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Overview of MGNREGA

This topic covers the overview of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGA).


  • The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), also known as Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS) is Indian legislation enacted on August 25, 2005. The MGNREGA provides a legal guarantee for one hundred days of employment in every financial year to adult members of any rural household willing to do public work-related unskilled manual work at the statutory minimum wage. The Ministry of Rural Development (MRD), Govt of India is monitoring the entire implementation of this scheme in association with state governments
  • This act was introduced with an aim of improving the purchasing power of the rural people, primarily semi or un-skilled work to people living below poverty line in rural India. It attempts to bridge the gap between the rich and poor in the country. Roughly one-third of the stipulated work force must be women.
  • Adult members of rural households submit their name, age and address with photo to the Gram Panchayat. The Gram Panchayat registers households after making enquiry and issues a job card. The job card contains the details of adult member enrolled and his /her photo. Registered person can submit an application for work in writing (for at least fourteen days of continuous work) either to Panchayat or to Programme Officer.
  • The Panchayat/Programme officer will accept the valid application and issue dated receipt of application, letter providing work will be sent to the applicant and also displayed at Panchayat office. The employment will be provided within a radius of 5 km: if it is above 5 km extra wage will be paid.

Key facts that users should know about MNREGA

  1. MGNREGA guarantees hundred days of wage employment in a financial year, to a rural household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work.
  2. Individual beneficiary oriented works can be taken up on the cards of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, small or marginal farmers or beneficiaries of land reforms or beneficiaries under the Indira Awaas Yojana of the Government of India.
  3. Within 15 days of submitting the application or from the day work is demanded, wage employment will be provided to the applicant.
  4. Right to get unemployment allowance in case employment is not provided within fifteen days of submitting the application or from the date when work is sought.
  5. Receipt of wages within fifteen days of work done.
  6. Variety of permissible works which can be taken up by the Gram Panchayaths.
  7. MGNREGA focuses on the economic and social empowerment of women.
  8. MGNREGA provides “Green” and “Decent” work.
  9. Social Audit of MGNREGA works is mandatory, which lends to accountability and transparency.
  10. MGNREGA works address the climate change vulnerability and protect the farmers from such risks and conserve natural resources.
  11. The Gram Sabha is the principal forum for wage seekers to raise their voices and make demands. It is the Gram Sabha and the Gram Panchayat which approves the shelf of works under MGNREGA and fix their priority.

Implementation Status

  • The scheme was introduced in 200 districts during financial year 2006-07 and 130 districts during the financial year 2007-08
  • In April 2008 NREGA expanded to entire rural area of the country covering 34 States and Union Territories, 614 Districts, 6,096 Blocks and 2.65 lakhs Gram Panchayat.
  • The scheme now covers 648 Districts, 6,849 Blocks and 2,50,441 Gram Panchayats in the financial year 2015-16.

Relationship between Mahatma Gandhi NREGA and Mahatma Gandhi NREGS

Mahatma Gandhi NREGA

Mahatma Gandhi NREGS

The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (Mahatma Gandhi NREGA) is the foundation for the  Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme Mahatma Gandhi NREGS) and provides guaranteed employment

The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (Mahatma Gandhi NREGS), created as directed in Mahatma Gandhi NREGA and the means to implement the Act so that the guarantee comes into effect

The Central Government specified the features and conditions for guaranteed employment in Mahatma Gandhi NREGA 2005

The State Governments have to incorporate all features of Mahatma Gandhi NREGA in the State Mahatma Gandhi NREGS as mentioned in Schedule –I and condition of employment as mentioned in Schedule-II of Mahatma Gandhi NREGA

The Central Government has powers to make rules and to amend Mahatma Gandhi NREGA

The State Governments have powers to make rules and amend the concerned State scheme

Mahatma Gandhi NREGA has been notified through the Gazette of India Extraordinary notification and is National legislation

Mahatma Gandhi NREGS of a State has been notified through the Official Gazette of concerned State

Mahatma Gandhi NREGA was notified on 7th September 05

Different States have notified Mahatma Gandhi NREGS on different dates but within a year of Mahatma Gandhi NREGA notification

Activities covered under MGNREGA

Permissible activities as stipulated in Para 1 of Schedule-I of Mahatma Gandhi NREGA are as under:

  • Union Rural Development Ministry has notified works under MGNREGA, majority of which are related to agricultural and allied activities, besides the works that will facilitate rural sanitation projects in a major way.
  • The works have been divided into 10 broad categories like Watershed, Irrigation and Flood management works, Agricultural and Livestock related works, Fisheries and works in coastal areas and the Rural Drinking water and Sanitation related works.
  • Briefing the MGNREGA 2.0 (the second generation reforms for the rural job scheme) the priority of the works will be decided by the Gram Panchayats in meetings of the Gram Sabhas and the Ward Sabhas.
  • The Rural development also informed that the 30 new works being added in the Schedule 1 will also help the
  • Rural sanitation projects, as for the first time toilet building, soak pits and solid and liquid waste management have been included under MGNREGA. Though the overall 60:40 ratio of labour and material component will be maintained at the Gram Panchayat level but there will be some flexibility in the ratio for certain works based on the practical requirements.
  • Construction of AWC building has been included as an approved activity under the MGNREG Act. ‘Guidelines for construction of Anganwadi Centres’ under MGNREGS have been issued jointly by Secretary, WCD and Secretary, Ministry of Rural Development, on 13th August, 2015. Under MGNREGS, expenditure up to Rs.5 lakh per AWC building for construction will be allowed. Expenditure beyond Rs. 5 lakh per AWC including finishing, flooring, painting, plumbing, electrification, wood work, etc. will be met from the ICDS funds.

MGNREGA Works Directly Linked To Agriculture and Allied Activities

1 2
  • Water conservation and water harvesting structures to augment and improve groundwater like underground dykes, earthen dams, stop dams, check dams with special focus on recharging ground water including drinking water sources
  • Watershed management works such as contour trenches, terracing, contour bunds, boulder checks, gabion structures and spring shed development resulting in a comprehensive treatment of a watershed;
  • Micro and minor irrigation works and creation, renovation and maintenance of irrigation canals and drains;
  • Renovation of traditional water bodies including desilting of irrigation tanks and other water bodies; (s) Afforestation, tree plantation and horticulture in common and forest lands, road margins, canal bunds, tank foreshores and coastal belts duly providing right to usufruct to the households covered in Paragraph 5; and
  • Land development works in common land.
  • Improving productivity of lands of households specified in Paragraph 5 through land development and by providing suitable infrastructure for irrigation including dug wells, farm ponds and other water harvesting structures;
  • Improving livelihoods through horticulture, sericulture, plantation, and farm forestry,
  • Development of fallow or waste lands of households to bring it under cultivation;
  • Creating infrastructure for promotion of livestock such as, poultry shelter, goat shelter, piggery shelter, cattle shelter and fodder troughs for cattle; and
  • Creating infrastructure for promotion of fisheries such as, fish drying yards, storage facilities, and promotion of fisheries in seasonal water bodies on public land;
III.Category, C: COMMON INFRASTRUCTURE INCLUDING FOR NRLM COMPLIANT SELF HELP GROUPS (I)Works for promoting agricultural productivity by creating durable infrastructure required for bio-fertilizers and post-harvest facilities including pucca storage facilities for agricultural produce;
(vi)Construction of Food Grain Storage Structures for implementing the provisions of The National Food Security Act 2013 (20 of 2013);
Source: Advisory Works Related Agriculture Allied Activities (1.4MB)

Online Public Grievances Redressal System

  • You can help people to lodge complaints and grievances on MNREGA related issues faced in your locality, through Online-Public Grievances Redressal System available in the MGNREGA website
  • Click the following link (directs to MGNREGA website), select your state and follow the instructions to lodge the complaint.

Source: MGNREGA Portal

Related resources

  1. Dashboard - MGNREGA
  2. MGNREGA Video by World Bank
  3. Convergence of MGNREGA with other schemes- Success stories
  4. MGNREGA Report to the People - February 2015
  5. Social Audit Reports, State-wise
  6. ICT innovations in MGNREGA
  7. MGNREGA Sameeksha - An Anthology of Research studies on MGNREGA from 2012 - 2014
  8. Online learning material on MNREGA
Nabam Tatang Nov 30, 2014 03:42 AM

Iam from Arunachal Pradesh i seen lot of problem about this Employnent.Our panchayat leader providing only 1500 and some time1200 why this is happening in Arunachal Pradesh.so as a citizen of Arunachal Pradesh please highly request to BJP government to change curroption our state.thanking you.

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