ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Shift in MGNREGS from UPA to NDA

The emphasis of MGNREGS has shifted from demand-driven job creation to asset creation, which will not benefit landless rural labour.

Shift in MGNREGS from UPA to NDA

The approach of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance-II government towards the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme emphasises asset creation in a target-driven, if necessary, top-down fashion. NDA-II has done this without altering the basic features of the programme, as that needs an amendment in the act, a difficult political proposition given its lack of majority in the Rajya Sabha. Such a shift is in contradistinction to the pursuit of demand-driven job creation with a focus on participatory decentralised development under the United Progressive Alliance governments. While the emphasis on assets creation is not without its merits, the programme has been tilted in favour of agriculturists. Landless rural labour households, one-fourth of India’s rural population, have been excluded from the benefits of individual assets since they own no land. Asset fetishism may affect job creation and its target-driven pursuit may defeat objectives like promoting participatory decentralised development

Inequality: A Common Cause

The Price of Inequality by Joseph E Stiglitz (London: Allen Lane), 2012; pp 414, £ 14.99.

Empowerment Effects of the NREGS on Women Workers: A Study in Four States

Using a field survey, this paper examines the empowerment effects of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme on rural women in Bihar, Jharkhand, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh. It argues that women workers have gained from the scheme primarily because of the paid employment opportunity, and benefits have been realised through income-consumption effects, intra-household effects, and the enhancement of choice and capability. Women have also gained to some extent in terms of realisation of equal wages under the nregs, with long-term implications for correcting gender skewness and gender discriminatory wages prevalent in the rural labour market of India. Despite the difficulties and hurdles for women, prospects lie, inter alia, in their collective mobilisation, more so in laggard states.

India's Political Mosaic

Assessing Indian Democracy

The Success of India’s Democracy edited by Atul Kohli; Princeton University Press, 2001; pp xiv + 298, Rs 695.
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