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Jean Dreze, economist and activist, interviewed by Atmadip Ray

-The Economic Times For one who had worked so closely to frame the world's largest job guarantee programme, known as the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, it's not easy to see it succumb to pressure. It's no wonder that economist-cum-activist Jean Dreze will raise his voice against this, along with eminent academics such as Pranab Bardhan and Maitreesh Ghatak. Dreze says corruption related to NREGA and leakages - its...

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Re-framing the MGNREGA debate -Yamini Aiyar

-The Hindu Reports that the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government intends to radically restructure the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) have re-ignited public discussion on the scheme. Since its launch, debate on MGNREGA has been synonymous with ideological contestations on the role of the state and its welfare functions. Inevitably, the contours of the debate have been shrill, leaving little space for an evidence-based discussion on the...

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How to reform and how not to -Mihir Shah

-The Hindu Every effort needs to be made to reform MGNREGA, as it has been both a major success and a huge failure. The best way for this is to study carefully the conditions that made it a success and also to undertake a diagnostics of its failures An impression has gained ground in recent weeks that the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government at the Centre is inimical to the Mahatma Gandhi...

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And peanuts for MGNREGA -Bunker Roy

-The Indian Express We want Prime Minister Narendra Modi to succeed in his national campaign to tackle the vast problems of the poor in Bharat. But his one-time contractor turned Union minister for rural development is succeeding in making his own prime minister look contradictory and indecisive to the nation and the world. The prime minister talks about constructing toilets and improving sanitation, opening bank accounts for every poor, excluded family,...

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Will the ‘Jan’ get their ‘Dhan’? -Akansha Yadav & Sowmya Kidambi

-The Hindu Business Line   Opening bank accounts in rural areas is all very well, but biometric frauds are a serious possibility The ambitious Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) aims at bringing millions of rural Indians within the financial mainstream by opening bank accounts. In 2006, the Reserve of India, recognising that a majority of rural Indians had little or no access to banking services, allowed banks to use third-party, non-bank agents...

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