New Delhi: For many, summer breaks are meant for leisure or touring, but several students across the country will utilize it for monitoring the programmes of the government’s ambitious rural employment guarantee scheme.
At least 41 post-graduate students from the Capital’s universities will criss-cross the rural hinterland to gauge the efficacy of the development activities carried out under various programmes of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA).
The 20-day exercise is an initiative of NGO Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), in collaboration with universites across the country.
“CSE is undertaking a student volunteer programme wherein students in various universities in the country will assess the impact of NRGEA,” Supriya Singh, assistant coordinator for the programme, said.
University teachers and experts in relevant fields have also been roped in to train the students in the evaluation process of the Act.
CSE has been monitoring NREGA on its contribution to sustainable livelihood creation through ecological regeneration. “The study will be conducted across 10 districts in different states by universities located there,” Singh said.
CSE has finalized nine states —Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Uttarakhand, Orissa, Jharkhand, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu —where the implementation ofNREGA will be conducted in May and June. The key objectives of the programme involve monitoring of the productive asset creation and other development works under NREGA to assess how they have been used for economic change.
The Act came into effect in 2005 and is being implemented in 200 backward districts of 27 states. It guarantees 100 days of unskilled jobs to each rural household on demand.
“We plan to release the survey report by August. Apart from this, we will work on generating awareness on issues related to the Act,” Singh said.
The students will undergo four days of training prior to 16 days of field survey. “We have received 160 applications so far. This is over and above the pool of students that the institutions have promised for the survey,” she said, adding a certificate will also be awarded to participants.