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NREGA - National Rural Employment Guarantee Act

NREGA is a social security scheme that works towards providing a livelihood in rural areas. The scheme guarantees at least 100 days of employment to rural workers every year. The scheme was launched in 2005 and implies in every part of India, except those districts that have 100% urban population.

Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) Objectives

The NREGA was later prefixed by Mahatma Gandhi, but the purpose was same. The MNREGA scheme has come up as a hope for many unemployed labours in rural areas. Following are the objects that were served by this scheme-

  1. To provide a minimum of 100 days employment to rural workers every financial year to make them financially independent and enable them to live their life with pride.
  2. To create a source of livelihood for the financially weaker section of the area.
  3. To strengthen Panchayati Raj establishments.

Features of the Act

The scheme is specially designed with numerous features to provide maximum benefits to the people-

  1. The scheme serves in rural areas and the focus is primarily on employing women. They believe that at least one-third of the beneficiaries shall include registered women.
  2. The payment of wage must be on weekly basis and the minimum wage rate shall not be less than INR 65 per day. The person must receive a Daily Unemployment Allowance if he is not provided with employment within 15 days of receipt of his application.
  3. Basic facilities like first aid, drinking water and shade should be provided at the work site.
  4. Proper audit and maintenance of the accounts must be done.
  5. The employment must be provided within a radius of 5 kms of the village where the applicant is staying at the time of application, or they must be paid 10% extra to meet the conveyance charges.
  6. Social audit of the work must be undertaken at least once every six months in every Gram Panchayat.

The Objective of the Act

The scheme serves the following objectives:

  1. 100 days of work to be provided every year to the adult unskilled registered labour of rural areas.
  2. The primary aim is to create the source of livelihood for the economically weaker section.
  3. Successfully making space for the weaker section in the society and giving them a respectable life.
  4. It strengthens the Panchayat Raj in India.

Funding for the Implementation of the Act

A huge amount of fund is required to implement this plan of providing employment to the weaker section. State government and central government bear the following funding section of the scheme-

Central Government

The following activities are funded by the central government:

  • Full i.e. 100% wages of the unskilled labours
  • 75% of the wages of skilled and semi-skilled labour, along with 75% cost of material used.
  • All the expenses of the central employment guarantee council.
  • Administrative expenses.

State Government

The following activities are funded by the state government:

  • Unemployment wages
  • 25% of the wages of skilled and semi-skilled along with 25% cost of material used.
  • All the expenses of the state employment guarantee council.

Structure of NREGA

The structure of NREGA is systematically classified in different levels to give hassle-free benefits to the weaker section. The hierarchy of the NREGA includes the following level-

  • National level
  • State Level
  • District level
  • Block level
  • Cluster Level
  • Gram Panchayat level

Roles and Responsibilities of Functionaries

Gram Panchayat: Gram Panchayat (GP) is responsible for all the application and registration process. The GP also ensures whether the employment is provided or not and surveys are conducted on regular basis by them to monitor all the basic proceedings related to the

MNREGA scheme.

  • Gram Rozgar Sahayak: It makes sure that there is no malpractice in the process of registration, distribution of job cards, etc. and also maintains all MGNREGA related registers at the Gram Panchayat level.

  • Mates: This department is responsible for supervising worksites regularly. They also capture daily attendance in muster roll, maintain measurement books at the work sites and update entries in the job card.

  • Panchayat Development Officer (PDO): They perform duties that are directed by Intermediate Panchayat, District Panchayat or the State Government. This department makes sure that the employment scheme MNREGA is running smoothly.

  • Junior Engineer (Works): This department plays a vital role in MNREGA scheme as all the technical sanctions are issued, recorded and monitored by them.

  • Intermediate Panchayat: They approve the works along with the expected outcomes and monitor the projects that are taken up at the Gram Panchayat and Block level.

  • Program Officer (PO): Studies all the project proposals received from GPs and submit before the Intermediate Panchayat. They also ensure the fair payment of wages or unemployment allowance to all the labourers.

  • Technical Assistant: This department is responsible for work quality and maintenance and validation of measurement books.

Application for Employment under MGNREGA Scheme

Any adult who belongs to a registered rural household, and holds a job card is eligible to apply for employment under the MNREGA scheme. Workers should submit their applications either in written statements or orally to a Ward member or any MNREGA official with all the details.

Registration & Verification under MGNREGA Scheme

Before registering an applicant, the Gram Panchayat must verify the following details for an applicant -

  • Household mentioned in the application
  • Applicants are local residents in the concerned Gram Panchayat
  • The applicants are members of the mentioned household.

The Issue of New Job Cards

The Gram Panchayat will issue a job card only to eligible household within fourteen days of the application. The Gram Panchayat will keep a copy of the Job Card and the colour of the card may vary if you are single women, aged individuals, disabled persons, or any individual from a Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group. Job Cards will include all the information like post office account or bank account numbers, LIC policy number, Voter’s ID number, Aadhaar Card number, RSBY number, BPL and the economic status. Entries made in a job card have to be validated through an authorized officer’s signature.

Allocation of Work

Allocation of work in MNREGA is done by Gram Panchayat. The Gram panchayat will decide whether the applicant is appropriate for the current project. If GP is unable to find suitable work for the labour, then the Programme Officer will be liable to provide work according to the allocation done by the Gram Sabhas. If work is allocated by the Programme Officer, then the Gram Panchayat must be informed about this. The Programme Officer and the Gram Panchayat are responsible for making sure that every applicant is allocated work within fifteen days of receiving the application.

Unemployment Allowance

There is a provision of daily unemployment allowance to an applicant, if employment has not been given within fifteen days of making the application. As per Section 7 of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, the unemployment allowance that has to be paid will be lesser than 1/4th of the wage for the first 39 days. It should not be lesser than ½ of the wage rate for the rest of the financial year.

State Government policy for Unemployment Allowance to Household

Under the MNREGA scheme, the state government has a provision for unemployment allowance, but applicants falling under any of the three categories will not be eligible for this-

  • The Programme Coordinator has asked the applicant to report to work
  • The employment period gets over and no member from the applicant’s household has reported working.
  • The adults have been employed for at least a hundred days. Or
  • If an applicant -
  • Refused to accept the work provided to his or her household.
  • Does not start working fifteen days after receiving an employment notification from the Programme Officer.
  • Is regularly absent at the worksite.

Planning for MGNREGA

Two types of plans are drawn while implementing the MNREGA scheme:

  • Perspective Plans – A perspective plan is prepared by the District administration for a period of five years. In this plan, they identify the developmental areas in the district and create suitable projects.
  • Developmental Plans – The developmental plan is prepared by Gram Panchayat. It also includes the labour budget.

Interventions mainly for vulnerable workers

MNREGA run various special programs to give employment to the vulnerable and disabled persons group. The program officer takes the help of the welfare department for identifying disabled persons and ensuring that they receive the employment. Awareness programme and healthy working environment are also monitored under MNREGA for vulnerable workers.

Identification of works - Differently abled person

The works that can be assigned to differently-abled persons that are registered under MNREGA scheme includes- Shifting construction material from one place to another, making concrete, collecting and removing waste, arranging stones, pebbles and pouring water, filing pebbles and sand and digging of canals etc. Differently abled person is directed to do the work according to their physical capability.

Identification of works - mentally handicapped person

The works suitable for medically handicapped persons that are enrolled under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme include Plantation, carrying bricks and arranging pebbles, pouring water and drinking water for workers. They can even take care of children of workers and pour water on newly constructed walls.

Management Information System - NREGASoft

The management information system, also known as NREGASoft, is responsible to track and monitor the proper implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act. It is an e-Governance system that captures information regarding activities done by the Centre, State, District, Block or the Panchayat. Anyone can access this information as it is available both online and offline in English and regional languages.

The Various Modules Available in NREGASoft

The modules available in NREGA that are responsible for the proper working and management of the project approved are- Worker Management Module, Fund Management Module, Works Management Module, Grievance Redressal System, Cost Estimation module, Solution Exchange, Social Audit module, Post Office/ Bank module and Labor Budget Module. All the modules make sure that the scheme works smoothly without creating any problem for both workers and management.

Fund Module in NREGA

Fund distribution in NREGA happens in the following manner

Step 1: An online proposal for release of funds will be submitted by the state government and after its approval by the Central Government, the fund will be transferred to them. Two half-yearly sanctions are done by the Ministry.

Step 2: The State Governments will further release the funds to the State Employment Guarantee Fund (SEGF).

Step 3: SEGF will then transfer the funds to different districts, after assessing the demand from the State Fund reserves for different MGNREGA projects and works.

Step 4: The e-FMS will record information related to all the expenses and wages that are to be incurred on the project.

Criteria for introducing new work category under NREGA

If the State Government finds that the current projects are not enough to provide employment opportunities, then they have complete authority to introduce new projects under NREGA. However, they have to send a proposal to the Centre to get it approved.

A proposal should carry the details like appropriate reasons for introducing new work and details regarding nature, benefits, assets required and a number of employment opportunities that the project will provide. Despite this, the proposal should also have a model project as for how much cost and labour is required and what will be the outcome of the project. After getting an approval, the Ministry will make guidelines and might also direct other States to implement the same.

FAQs on NREGA

How can unemployment be stopped?

Unemployment can be stopped by providing livelihood to every Indian rural citizen.

How is sarpanch elected?

A sarpanch is elected by the village-level constitutional body called the panchayat.

How is unemployment calculated?

A ratio of the total estimated unemployed persons in India to the total estimated labour force for a week gives out a weekly ratio for unemployment.

How many gram panchayats are there in Karnataka?

6068 gram panchayats are there in Karnataka.

How many members are there in gram panchayat?

The number of elected members in a Gram Panchayat may vary between seven and seventeen. The number varies from state to state.

How many types of unemployment are there?

There are three types of unemployment cyclical, frictional and structural.

How many villages are there in India?

According to the 2011 census, there are approximately 6,49,481 villages in India.

How many villages are there in one panchayat?

There are 12,620 Village Panchayats in the State that are spread across the 30 districts and the 385 Blocks.

What are the different types of unemployment in India?

The different tyoes of unemployment in India are Natural, Frictional, Structural, cyclical, Long-term, real, Seasonal, disguised, Classical and underemployment.

What are three causes of unemployment?

Three Basic causes of unemployment

  • Caste System
  • Slow Economic Growth
  • Increase in Population

What are the three levels of Panchayat?

Gram Panchayat (village level), Mandal Parishad or Block Samiti or Panchayat Samiti (block level), and Zilla Parishad (district level) are the three levels of Panchayat.

What causes underemployment?

Underemployment arises due to adverse economic conditions, such as a recession. Another reason for underemployment is when the supply of workers is greater than the demand for workers.

What are the types of employment?

Full-time and part-time employees.

  • Casual employees.
  • Fixed term and contract.
  • Apprentices and trainees.
  • Commission and piece rate employees.

What does NFWP mean?

NFWP stands for National Food for Work Programme.

NFWP stands for National Food for Work Programme.

When part of the labour force is either left without work or is working in a redundant manner where productivity is zero, the situation is known as disguised unemployment.

What is the food work Programme?

The National Food for Work Programme (NFWP), 2004 was launched on November 14, 2004, in the most backward districts of India with the aim to generate supplementary wage employment.

What is geo MGNREGA?

GEO MGNREGA is an MOU Signed Between ISRO and MoRD for geo-tagging the assets of MGNREGA.

What is the job card issued by NREGA?

A job card is a legal document that ensures transparency and protects workers against fraud.

What is MGNREGA scheme?

MGNREGA is a social security scheme that aims to secure the fundamental right, i.e. 'right to work' of the citizen.

What is muster roll in MGNREGA?

A “muster roll” is a labour attendance register, pertaining to a particular worksite and a particular period. It is also used to claim funds from the Programme Officer for the payment of wages.

What is NREGA and MGNREGA?

NREGA and MNREGA is an employment scheme that provides livelihood in rural areas. NREGA was later prefixed by Mahatma Gandhi thus it is known as MNREGA.

What is NREGA job card?

NREGA job card is a document issued after applicant’s registration. All the details of applicant are written on this card

What is objective of NREGA?

The main objective of NREGA is to provide a source of livelihood in deprived rural areas.

What is the full form of IRDP?

IRDP stands for Integrated Rural Development Programme.

What is the full form of MGNREGA?

The full form of MGNREGA is Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act

What is the full form of PMRY?

The full form of PMRY is Prime Minister Rozgar Yojana.

What is the full form of RTI?

RTI stands for Right to Information.

What is the job card?

Job card is issued to applicant after registration with all the details about applicant.

What is the main aim of MGNREGA?

It ensures the security of livelihood in rural areas by providing at least 100 days of guaranteed wage employment.

What is the main cause of unemployment?

The main cause of unemployment is slow economic growth and increasing population.

What is the unemployment rate in India?

As per the calculation of 2017, the unemployment rate in India was estimated to be 3.52 per cent.

What is Wage material ratio in MGNREGA?

Wage material ratio is a ratio of distributing approved financial budget between wage and material to be purchased.

When NREGA was renamed as MGNREGA?

NREGA was renamed as MGNREGA under National Rural Employment Guarantee (Amendment) Act, 2009.

When did Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act come into force?

Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) came into force from February 02, 2006.

Who are eligible for MGNREGA?

Any person who is not minor and resides in rural areas is entitled to apply for work.

Who are the members of gram panchayat?

The gram panchayat is divided into wards and each ward is represented by a Ward Member who is directly elected by the villagers.

Who are the members of Gram Sabha?

Anyone who is 18 years old or above and who has the right to vote is a member of the Gram Sabha.

Who is gram panchayat?

A Gram Panchayat is the cornerstone of a local self-government organization in India at the village or small town level, and is headed by Sarpanch.

Who is the head of Zilla Parishad?

President and a Vice-President head Zila Parishad.