and Kashmir (64.1%), Odisha (60.42%) and Uttar Pradesh (54.97%). 
  • Only three States have covered 40% or more villages: Telangana (40.5%), Himachal Pradesh (45.32%) and Andhra Pradesh (49.7%). 
  • Poll-bound States, the numbers are really low: Madhya Pradesh (1.73%), Mizoram (17.5%) Chhattisgarh (25.06%), and Rajasthan (34.74%). The problem is uniform irrespective of the party in power across the country.  

Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS)

  • Objective: Guaranteed Right to Work: MGNREGS is a demand-driven scheme, that seeks to provide guaranteed 100 days of wage employment per year to every rural household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work.
  • Features: Legal right to work, a time-bound guarantee of work and unemployment allowance (within 15 days), decentralised planning – i.e. Gram Sabha recommends work, demand-driven scheme.
  • MGNREGA Act, 2005: It specifies a list of works that can be undertaken to generate employment such as water conservation, land development, construction, agriculture.
  • Role of MGNREGA in addressing rural distress: Jobs to unskilled/semi-skilled, Reduction in poverty levels, Women labour force participation, Benefits to agri-sector, Rural Development, Creation of rural assets, Reviving MSME sector.