ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

N C NarayananSubscribe to N C Narayanan

Designed to Falter

Laudable aims aside, the implementation of India's largest welfare programme, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, leaves much to be desired. Taking a close look at its functioning in three development blocks in Maharashtra in the last three financial years, this study emphasises that there is a serious lack of capacities in the agencies tasked with actualising the scheme. A partnership between local non-governmental organisation and educational institutions could offer a way out by bringing in transparency, accountability, and participation to strengthen local governance.

Rural Water Access: Governance and Contestation in a Semi-Arid Watershed in Udaipur, Rajasthan

A significant focus of policy in recent years has been to devolve decision-making and management of water systems to the community level. This paper is based on a study of a minor irrigation project in the semi-arid Udaipur district of Rajasthan, where the livelihoods of people in the watershed are dependent on canal water and there are serious inequalities in the distribution of water within and between villages. This study points to both the social and spatial dimensions of inequalities in access to water. It also focuses on governance arrangements and highlights inequalities that arise from the delegation of management of water systems to communities. These reflect the democratic deficit in local governance institutions and, in turn, the larger political economy.
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