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Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act- MGNREGA

Published on Friday, March 29, 2019
Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act- MGNREGA

  • Came into Force: 2005
  • Mission: It aims to enhance livelihood
  • The act was first proposed in 1991 by P.V. Narasimha Rao
  • Introduced by: Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, Minister of Rural Development
  • Statement: security in rural areas by providing at least 100 days of wage employment in a financial year to every household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work".

Aims and Objectives

  • Providing at least 100 days of guaranteed wage employment in a financial year, to every household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work 
  • create durable assets such as roads, canals, ponds and wells 
  • Employment is to be provided within 5 km of an applicant's residence, and minimum wages are to be paid. 
  • If work is not provided within 15 days of applying, applicants are entitled to an unemployment allowance. Thus, employment under MGNREGA is a legal entitlement. 
  • Help in protecting the environment, empowering rural women, reducing rural-urban migration and fostering social equity, among others.


  • The Act was notified in 200 districts in the first phase with effect from February 2nd 2006 and then extended to an additional 130 districts in the financial year 2007-2008 The remaining districts have been notified under MGNREGA with effect from April 1, 2008.
  •  Thus, the MGNREGA covers the entire country with the exception of districts that have a hundred per cent urban population.

Key Stakeholders- Roles and Responsibilities

Village Level

Wage Seekers 

  • Right to get 10% extra wage in case of employment provided beyond 5 km of radius 
  • Medical treatment in case of injury in the course of employment including cost of hospitalization. 

Gram Panchayat (GP) 

  • The GP is the pivotal body for planning and implementation 
  • Programme Officer (PO) is required to allot at least 50 per cent of the works in terms of cost to the GPs for implementation. 

Block Level

Programme Officer 

  • The PO acts as a coordinator for Mahatma Gandhi NREGS (MGNREGS) at the Block level. 
  • The primary responsibility of the PO is to ensure that anyone who applies for work gets employment within 15 day.

Intermediate Panchayat

  • Approve the Block level Plan for forwarding it to the district Panchayat at the district level for final approval 
  • Supervise and monitor the projects taken up at the Gram Panchayat and Block level 

District level

District Programme Coordinator 

  • The State Government designates a DPC, who can be either the Chief Executive Officer of the District Panchayat (DP), or the District Collector (DC) 
  • Review, monitor and supervise the performance of the POs and all implementing agencies in relation to MGNREGA works

District Panchayat 

  • Consolidation of Annual Block Plans (within the District) into a District Plan 
  • Monitoring and supervision of the MGNREG Scheme in the District.

State level

State Employment Guarantee Council 

  • Advise the State Government on the implementation of the Scheme 
  • Review the monitoring and redressal mechanisms and suggest improvements 
  • Prepare the annual report to be laid before the State Legislature by the State Government.

State Government 

  • Establish a State Employment Guarantee Fund 
  • Delegate financial and administrative powers to the DPC and the Programme Officer.

Centre Level

Central Employment Guarantee Council 

  • The Central Employment Guarantee Council (CEGC) (or ‘Central Council’) has been set up under the Chairmanship of the Union Minister of Rural Development 
  • Preparation of annual reports to be laid before Parliament by the Central Government on the implementation of this Act. 

Ministry of Rural Development 

  • The Ministry of Rural Development is the nodal Ministry for the implementation of MGNREGA 
  • Set up National Management Team (NMT) within the Department of Rural Development to perform the national level functions under MGNREGA.

Miscellaneous Key Points

  • Bhuvan: The NRSC developed the Bhuvan geo-portal app, a mobile-based geo-tagging application for the MGNREGA scheme. Within a short period, the ISRO’s Bhuvan app was linked with ‘NREGS-soft’, an interface operated under DoRD by National Informatics Centre(NIC) and enabled access to all state implementing departments.
  • e-Saksham: It is a digital learning platform for MGNREGA.
  • The central government increase the number of workdays under the rural job guarantee scheme from 100 to 150 in drought-affected areas.
  • The government of India has allocated an additional Rs 6,084 crore to MGNREGA. This brings the total allocation to the scheme to Rs 61,084 crore in 2018-19, making it the highest ever allocation.
  • It also applies to tribal and those tribals who have received land rights under the Forest Rights Act, 2006.
  • Ex-Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh released an anthologys of research studies on the MGNREGA called "MGNREGA Sameeksha" in New Delhi on 14 July 2012. 
  • The involvement of contractors is banned.
  • Finance Minister Arun Jaitley allocated Rs 55,000 crore for Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS) for the financial year 2018-19. 
  • In its World Development Report 2014, the World Bank termed it a "stellar example of rural development".
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