January 16, 2023
Reddy Mohith

NREGA - National Rural Employment Guarantee Act 2005

Rich and poor is one of the primary differences that every country faces today, especially in India. One must go back a few decades to understand these differences, and to bridge the rich and poor gap, the government of India initiated NREGA (National Rural Employment Guarantee Act).

What is NREGA?

In September 2005, the government of India passed the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA), which was renamed Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) in August 2005. These acts marks to guarantee the Indian people the right to work. Therefore, NREGA is recognized as a labor law and a security measure in India.


The mister of rural development, Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, presented the NREGA act while the Parliament of India enacted it. The fundamental aim of passing the statement is to ensure that people living in rural areas get livelihood security by providing wage employment to every household adult who volunteers to perform unskilled manual work for at least 100 days in a financial year.

However, the foundations for this enaction started in 1991, with the former prime minister, P. V. Narasimha Rao. After several sessions, the Parliament of India accepted the NREGA proposal, and primarily, 625 districts in several states of India implemented it. So, based on the output of the first trial, every community in several states of India got introduced to NREGA on 1st April 2008.

Regarding the NREGA, the Indian government termed it the most enterprising social security and the enormous public works program in the world, and the world bank termed it a stellar example of rural development.

Implementation of NREGA

The government of India manages to implement the act in collaboration with the state governments. Similarly, the state government promotes it with the help of general gram panchayats (GPs). Apart from providing economic security and rural assets, the NREGA also aims to protect the environment, empower rural women, reduce rural-urban migration, foster social equity, and ensure transparency and accountability in principles execution, works allocating, finance pattern, monitoring, and evaluation. For the successful execution of the program, the contractors are prohibited from the work.

One of the merits of NREGA is its primary focus on women's empowerment. One-third of the employee work is reserved for women in the program to empower women by providing the same wage for both men and women. NREGA can be the best source to find work for the nation's youth, either to gain experience for higher jobs or to find work for a living. Another merit of NREGA is that it allows people to bargain for their wages according to market conditions.

Although it is getting implemented, several controversies are going on. Despite all, NREGA is one of the best schemes initiated by the Indian government for rural development. Under NREGA, rural people can survive day-to-day life and stop evacuating rural areas for employment in urban cities. Not only does NREGA creates job opportunities but stands by them.

Implementation Status

1. In the financial year 2006-07, approximately 200 districts got introduced to the program while adding another 130 communities to the list during 2007-08.

2. In April 2008, the NREGA program was spread to all rural areas of the nation, covering all states and union territories, 614 districts, 6,096 blocks, and 2.65 lakhs of gram panchayats.

3. In 2015-16, the scheme covered 648 districts, 6,849 blocks, and 2,50,441 gram panchayats.

Goals and Objectives

1. The primary goal of NREGA is to enrich people's lives in rural areas by providing wage employment for at least 100 days in the financial year for adults 18 years and above, volunteering to do unskilled manual work.

2. To implement durable assets like roads, ponds, canals, and others.

Note: After the applicant files for employment, the applicant should get work in 5 days within 5 km to pay the minimum wage. When the job is unavailable, the applicant should receive the unemployment allowance within 15 days of filling out an application.

Therefore, if the government fails to give work, the system should be bound to provide unemployment allowances, which will be a legal entitlement to get employment under NREGA.

FAQs Answered

1. Is the Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) restricted in any particular state or district?

No, NREGA aims to implement the program in every rural area.

2. Who are the key stakeholders of the Employment Act (NREGA)?

The key stakeholders are wage seekers, three-tier Panchayati Raj, institutions (PRIs), gram Sabha (GS), Program Officer at the Block level, district program coordinator (DPC), state government, ministry of rural development (MoRD), civil society, and others.

3. What are the rights of wage-seekers in NREGAS?

Registration application, getting a job card (JC), work application, getting a dated receipt for the application made, time selection, the duration for applied work, 15 days of employment, drinking water, and first aid facilities on the worksite are a few rights of wage-seekers under NREGA.


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