Extract from the Report – Study Conducted by Indian Institute of Science:
The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) aims at enhancing the livelihood security of people in rural areas by guaranteeing 100 days of wage-employment in a ï¬nancial year to a rural household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work. The Act also seeks to create durable assets to augment land and water resources, improve rural connectivity and strengthen the livelihood resource base of the rural poor. The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) works are largely focused on land and water resources, which include: water harvesting and conservation, soil conservation and protection, irrigation provisioning and improvement, renovation of traditional water bodies, land development and drought prooï¬ng.
These MGNREGS works have the potential to generate environmental beneï¬ts such as ground water recharge, soil, water and biodiversity conservation, sustaining food production, halting land degradation and building resilience to current climate risks such as moisture stress, delayed rainfall, droughts and ï¬‚oods (Tiwari et al., 2011; MoRD, 2012). Objectives and study area: The main objective of this assessment was to generate empirical evidence from different parts of India with diverse agro-climatic and socio-economic characteristics, to assess the potential of MGNREGS to deliver environmental beneï¬ ts to promote conservation of natural resources, sustained water supply and food production, in addition to sustained employment and livelihoods. The study is also aimed at assessing the potential of MGNREGS works to reduce vulnerability to climate risks. Here the ï¬ ndings of studies assessing environmental beneï¬ ts generated through implementation of MGNREGS works and their implications for reducing vulnerability to climate risks, conducted in the 4 districts of the selected 4 states namely, Andhra Pradesh (Medak), Karnataka (Chitradurga), Madhya Pradesh (Dhar) and Rajasthan (Bhilwara) are presented. The total size of the beneï¬ ciary sample households included in the study is 2057. A case study of South District, Sikkim is presented separately since the types of MGNREGS works implemented are distinctly different from the 4 other states and also the scale of the works is small. In contrast to many other studies, the focus of this study is not on the institutional, social, equity, ï¬ nancial transparency and accountability aspects of MGNREGS.