(An) Evaluation of Electronic Wage Transfer under MGNREGA in the Barak Valley Region of Assam

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India's most ambitious rural employment programme – the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) – is close to two decades now. In the most recent times, conflicting reports have emerged on two counts. One shows that the programme has not made many dents in poverty despite a legal entitlement framework. The non-revision of minimum wage payments, delay in wage payments, and massive corruption are some reasons for its non-performance. Another form of reporting led by the Digital India campaigns of the present government shows that the electronic payment system initiated under the MGNREGA has resulted in indirect benefits to the beneficiaries under the scheme, thereby fulfilling the primary objective of timely wage payments and the secondary aim of financial inclusion. New technologies can control corruption and enhance operational efficiency by shortening payment delays, automatically providing for unemployment allowances, and improving communication with beneficiaries. However, we reiterate that technology alone will not help.
Supervisor: Bedamatta, Rajshree
Social Security, MGNREGA, Technology for Development, Direct Benefit Transfer, Corruption, Functionary-beneficiary Collusion, Social Audit