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Labours or workers are working on a Road under NREGA at Dantewada District in Chhattisgarh on 28/3/2009. The National Rural Employment Guarantee Act or NREGA is an Indian job guarantee scheme, enacted by legislation on August 25, 2005. The scheme provides a legal guarantee for one hundred days of employment in every financial year to adult members of any rural household willing to do public work-related unskilled manual work at the statutory minimum wage of Rs.60 per day. The Central government outlay for scheme is Rs. 39,100 crores ($8 billion) in FY 2009-10. Photo by Shailendra Pandey/Tehelka.
Labours or workers are working on a Road under NREGA at Dantewada District in Chhattisgarh on 28/3/2009. The National Rural Employment Guarantee Act or NREGA is an Indian job guarantee scheme, enacted by legislation on August 25, 2005. The scheme provides a legal guarantee for one hundred days of employment in every financial year to adult members of any rural household willing to do public work-related unskilled manual work at the statutory minimum wage of Rs.60 per day. The Central government outlay for scheme is Rs. 39,100 crores ($8 billion) in FY 2009-10. Photo by Shailendra Pandey/Tehelka.

To monitor and manage the government funded guaranteed employment scheme for unskilled poor – MGNREGA – the government of India has decided to implement GIS. The objective of the scheme is to provide hundred days of guaranteed employment to poor unskilled people with in a distance of 15 km from the place of their residence so that they don’t have to move to nearby cities in search of work.

The idea of using GIS was proposed by the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) to better understand the impact or the outcome. As far as such schemes are concerned, technologies like GIS or remote sensing can be useful for collecting data, and analysing project developments, asset management, and so forth.

Through GIS, it will be easy to understand the geographical context of an area and the amount of resources it will require to get developed. If implemented, it can bring efficiency to the system. With the use of GIS, government can map all the assets along with the information and then can use it for proper decision making.

Implementing GIS in MGNREGA can help in providing a single and integrated view of asset information system pan rural India. If succeeds, the GIS enabled portal will act as a gateway to facilitate and coordinate the exchange and sharing of geospatial data between stakeholders from various jurisdictional levels in the spatial data community.

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This will facilitate to search, locate and publish geospatial data. The GIS enabled portal will maintain process, store, distribute and improve the utilization of geospatial data for planners, decision makers and general public.

GIS can help MGNREGA workers to get information about availability of work in the near locations, work site location information, real time transparent attendance, and payment information. At the same time, it will benefit the citizens by enabling geo portal for MGNREGA assets, which will enhance the concurrent social audit by citizens and facilitate feedback information on current status of work, quality validation, etc.

Incorporation of GIS technology will allow the governments (both the centre and the state governments) to set up triggers for these set of stakeholders. When the government officer with appropriate GPS enabled simple device enters or leaves the boundaries defined by the MGNREGA asset, a text message or email alert is sent. All stakeholders can see the geographical location of assets on a map in the web management system.

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An interactive web based GIS management system will maintain entire information of MGNREGA assets. The system will allow users to create new data, update existing data related to assets, generate queries, spatial query such as buffer, reports, maps, etc.

This will help the department in possessing a valuable digital database (both spatial and non-spatial) for the entire country. Properly defined customized queries will also be made available for day-to-day planning and management of the MGNREGA assets.

At last, government agencies like NRSC and ISRO can help to develop and deploy a MGNREGA geo portal along with geo tagged assets data and report generating tools. For field level usage a customized android mobile app for Geo-tagging of complete assets will be developed which will help to locate and update the ongoing work at the actual site and also keep a track of the work and worker for future references.