About the scheme
- The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) scheme is the largest social security scheme in the world — guaranteeing 100 days of work each financial year to any rural household willing to do public work-related unskilled manual work at the statutory minimum wage.
- The act makes it obligatory for the State to give rural households work on demand. In case such employment is not provided within 15 days of registration, the applicant becomes eligible for an unemployment allowance.
- The Ministry of Rural Development (MRD) is monitoring the entire implementation of this scheme in association with state governments.
- One-third of the stipulated workforce must be women.
- Work site facilities such as creche, drinking water and shade have to be provided.
- The employment will be provided within a radius of 5 km: if it is above 5 km extra wage will be paid.
- The wages are revised according to the Consumer Price Index-Agricultural Labourers (CPI-AL).
- A 60:40 wage and material ratio has to be maintained.
- Permissible works predominantly include water and soil conservation, afforestation and land development works.
- Work site facilities such as crèche, drinking water, shade have to be provided.
- Gram sabhas must recommend the works that are to be undertaken and at least 50% of the works must be executed by them.
- Social Audit has to be done by the Gram Sabha.
- Funding is shared between the centre and the states.
- The funding pattern of the scheme comprises 100% funding for unskilled labour cost and 75% of the material cost by Central Government and rest shall be borne by the State Government.
Why in News?
- Digitally capturing the attendance of workers employed under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme has been made universal by the Centre from January 1, 2023.
- The Union government, arguing for transparency and accountability in May 2021, had started a pilot project to capture attendance via a mobile application, the National Mobile Monitoring System (NMMS).
- From May 16, 2022, capturing attendance via the app was made compulsory for all worksites with 20 or more workers. This required uploading two time-stamped and geotagged photographs of the workers.
- The job fell on the mates/supervisors, who are paid only marginally more than the unskilled workers. There were widespread complaints over the lack of technical support, the necessity to own a smartphone, paying for an Internet connection, and issues with erratic Internet connectivity.
- In the latest order, the Ministry has ordered that digitally capturing attendance is now mandatory for all worksites, regardless of the number of workers engaged, and will be applicable from January 1, 2023.