What is MGNREGA and how can one Enroll in the scheme

Varanasi: Farmers demonstrate against the central and the Uttar Pradesh Government regarding Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) in Varanasi, on Dec 10, 2014. (Photo: IANS)
MGNREGA, also expanded as Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act is a scheme operated by the Central Government of India by revamping the old scheme and renaming it. The main objective of this scheme is to provide social security by assuring a minimum of 100 days of work per year to the families. To benefit from this scheme, the adult members must be prepared to deliver unskilled labour-intensive work.

Background of MGNREGA

The government was operating schemes like Jawahar Rozgaar Yojana, Food for Work Programme, and Sampurna Grameen Rozgaar Yojna. Based on the observations from this scheme, the government launched Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act first in the state of Maharashtra in the year 1970.

During its launch, the scheme was called as National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA). The scheme was introduced in the state during the period when Vasant Rao Naik was the chief minister. This act came to the aid of millions of farmer families in the state. The planning commission eventually accepted this scheme and extended throughout the nation. These acts helped the government gather some useful inputs needed to work in the lines of programs like ‘Rural Manpower Programme’ ‘Crash Scheme for Rural Employment’ ‘Drought Prone Area Programme’ and ‘Marginal Farmers and Agricultural Laborers Scheme’.

Each of these schemes provided a useful ground for the government to plan newer schemes in an efficient way setting right the drawbacks of the earlier ones. The principal objectives of all these schemes are wage employment, food security, and producing valuable assets. Later renamed as MNREGA, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act is a significant member in the lines of these schemes.

Important features of MGNREGA

1. Providing job security to the adult members in families for not less than 100 days in a year.

2. Creating permanent assets like wells, ponds, roads and others for the welfare of the community.

3. Providing employment opportunities to the applicants within a radius of 5 kilometres.

4. Providing minimum wages in order to assure security to families.

5. Providing security to the income of families by assuring unemployment allowances if work is not provided for about 15 days from the date of application.

How to enroll in MGNREGA?

Application to this job must be given in writing. The application must include the registration number of the job card, date from which the applicant is seeking employment, and the number of days for which the applicant wants the job. The application must give the names of the adult members in the family who are coming forward to do unskilled manual work along with the details like age, gender, and caste.

The filled-in applications must be submitted to the Gram Panchayat. For registration under this scheme, an individual can appear personally and make a request. The authorities in the Gram Panchayat will verify the details in the application and decide if the case in the application is genuine and deserving to get the benefit. Once verified, every household will be given a unique registration number.
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