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Employment schemes and social development | UPSC

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS

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UPSC Syllabus:  Mains – GS II, III – Indian society and Indian Governance

Context: The Centre has asked the States to split wage payments under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) scheme into separate categories for the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes and others from this financial year. Workers’ rights advocates said this will complicate the payment system, and expressed fears that it may lead to a reduction in scheme funding. Government of India has decided to provide separate budget heads for SC and ST categories under MGNREGS from the financial year 2021-22 for wage payment. The existing system for wages under the scheme is for only one type that is there is no category wise provision of wage payment.

About MGNREGA

  • The scheme under MGNREGA or the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, promises unskilled manual work to every adult for at least 100 days in rural parts of the country. It was introduced in 2005.
  • The objective of the programme is to create employment opportunities in the rural areas and prevent distress migration. It also seeks to create durable assets to improve livelihood resource base of the rural poor.
  • The Act provides that the Central Government could notify wage rates and till such time as the Central Government notified a wage rate, minimum wages for agricultural labour notified by the State would be paid to NREGA workers. The Central Government started notifying wages under MGNREGA from the financial year 2008-09.
  • The MGNREGA Wages were linked to Consumer Price Index- Agricultural Labour (CPI-AL) and notified at the start of every financial year.

Central Employment Guarantee Council

The 22ndMeeting of the Central Employment Guarantee Council, constituted under Section 10 of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (Mahatma Gandhi NREGA), 2005 was held on 23.02.2021 under the Chairmanship of Union Minister of Rural Development. The Central Council shall have the power to undertake evaluation of the various Schemes made under this Act and for that purpose collect or cause to be collected statistics pertaining to the rural economy and the implementation of the Schemes.

Functions and duties of Central Council

  • establish a central evaluation and monitoring system.
  • advise the Central Government on all matters concerning the implementation of this Act.
  • review the monitoring and redressal mechanism from time to time and recommend improvements required;
  • promote the widest possible dissemination of information about the Schemes made under this Act.
  • monitoring the implementation of this Act.
  • preparation of annual reports to be laid before Parliament by the Central Government on the implementation of this Act.
  • any other duty or function as may be assigned to it by the Central Government.

Duties & Functions of State Employment Guarantee Council

  • advising the State Government on all matters concerning the Scheme and its implementation in the State;
  • determining the preferred works;
  • reviewing the monitoring and redressal mechanisms from time to time and recommending improvements;
  • promoting the widest possible dissemination of information about this Act and the Schemes under it;
  • monitoring the implementation of this Act and the Schemes in the State and coordinating such implementation with the Central Council
  • preparing the annual report to be laid before the State Legislature by the State Government;
  • any other duty or function as may be assigned to it by the Central Council or the State Government.

The State Council shall have the power to undertake an evaluation of the Schemes operating in the State and for that purpose to collect or cause to be collected statistics pertaining to the rural economy and the implementation of the Schemes and Programmes in the State.

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