Helping Markets and States Work for Development

A flagship programme of the UPA government, the NREGS was announced in 2005. It was introduced in 200 of the country’s most backward districts in 2006 and was expanded to cover all 615 rural districts across India in 2008. Today, NREGS is the largest work guarantee programme in the world. This scheme brief examines some of the challenges the scheme faces and also summarizes evidence regarding progress towards meeting the scheme’s stated objectives.

NREGS has the objective to enhance livelihood security in rural areas by providing upto00 days of guaranteed minimum wage employment to adult members willing to do unskilled manual work. The scheme acts as a safety net to rural households and enables the development of a vibrant agricultural economy.It has several unique features such as minimum wages and unemployment allowances but the lack of training to gram panchayats has adversely affected its implementation. The success of the programme also hinges on awareness of the people and their involvement in planning, delivery, and monitoring.