Centre to introduce Mobile Monitoring System to bring Transparency in MGNREGA

North Gazette News/New Delhi
Centre government is planning to introduce Mobile Monitoring System for effective implementation of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, MGNREGA.

Rural Development Ministry official said that the Mobile Monitoring System would be introduced on a pilot basis to allow real-time monitoring of all works, workers attendance and work site measurement.

The official said that the move is likely to plug leakages in the rural job scheme. Moreover, the Centre has recently sanctioned 147 crore rupees to the states to strengthen the social audit structures.

Social Audit ensures comprehensive public scrutiny of records and accounts with a view to enhance transparency and accountability. The additional grant was sanctioned as States were finding it difficult to put the necessary institutional structures for social audit within the overall 6 percent administrative cost.

To devise a better mechanism to improve the quality and durability of assets created under MGNREGS, Schedule I to the MGNREG Act, 2005 has been modified to provide that at least 60% of the works being taken in a district in terms of cost shall be for creation of productive assets directly linked to agriculture and allied activities through development of land, water and trees.

It has also been notified that the 60:40 ratio of labour to material component will be maintained at the district level (instead of Block level) for the works to be executed by implementing agencies other than Gram Panchayats.

Detailed labour budget guidelines for 2015-16 were issued in July, 2014 introducing an Intensive Participatory Planning Exercise(IPPE) in 2500 backward blocks to bring greater participation and scientific methods in planning of works and to give due emphasis on convergence with a view to creating sustainable assets and providing focussed wage employment.

Guidelines have been issued for watershed management works taken up independently under MGNREGS or in convergence with Integrated Watershed Management Project, IWMP.

The Ministry has also prepared a proposal last month for extension of provision of bank loan for women Self Help Groups, SHGs at 4% in 100 additional districts. To suggest whether a statutory institution like NABARD or any other institutional mechanism is required to facilitate flow of credit to women SHGs, an expert group was constituted under Mrs Usha Thorat, former Deputy Governor of RBI.

The report of the group has been received and further action is being taken. Action Plan to achieve credit targets for SHGs was discussed in the Central Level Coordination Committee meeting on September 10, 2014.

For comprehensive monitoring of SHGs, public sector banks and private sector banks have been advised to share the data on a monthly basis to National Rural Livelihoods Mission, NRLM web portal. Given the top priority of the Government on skill development, it is being proposed that the present provision whereby the outlay for Aajeevika skills cannot be more than 25% of the total NRLM allocation will be removed and it will be made demand based.

The PMGSY guidelines have been amended for inclusion of Women Self Help Groups (SHGs) in transact walk to fix the alignment of PMGSY roads to address gender concerns. A pilot has been initiated on community based maintenance as well as performance based contracting of rural roads.

An Action Plan for road side plantation alongside PMGSY roads under MGNREGA was issued on July, 2014. It is a matter of satisfaction that against a target of 5 lakh plants in 2014-15, 1.02 crore plants have already been planted so far. The Ministry has issued a circular on 16.10.2014 wherein the States have been permitted to design the bridges so as to serve as Bridge-cum-Bandhara for conserving the rain water and ensuring recharge of underground water table.

NRRDA in collaboration with Public Affairs Centre (PAC) is facilitating citizen’s monitoring of rural road construction under PMGSY in three States viz. Meghalaya, Jharkhand and Rajasthan. The state projects for sanction of roads under PMGSY are considered by an inter-Ministerial Empowered Committee.

Indira Aawas Yojana, IAY, guidelines have been amended to give flexibility to States and Union Territories to decide the number of instalments and quantum (or) proportion of such instalments to be given to the IAY beneficiaries, subject to maximum of four instalments. States were also advised to undertake an immediate drive to get Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana accounts opened for all those IAY beneficiaries who do not have a bank account in a nearby bank branch.

Skilling programme for poor rural youth was refocused and re-prioritised as Pandit Deen Dayal Updhyaya Grameen Koushalya Yojana(DDU-GKY) to build the capacity of rural poor youth to address the needs of both national and global skill requirements. Priority will be given to champion employers who can guarantee training and placement of minimum 10,000 rural youth in two years.

In this regard, the Ministry has signed MoU for “Champion Employer” with three Institutes. The Prime Minster’s Make in India campaign would be promoted through intervention of industry internships supported through joint partnerships between industry and DDU-GKY. Eligibility norms for coverage of rural youth have been expanded.

A new scheme Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana has been approved and launched on October 11, 2014 focussing on integrated, convergent and holistic development of villages. The guidelines for the Scheme have been also issued. So far, 586 MPs have identified their Gram Panchayats.

A Bank of Ideas and Innovations (BII) has been launched on 14/08/2014 to promote innovations across the country.

The objective is to create an eco-system to enable grassroots innovations to be identified and evaluated/tested, and successful innovations to be scaled up. This will essentially lead to improving the pace and quality of design/implementation of rural development schemes.