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Book Code: 1111015987056

Archana Sinha, Denzil Fernandes

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The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) has been one of the flagship social security schemes in rural India to address under-employment in India. After the Act was passed in parliament on 5th September, 2005, it came into effect from 2nd February, 2006, in 200 districts. Later the coverage of the rural employment scheme was gradually increased till it covered the whole country in 2009. The uniqueness of this Act is that it gives legal guarantee of employment to any male or female member of a rural household, who is willing to do casual manual labour at a statutory minimum wage. The book "The Unravelling of MGNREGA" is an outcome of a research study conducted to capture the process of implementation of this landmark social security scheme and its impact on the lives and livelihoods of the rural poor.


Archana Sinha, a Doctorate in Agricultural Economics, currently is Fellow and Head, of the Department of Women's Studies; and just before this she was Head, of the Department of Rural and Urban Studies, Indian Social Institute, Lodi Road, New Delhi, India for the past several years. She is responsible for implementing research on various women issues, rural and urban based issues on gender and development, women at work, social conflict, agriculture related rural economy, livelihood, gender and social exclusion, food security, nutrition, health promotion, MDGs and now SDGs related issues, etc. She is also involved in research studies, proposals, plans and surveys. She worked for evaluation studies and impact assessment in several flagship development programmes of Government of India with experiences drawn from the field and research. Also involved in publications of research reports, designing, conducting and organizing research methodology, advocacy and capacity building programs, networking and collaborating with similar other organizations in research, capacity building in research, etc and advocacy programs. She has written extensively on agriculture, gender, water, labour, food security, health & nutrition, and issues related to sustainable development and and human development.

Dr. Denzil Fernandes is currently the Executive Director of Indian Social Institute, New Delhi, a premier Jesuit social research institute in India. He is also the Editor of the quarterly journal, Social Action, a University Grants Commission (UGC) approved journal. He holds two post graduate degrees in Economics and Politics from Pune University. He was awarded Ph.D in Social Sciences from Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai, in 2012 for his work on "Social Networks in the Construction Labour Market in Goa". He is on the Governing Board of several institutions including Indian Social Institute, Bangalore; Xavier Institute of Social Service (XISS), Ranchi; and Agriculture for Food Production (AFPRO), Delhi. He is the author of the book "Submergence of Justice" and has written several articles in reputed journals on labour economics, politics, migration and sustainable development.


Foreword . 7

Acknowledgements . 9

Glossary of Abbreviations . 11

Executive Summary . 13

I. Introduction . 15

II. Profile of Respondents . 31

III. Literature Survey . 37

IV. Ground Realities on Awareness . 69

V. Insights into Implementation . 75

VI. Impact on the Poor . 95

VII. Solutions Towards Improving the Effectiveness . 109

VIII. The Road Ahead . 117

Bibliography . 121

Index . 131

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