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

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Development Practice at the Crossroads

National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme

The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme--despite its failings and dismissals by prominent economists as a "dole"--is in consonance with the idea of sustainable development whose important cardinal components are economic, social and environmental sustainability.

Prominent economists like Surjit Bhalla (2013) and Bibek Debroy (2013) have dubbed the former United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government’s Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) as a “dole.” This dubbing has serious implications for our contemporary understanding of the concept, approach, establishment and practice of development in a developing country like India. Anybody who is associated with development theory, practice and policy would recall that the “concept” of, “approach” to, and “practice”/“establishment” of development have all undergone a significant evolution during the last eight decades.

1 Evolution of the Concept and Practice of Development

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