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  • 02 December, 2020

  • 5 Min Read

MGNREGS – Job Demand Increases

MGNREGS – Job Demand Increases

GS Paper-2 Governance (Mains-I.V)

Context: During COVID-19 due to reverse migration the demand for MGNREGA suddenly increases. 96% gram panchayats have logged work under the scheme in the financial year (2020-21) as compared to the previous seven years. This TOPIC is highly important for UPSC Mains examination.

  • The NREGS is a demand-based scheme and has emerged as a safety net during the pandemic for jobless migrant workers returning to their villages
  • Despite a progressive relaxation in Covid-19 curbs to revive the economy, 96% gram panchayats have logged work under the scheme in the financial year (2020-21) as compared to previous seven years.
  • Over 96% of gram panchayats across the country have registered demand for work under NREGS from April till November-end.
  • Over 6.5 crore households, covering 9.42 crore individuals, have availed NREGS till November 2020, which is an all-time high.
  • Over 265.81 crore person days have been generated, which is higher than 265.44 crore generated in 2019.
  • 1.98 crore households availed the scheme in October 2020, which is 82% higher than 2019.
  • Highest number of demand for work came from Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
  • The number of gram panchayats generating nil person days of work (panchayats with zero person days work) during the current financial year are at an eight-year low of only 3.42% of the 2.68 lakh gram panchayats across the country. In 2019, the number of gram panchayats generating nil person days during the entire period was 3.91% of the total 2.64 lakh gram panchayats.
  • The wage expenditure has also reached an all-time high of Rs. 53,522 crore during this period.
  • Tamil Nadu has reported the highest figure of households that availed the NREGS across the country, since July and has been followed by West Bengal. These two states were not covered under the Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan.

National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme

  • The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005 was notified by the Government of India on September, 2005 and was made effective in February 2006. Under it, the NREGS was introduced.
  • The Act aims at enhancing the livelihood security of people in rural areas by guaranteeing hundred days of wage employment in a financial year to a rural household whose adult members (at least 18 years of age) volunteer to do unskilled work.
  • The central government bears the full cost of unskilled labour, and 75% of the cost of material (the rest is borne by the states).
  • It is a demand-driven, social security and labour law that aims to enforce the ‘right to work’.
  • Ministry of Rural Development in association with state governments, monitors the implementation of the scheme.

Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan

  • It was launched in June 2020 to empower and provide livelihood opportunities to the returnee migrant workers and rural citizens who had returned to their home states due to the lockdowns.
  • It worked in mission mode for 125 days with an outlay of Rs. 50,000 crore.
  • A total of 116 districts across six states, namely Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Odisha were chosen for the campaign.
    • These districts covered the maximum number (about 2/3) of such migrant workers who had returned.
    • The chosen districts include 27 Aspirational Districts, districts which are affected by poor socio-economic indicators. These are aspirational in the context, that improvement in these districts can lead to the overall improvement in human development in India. It is a NITI Aayog’s Programme.

Aspirational Districts’ Programme

  • Aspirational Districts are those districts in India, that are affected by poor socio-economic indicators.
  • These are aspirational in the context, that improvement in these districts can lead to the overall improvement in human development in India.
  • The 115 districts were identified from 28 states, at least one from each state.
  • At the Government of India level, the programme is anchored by NITI Aayog. In addition, individual Ministries have assumed responsibility to drive the progress of districts.
  • The objective of the program is to monitor the real-time progress of aspirational districts.
  • ADP is based on 49 indicators from the 5 identified thematic areas, which focuses closely on improving people’s Health & Nutrition, Education, Agriculture & Water Resources, Financial Inclusion & Skill Development, and Basic Infrastructure.
  • With States as the main drivers, ADP seeks to focus on the strength of each district, identify low-hanging fruits for immediate improvement, measure progress, and rank districts.
  • The broad contours of the programme are:
    • Convergence (of Central & State Schemes) which brings together the horizontal and vertical tiers of the government.
    • Collaboration (of Central, State level ‘Prabhari’ Officers & District Collectors) which enables impactful partnerships between government, market and civil society.
    • Competition among districts driven by a spirit of the mass movement, it fosters accountability on district governments.
  • The Aspirational Districts Programme (ADP) is one of the largest experiments on outcomes-focused governance in the world.

Source: IE

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