Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act 2005 or MGNREGA, earlier known as the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act or NREGA, is an Indian social welfare measure that aims to guarantee the ‘right to work’. This act was passed on 23 August 2005 and was implemented in February 2006 under the UPA government of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh following tabling of the bill in parliament by the Minister for Rural Development Raghuvansh Prasad Singh.
The Aadhar-Based Payment System, or ABPS, is now required to be used for MGNREGA recipients’ payments by the Union Government. Check out the link for additional information on this breakthrough, the MGNREGA payment system.
The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) program has received a budget of Rs. 72,000 crores from the Union government for the years 2021–2022. Candidates should be aware of the Mahatma Gandhi NREGA since it is important not only for those preparing for the IAS Exam but also for those seeking administrative positions.
Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment
MGNREGA is one of the largest work guarantee programmes in the world launched in 2005 by the Ministry of Rural development.
- The primary objective of the scheme is to guarantee 100 days of employment in every financial year to adult members of any rural household willing to do public work-related unskilled manual work.
- As of 2022-23, there are 15.4 crore active workers under the MGNREGA.
Legal Right to Work: In contrast to prior employment guarantee programs, the act employs a rights-based approach to address the root causes of chronic poverty. Beneficiaries must include at least one third of women. According to the Minimum Wages Act of 1948, wages must be paid in accordance with the statutory minimum wages established for agricultural laborers in the state.
Demand-Driven Scheme: The most important part of MGNREGA’s design is its legally-backed guarantee for any rural adult to get work within 15 days of demanding it, failing which an ‘unemployment allowance’ must be given.
- This demand-driven scheme enables the self-selection of workers.
MNREGA Guarantee Act.
Originally known as the National Rural Employment ensure Act of 2005, the “Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act” (MGNREGA) is an Indian labor law and social security program that intends to ensure the “right to work.”
By offering every home with adults who volunteer to perform unskilled manual labor at least 100 days of pay employment in a fiscal year, it seeks to increase the security of livelihood in rural areas.
With the intention of “improving livelihood security in rural areas by providing at least 100 days of guaranteed wage employment in a financial year to every household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual labor,” the MGNREGA was established.Making durable assets (such roads, canals, ponds, and wells) is another goal of MGNREGA. Within 5 kilometers of an applicant’s home, employment must be available, and minimum wages must be paid. Applicants are eligible for an unemployment payment if job is not offered within 15 days of applying. As a result, employment under MGNREGA is a right recognized by law.
Gram Panchayats (GPs) are primarily responsible for implementing MGNREGA. Contractor involvement is prohibited. undertakings that require a lot of labor, such as building infrastructure for water harvesting and drought relief.
What are the Issues Associated with Implementation of Scheme
Delay and Insufficiency in Funds Dispersal: Most states have failed to disburse wages within 15 days as mandated by MGNREGA. In addition, workers are not compensated for a delay in payment of wages.This has turned the scheme into a supply-based programme and subsequently, workers had begun to lose interest in working under it.
There is ample evidence by now, including an admission by the Ministry of Finance, that delays in wage payments are a consequence of insufficient funds.
Role of State Governments in MGNREGS
The important roles of the state government in executing the MGNREGA scheme are:
- It frames rules charting out the state’s responsibility under the act.
- It sets up the State Employment Guarantee Council.
- State Employment Guarantee Fund (SEGF) is established by state governments.
- It makes sure to dedicate Employment Guarantee Assistant (Gram Rozgar Sahayak), the PO and the staff at State, district, cluster and Gram Panchayat level; for the execution of the scheme.
Objectives of MGNREGA:
The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) has the following objectives:
- Provide 100 days of guaranteed wage employment to rural unskilled labour
- Increase economic security
- Decrease migration of labour from rural to urban areas
MGNREGA sets itself apart from prior welfare programs by focusing on creating jobs at the local level. The act’s programs are demand-driven and offer legal recourse in the event that no work is done or payments are made on time.
The program is supported by the federal government, which pays for all unskilled labor and 75% of the material costs for projects carried out in accordance with this law. Through the SEGC (State Employment Guarantee Councils) and CEGC (Central Employment Guarantee Council) annual reports, the federal and state governments examine the projects carried out in accordance with this legislation. The current administration is required to provide these reports to the legislature.
A few salient features of the scheme are:
- It gives a significant amount of control to the Gram Panchayats for managing public works, strengthening Panchayati Raj Institutions. Gram Sabhas are free to accept or reject recommendations from Intermediate and District Panchayats.
- It incorporates accountability in its operational guidelines and ensures compliance and transparency at all levels.
The number of jobs has expanded by 240% in the last 10 years since the scheme was put into place. The program has been effective in increasing economic empowerment in rural India and assisting in the fight against labor exploitation. The initiative has also reduced the gender pay gap in the workforce and salary instability. The information below, which is available on the MGNREGA website, supports this:
- 14.88 crores MGNREGA job cards have been issued (Active Job Cards – 9.3 crores)
- 28.83 crores workers who gained employed under MGNREGA (2020-21) out of which active workers are 14.49 crores.
MGNREGA – State Employment Guarantee Council (SEGC)
It is the duty of the the Employment Guarantee Council to provide the government with advice regarding the implementation of the MGNREG program. Among SEGC’s key responsibilities under MNREGS are the following:
- The suggestion of improvements in the execution of the scheme.
- Evaluation and monitoring of the scheme.
- To recommend proposals of the works to the central government.
- To aware the districts about the scheme and its features.
- To prepare an annual report to be submitted by the state government before the state legislature.
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.
How To Apply
An aspirant can apply for this in their respective blocks. They only need Aadhaar card and bank account details after submitting the documents they will get a job card and now they will be able to get a job under MGNAREGA.
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