Right to Work and Rural India: Working of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS)
The book is extremely timely…[and] is a must-read for policy-makers as well researchers who can get a clearer picture on what to evaluate, how to evaluate and how to place a specific national programme in the larger framework of development economics.
Right to Work and Rural India is a welcome addition to the literature. This book makes an important contribution to the scholarship on the MGNREGS….this volume is appealing because it asks the bigger questions about what role the scheme can play given the trends of agriculture, unemployment, wage work, and poverty in rural India today. It avoids taking shallow ideological positions, and is generally well-evidenced. It will be useful resource for scholars, researchers and policymakers interested in the Indian economy. (Economic & Political Weekly, Vol 10 2015-03-07)
About the Author
Ashok K. Pankaj (Ph.D., LL.B.) is senior fellow at Institute for Human Development, Delhi. His area of interest and research is political economy of development in India and South Asia with a focus on public policies, institutions of governance and development, interface between development and democracy and society and polity. He has completed eight major projects on various issues of socio-economic development sponsored by UNDP, UNIFEM, UN Women, ICSSR, Ministry of Rural Development, Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Ministry of Minority Affairs (Government of India), Government of Bihar and World Bank, and is presently leading two major evaluation projects, sponsored by the Planning Commission of India. He has contributed about 60 articles including reviews and chapters in books. His articles and reviews have appeared in reputed professional journals like South Asia Research (SAGE, London), Contribution to Indian Sociology (SAGE, Delhi), Journal of Asian and African Studies (SAGE, Boston), Economic and Political Weekly (Mumbai), International Studies (SAGE, Delhi), Journal of Commonwealth and Comparative Politics (Routledge, Oxfordshire), Social Scientist (Delhi) etc.
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The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act is the first of its kind in the world wherein the government guarantees rights-based economic safety net for two-thirds of the country’s population. This comprehensive book is an attempt to understand the working of the operational part of this act―the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS).
The expert contributors to this book have presented evidences of implementation and impact of the scheme across India, including both agriculturally developed states and the backward ones, and states where the scheme is better implemented as well as those where it is not. Their essays go on to explain the meaning, context, issues and development-policy implications of MGNREGS. In the process, these theoretical and empirical studies highlight the desirability of state-sponsored programme in the era of liberalization and provide viable answers to question pertaining to the timing and purpose as well as the likely impacts of such a massive wage employment and public works programme as the MGNREGS.
This volume offers an insight into the changing thrust of India’s anti-poverty programme and her experiments with various employment schemes.