New Delhi: The Unique Identification Authority of India, or UIDAI, has announced a formal collaboration with the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, or Nrega, on Thursday, so that the benefits of a unique identity number for each individual would help ensure greater effectiveness of the Act in implementation, payment delivery and transparency.
Speaking at a national workshop organized by the ministry of rural development or MoRD to discuss ways for better implementation of schemes under the Nrega in the country, chairman of UIDAI Nandan Nilekani said the purpose of both these projects were similar - to ensure inclusiveness and a pro-poor approach.
Addressing the workshop, which coincided with former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi’s birth anniversary, minister for rural development and panchayati raj C P Joshi announced the setting up of Rajiv Gandhi Sewa Kendras in each of the 2.5 lakh gram panchayats in the country within the next three years.
According to the minister, these centres would act as “mini secretariats” for Nrega’s implementation and would provide space for discussion and discourse.
Joshi also emphasized that one should not treat Nrega as a scheme, as it was actually an Act, adding that effective implementation of Nrega with the aim of winning confidence of the common man was a challenge for the government.
“Everywhere, including in Parliament, there are doubts in everybody’s mind that the way in which Nrega should function, is not happening. Job cards are not reaching the beneficiaries, sarpanchs are supposed to make plans but that is not happening and funds for material components are not being used properly,” said Joshi.
The function was attended by Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi who was the guest of honour but did not address the gathering, the three ministers of state for rural development, senior officials of the MoRD as well as former member of the National Knowldege Commission Sam Pitroda.
With drought like situation prevailing in the country, Joshi said that focus would be more to encourage building of ponds in villages and ensuring water harvesting facilities in them.
Proposals and plans to expand the scope and reach of Nrega as well as ways to increase its efficiency and bring in greater transparency were discussed in the workshop.