This report by Ministry of Rural Development is an analytical anthology of all major research studies done on Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Act (MGNREGA) that were published in various academic journals or came out as stand-alone reports. The report begins with a brief introduction to MGNREGA, its mandate and objectives, salient features and performance followed by seven chapters and a bibliography.
Chapter 1, is on “Income and Livelihood Security”. It reviews the existing literature on the impact of MGNREGA on poverty and inclusive growth, in order to assess the extent to which the scheme has succeeded in meeting its objectives.
Chapter 2, is on “Gender and Social Empowerment”. It synthesises the findings from studies on the impact of provisions that aim to empower women socially as well economically. Further it also reviews the literature on the reasons for high participation of women in the scheme and inter-state variations in their participation in decision making bodies.
Chapter 3, is on “Sustainable Asset Creation”. It does a critical review of the available literature on assets created under MGNREGA; their quality and durability, work completion rates, viability of these works (on public lands and private lands), and what uses they are put to.
Chapter 4, is on “Environmental Services and Agricultural Productivity”. It looks at some of the evidence-based studies that have attempted to quantify and/or project the environmental and agricultural impact of the scheme.
Chapter 5, is on “Labour Market and Migration”. It considers the available literature on the impact of MGNREGA on labour market shortage and whether this shortage, if any, has had any impact on agricultural productivity. Further it also looks at the effect of the scheme on migration.
Chapter 6, is on “ Governance and Process Challenges”. It looks at some of the major governance and process issues in the MGNREGA ‘life-cycle’, i.e. the initial stage of planning, demand for work, implementation at work sites, wage payments, etc., as identified by independent evaluations. It also includes findings from a preparatory phase audit conducted by the Comptroller Auditor General (CAG) of India, of the 200 Phase I MGNREGA in 26 states in 2006.
Chapter 7, is on “Recent Initiatives to Strengthen MGNREGA”. It highlights some of the recent initiatives and reforms taken up by the Government of India (GoI) as part of the next level of implementation of MGNREGA, viz. MGNREGA 2.0. Further it provides an overview of the salient features of the new guidelines.
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