Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA)


The Most recent (MGNREGA) Update – In 2021-22, the Union government has set aside Rs.72000 crores for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) scheme. Candidates should be aware of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (Mahatma Gandhi NREGA) because it is important not only as an IAS Exam aspirant but also as an administrator.

Quick Facts About MGNREGA 2022:

MGNREGA Full FormMahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act
When was the MGNREGA Scheme officially launched?2nd February 2006The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act was passed on 23rd August 2005
What was MGNREGA earlier called?It was known to be National Rural Employment Guarantee Act
Are MGNREGS and MGNREGA the same?MGNREGS is a scheme that is based on the MGNREGA (Act)
Number of Districts covered under the MGNREGA Scheme?As of 11th February 2021; 708 districts are covered
Key Stakeholders under MGNREGAWage seekersGram Sabha (GS)Three-tier Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs)Programme Officer at the Block levelDistrict Programme Coordinator (DPC)State GovernmentMinistry of Rural Development (MoRD)Civil SocietyOther stakeholders (In line departments, convergence departments, Self-Help Groups (SHGs)
What is MGNREGA Job Card?It is a document that renders a worker entitled to work under the MGNREGA Scheme
Mandate of Mahatma Gandhi NREGSProvision of at least 100 days of work that provides guaranteed wage in a financial year
MGNREGA Official Website

MGNREGA & Workers Crisis – COVID Pandemic

On March 26th, 2020, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that workers under the MGNREGA would receive an average pay increase of Rs. 2000. It was also stated that three crore senior citizens, people with disabilities, and widows will receive a one-time supplementary payment of Rs 1,000 in two installments over three months via DBT (Direct Benefit Transfer). This announcement was made in response to the losses caused by the Covid-19 epidemic. The Indian economy was estimated to incur a cost of roughly 9 lakh crores as a result of the 21-day lockdown. 

A total of Rs 31,000 crore will be paid to supplement medical testing and screening, and provide improved healthcare services to those who have been financially impacted by the Covid-19 outbreak.

It is a crucial topic for the UPSC’s General Studies Syllabus for the Civil Services Exam 2022. This government scheme is covered in Prelims under Economic and Social Development and Mains under Economy.

Begin your UPSC 2022 preparations right away!

History of MGNREGA

History of MGNREGA

The P.V Narashima Rao government suggested a pilot project to generate employment in rural regions in 1991, with the following objectives:

  • Creating jobs for farm laborers throughout the lean season.
  • Infrastructure Improvement
  • Increased Food Security

This scheme was known as the Employment Assurance Scheme before it was merged with the Food for Work Programme in the early 2000s to become the MGNREGA.

MGNREGA Objectives:

The following are the goals of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA):

  • Provide rural unskilled labor with 100 days of guaranteed wage employment.
  • Boost economic security
  • Reduce labor migration from rural to urban areas.

MGNREGA distinguishes itself from previous welfare systems by emphasizing grassroots-driven job creation. The act’s programs are demand-driven, with legal procedures for appeal in the event that labor is not given or payments are delayed. The system is sponsored by the central government, which bears the full cost of unskilled labor as well as 75% of the cost of materials for projects done under this regulation. The federal and state governments audit the work done under this act through annual reports published by the CEGC (Central Employment Guarantee Council) and the SEGC (State Employment Guarantee Council) (State Employment Guarantee Councils). The incumbent government must provide these reports to the legislature.

The Scheme’s Key Features Are as Follows:

  • It grants Gram Panchayats extensive influence over public works management, hence strengthening Panchayati Raj institutions. Gram Sabhas have the authority to accept or reject suggestions made by the Intermediate and District Panchayats.
  • Accountability is built into its operational rules, and it ensures compliance and transparency at all levels.

In the ten years since the scheme was established, the number of jobs has climbed by 240%. The plan has been successful in increasing economic empowerment in rural India and assisting in the abolition of labor exploitation. The system has also reduced salary volatility and the gender pay gap in the labor market. This is supported by the following data, which is available on the MGNREGA website:

  • MGNREGA employment cards worth 14.88 crores have been distributed (Active Job Cards – 9.3 crores)
  • MGNREGA (2020-21) employed 28.83 crores workers, 14.49 crores of whom are active workers.

What Role Do Gram Sabha and Gram Panchayat Play in Mgnregs?

The role of Gram Sabha in the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme is tabled below:

Role of Gram Sabha in MGNREGS
It prioritizes the projects based on the potential of the neighborhood.
It keeps track of the work being done in the Gram Panchayat.
It serves as the main venue for social audits.
Additionally, it serves as a venue for all workers’ inquiries on any MGNREGA task.

The following table summarises Gram Panchayat’s role in the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme:

Role of Gram Panchayat
It has been given permission to accept job applications.
It is necessary to check the applications after getting them.
The Gram Panchayat registers every home.
The Gram Panchayat is in charge of issuing MGNREGS job cards.
Within 15 days of the application submission, job allocation is required.
It produces an annual report that describes the program’s accomplishments.
Every ward hosts Rozgar Diwas once each month.
Role of State Governments In MGNREGS

Role of State Governments In MGNREGS

The following are the key roles of the state government in implementing the MGNREGA scheme:

  • It establishes guidelines that outline the state’s responsibilities under the act.
  • The State Employment Guarantee Council is established.
  • State governments create the State Employment Guarantee Fund (SEGF).
  • It ensures that the Employment Guarantee Assistant (Gram Rozgar Sahayak), the PO, and the employees at the state, district, cluster, and Gram Panchayat levels are all dedicated to the scheme’s implementation.

State Employment Guarantee Council Under Mgnrega (SEGC)

It is the duty of the Employment Guarantee Council to provide the state government with advice regarding implementing the MGNREG program. Among SEGC’s critical responsibilities under MNREGS are the following:

  1. The recommendation of changes to the plan’s implementation.
  2. Monitoring and evaluation of the plan.
  3. To suggest work proposal ideas to the national government.
  4. To inform the districts of the plan’s elements.
  5. To inform the districts of the plan’s elements.
  6. To draft an annual report that the state legislature will receive from the state government.

From the perspective of the IAS exam, this law and the employment guarantee programs that are a part of its provisions are crucial. The Prelims exam and General Studies Paper II both contain questions on this topic, thus UPSC applicants should read up on it thoroughly. The questions for government programs like MGNREGA are grouped under the heading of “welfare schemes,” and the subject has a lot in common with issues like hunger, poverty, and human development.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS) Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA)

What is the MGNREGA’s purpose?

MGNREGA provides at least 100 days of pay employment in a fiscal year to every household whose adult members volunteer to perform unskilled manual labor in order to increase the security of livelihood in rural areas.

What Is the Objective of MGNREGA?

With the intention of “improving livelihood stability in rural regions by providing at least 100 days of guaranteed wage employment in a financial year to every household whose adult members volunteer to conduct unskilled manual labor,” the MGNREGA was established.

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