Women Participation in NREGS Continues to Rise, 59% this Fiscal


08:46 AM

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Women Participation in NREGS Continues to Rise, 59% this Fiscal Blog Image

What’s in Today’s Article?

  • Why in the News?
  • About Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS)
  • Salient Features of the Scheme
  • Performance of the Scheme in last 3 years
  • Challenges/Loopholes in the Scheme
  • News Summary

Why in News?

  • Women participation in the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) was the highest in 10 financial years.

About Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS)

  • The National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) was notified in September, 2005.
  • In 2009, an amendment was made in the NREGA Act to change the name of the Act to Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA).
  • Mandate: To provide at least 100 days of guaranteed wage employment in a financial year to every rural household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work.
  • The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (Mahatma Gandhi NREGS) was created as the means to implement the Act so that the guarantee comes into effect.
  • MGNREGS is a Centrally-Sponsored Scheme i.e. the scheme is jointly funded by the Central government and the State governments.
  • Concerned Ministry: Ministry of Rural Development

Salient Features of the Scheme

  • Legal Right to Work:
    • The MGNREGA provides a legal guarantee for wage employment.
    • Every rural household has the right to register under MGNREGA.
    • Also, at least one-third of the beneficiaries of the scheme have to be women.
    • There are legal provisions for allowances and compensation both in cases of failure to provide work on demand and delays in payment of wages for work undertaken.
  • Demand-Driven:
    • It is a demand-driven programme where provision of work is triggered by the demand for work by wage-seekers.
  • Decentralized mode of implementation:
    • The State governments have powers to make rules and amend the concerned State scheme.
    • Gram Panchayats (GPs) are to implement at least 50 per cent of the works in terms of cost.
    • Plans and decisions regarding the nature and choice of works to be undertaken, the order in which each work is to be triggered, site selection etc. are all to be made in open assemblies of the Gram Sabha and ratified by the GP.
  • Annual Report tabled in the Parliament:
    • An Annual Report prepared by the Central Employment Guarantee Council (CEGC), on the outcomes of MGNREGA is required to be presented annually by the Central Government to Parliament.
      • CEGS is a statutory body set up under Section 10 of the MGNREGA.
      • It is chaired by the Union Minister for Rural Development.
  • The MGNERGA covers the entire country with the exception of districts that have a hundred percent urban population.

Performance of the Scheme in last 3 years

  • In 2022-23, 6.19 crore households availed work under the scheme.

Challenges/Loopholes in the Scheme

  • Fund Misappropriation:
    • Over the last four years, Social Audit Units (SAU) under Rural Development Departments (RDD) across India have found financial misappropriation of Rs 935 crore under various schemes of the MGNREGA.
    •  Only about Rs 12.5 crore of this amount — 1.34% — has been recovered so far.
  • Delay in Payments:
    • The Union Ministry of Rural Development considers wages paid once the FTO (Fund Transfer Order) is signed by the second signatory.
    • However, delays take place even in the processing of signed FTOs, for which the Management Information System (MIS) does not calculate compensation.
  • Banking Puzzle:
    • The rural banks are highly understaffed and thus always remain hugely overcrowded.
    • The workers normally have to visit the banks more than once to withdraw their wages.
    • Often, the workers do not get their wages during times of need due to the hassle and the cost involved in getting wages from the bank.

News Summary

  • Women participation in the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) was the highest in 10 financial years.
  • The rates of participation of women in the MGNREGS, defined as women person-days out of the total in percentage, stood at 57.47% in 2022-23 and 54.82% in 2021-22.
  • Data on NREGS portal shows of the total 238.62 crore person-days under the NREGS during 2023-24 till December 24, the figure of women person-days was 141.37 crore or 59.25%.
  • As per the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS), published by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, the female Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR) has increased in the country in recent years.
  • The rise was sharp in rural areas. In rural areas, the female LFPR, defined as the percentage of persons in the labour force among the persons in the population, increased to 30.5% in 2022-23 (July-June) from 18.2% in 2017-18.
  • The female unemployment rate has declined to 1.8% in 2022-23 from 3.8% in 2017-18.

Q1) What do you mean by Social Security?

Social security is the protection that a society provides to individuals and households to ensure access to health care and to guarantee income security, particularly in cases of old age, unemployment, sickness, invalidity, work injury, maternity or loss of a breadwinner.

Q2) What is the role of the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO)?

 The National Sample Survey Office(NSSO) headed by a Director General is responsible for conduct of large scale sample surveys in diverse fields on All India basis. Primarily data are collected through nation-wide household surveys on various socio-economic subjects, Annual Survey of Industries (ASI), etc.

Source: Women participation in NREGS continues to rise, 59% this fiscal | IE