Exploring the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA)

About 3.2 crore households will benefit from MGNREGA in 2024-2025. 8.28 Cr. assets have been created under this program since its inception.

On 23rd August 2005, the Indian Government officially launched The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) to solve the problem of rising unemployment and poverty crisis in rural areas. This program was launched to serve as a safety net by way of guaranteed work opportunities. 
In this BLOG, we will look at various details of MGNREGA such as vision; components; features; state-wise comparison; international tie-ups; and the latest updates.

National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA)- Magnum opus of the Ministry of Rural Development. MGNREGA’s special employee-based strategies make it different from previous anti-poverty schemes. This scheme is the magnum opus of the Ministry of Rural Development, running for 60 years. 

The Primary Objectives of National Rural Employment Guarantee Act MGNREGA are as Follows:

  1. Providing 100 days of guaranteed wage employment to rural unskilled labor: The first step in registering includes going to the Gram Panchayat and being given job cards, wage employment must be done within fifteen days of application. A job of a hundred days per household can be distributed among different adult members of the same household.
  2. Fostering economic security: The scheme focuses on both individual and national economic security. Asset creation includes rural connectivity means like pucca roads and brick soling, land development assets that enhance productivity like new plantations, and unskilled construction such as poultry shelters, cattle shelters, and fish-drying yard platforms. 
  1. Curb migration of labor from villages to cities: MGNREGA aims to curb the migration of labor from villages to cities by making the rural workforce reliant and economically secure. This reduces distress on migration. 

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Vision of Rural Development

The National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) has a vision of providing guaranteed wage employment in a year to rural households whose members volunteer for unskilled manual work. The idea is to reach out to the poorest of the poor and include vulnerable sections like Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, women-headed families, etc.

MGNREGA- An Employment Guarantee Scheme

The protection provided by this program is meant for demand-led work where the worker has a right to launch an appeal in case he is not provided with work or paid on time. Such a plan is funded by the central government which pays fully for unskilled labor and bears 75% of the cost of materials for work.

What are the Components of MGNREGA?

National Rural Employment Guarantee Act

MGNREGA has several components focused on achieving certain objectives. The following are the components of MGNREGA:

Project- UNNATI:-

Project ‘UNNATI’, a skilling project intends to upgrade the skill base of the Mahatma Gandhi NREGA beneficiaries. By improving their livelihoods, they can upgrade to full-time employment.

With a total target of 2,00,000 beneficiaries for training, this project is in 26 States and 2 UTs.

Training will be provided to one adult member (between age 18-45) of a household. 100 days of work must be completed under Mahatma Gandhi NREGA for eligibility. 

  1. Cluster Facilitation Project:-The cluster Facilitation Project has the objective of providing rural livelihood under MGNREGA to aspirational and other backward regions of India. 


This is to ensure the smooth functioning of MGNREGA. Further, grievances are addressed here. 

The Barefoot Technician (BFT) Project

This refers to identifying an educated person from an MGNREGA household and training them in civil engineering concepts using a customized training module.

Also Read: Bhulekh Rajasthan Apna Khata || Gujarat Bhulekh || Bhulekh Lucknow || Bhulekh Jharkhand Jharbhoomi

Key Features of MGNREGA

  1. 100 days of guaranteed employment: This scheme provides a legal guarantee of wage employment to the adult members of rural households interested in unskilled labor. Providing a guaranteed employment of 100 days for a household.
  2. Applicable for every village in a district:- All rural households have the right to register their application for MGNREGA.
  3. Job cards for households registered under MGNREGA:- Job cards are issued within 15 days from the date of application. The registered holders can apply for jobs by submitting an individual or group application. 
  1. Equal payment: There will be equal wages for men and women, paid within 15 days.

State Wise Comparison of NREGA

Every state benefits differently from MGNREGA according to size, industry, etc. A comparison of 3 states is given below for understanding the impact of MGNREGA: 

State Active workersPerson daysAssets Created
Uttar Pradesh 1,25,20,0749,72,62,1951,06,70,045
West Bengal1,04,43,368082,47,941

Does MGNREGA have International tie-ups?

Yes. The National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) has several international tie-ups to implementing public schemes. A partner is the German International Development Agency (GIZ). In addition to this, there is the India-Germany-Peru Project. Moreover, there is a joint project with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

Why is MGNREGA criticized?

MGNREGA is criticized for two main reasons: 

  1. Low Wage Rates: The present rate of MGNREGA wages is extremely low. The wage rate paid by MGNREGA is lower than the minimum agricultural wage rate in individual States. It is argued that the rate of MGNREGA wages should always be at least the State’s minimum agricultural wage.
  2. Delayed regular payments: Fund transfer order (FTO) is signed by the official signatory and stipend is considered to be paid by the Ministry of Rural Development. However, an appropriate salary is not calculated at some stage during the processing of signed FTOs in the Management Information System (MIS), leading to regular payment detainees.

Latest Updates relating to MGNREGA

  1. The wage hike ranges from Rs. 7 to 26 rupees, which is a rise that ranges from 2 to 10%. 
  2. With these changes, Haryana has been apportioned the sum of Rs. 357 as the highest pay of the day, while Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh were given Rs. 221 as the least pay of the day.

Also Read:- Bhulekh Dehradun || Delhi Bhulekh Land Records || Bihar Bhulekh

Final Word

National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) is a government program intended for employment generation for rural poor, it safeguards households by ensuring 100 days of guaranteed employment. Despite its noble objectives, the scheme has its shortcomings. Recently, critics have called out the program for low wage rates.

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Q. What is the MGNREGA State Employment Guarantee Council?

A- The main function of the State Employment Guarantee Council is to provide advice to the State government on the implementation of the MGNREGA scheme. It is responsible for evaluation and monitoring of the scheme; and recommending proposals of the works to the Central government. 

Q. What’s the role of Gram Panchayats in MGNREGA? 

A- The Gram Panchayats in MGNREGA are authorized to receive job applications; verify them; and issue job cards. 

Q. What are the rules for MGNREGA?

A-  An individual must be a Citizen of India to benefit from the MGNREGA program. Plus, they should have attained 18 years of age, and been a resident of a local village. They have to register an application with Gram Panchaya.

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