1. Prologue
  2. Mock Questions for Mains from ES19 Vol1Ch10
  3. Introduction: Give origin of MGNREGA & its problems
  4. ICT/Technology in improving Govt Schemes
  5. JAM Trinity
  6. E-governance modules to monitor scheme
  7. Mobile Apps to monitor scheme
  8. ES19: we can use Big Data Analytics to predict rural distress
  9. ES19: What else we can do to improve MGNREGA?
  10. Conclusion: Yes ICT improves Govt Schemes


  • After the General Elections 2019, Economic Survey 2018-19 (ES19: आर्थिक सर्वेक्षण) was released in 2019-July by Chief Economic Advisor (CEA: मुख्य आर्थिक सलाहकार) Subramanian K. with a ‘skyblue’ cover because it contained blueprint for $5 trillion dollar economy.
  • As usual, Vol1 dealt with the prediction & prescription of future; whereas Vol2 with the description of the past. At this stage you can ignore the Volume2 because Prelim-2019 is over, and another new survey will come before Prelim-2020- Containing a more latest data. But, volume1 is important for at least the next 3 UPSC mains examinations.
  • Vol1 Chapter 10 deals with how JAM-DBT helped MGNREGA. As such It is a filler chapter with hardly anything new that is not already mentioned in the previous economic surveys.
  • Relevance? UPSC IAS/IPS Civil Services Mains Exam General Studies Paper2 (GSM2): Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; e-governanceapplications, models, successes, limitations, and potential;
  • I’ve covered it in the following youtube video. Although the webcam video is stuck, the audio is thankfully working fine.
  • This chapter can help in the following type of Mains Questions:

Mrunal Economic Survey MGNREGA Summary

Mock Questions for Mains from ES19 Vol1Ch10

  1. With suitable example of a Government scheme, explain how e-governance and use of technology can result in greater transparency and accountability? किसी एक सरकारी योजना के उपयुक्त उदाहरण के साथ, समझाएँ कि कैसे ई-गवर्नेंस और प्रौद्योगिकी के उपयोग से अधिक पारदर्शिता और जवाबदेही हांसिल हो सकती है?
  2. “Use of ICT-technology has enhanced MGNREGA’s efficacy in combating rural distress.” Elaborate. “आईसीटी-प्रौद्योगिकी के उपयोग ने ग्रामीण संकट का मुकाबला करने में मनरेगा की प्रभावकारिता को बढ़ाया है।” विस्तृत कीजिए.

Introduction: Give origin of MGNREGA & its problems

  • 2005: Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA: महात्मा गांधी राष्ट्रीय ग्रामीण रोजगार गारंटी अधिनियम) enacted, with promise of providing hundred days of unskilled labour work to every rural household.
  • But MGNREGA suffered from widespread corruption, political interference, leakage, and significant delay in wage payments. भ्रष्टाचार, राजनीतिक हस्तक्षेप, रिसाव की समस्याएं थी.
  • So, distressed villages/ farmers would migrate to cities / other states in search of work because even if private parties gave them wages lower than MGNREGA (due to delays in MGNREGA). यह योजना होने के बावजूद भी पीड़ित किसान शहरों की ओर स्थानांतरित कर देते थे क्योंकि यहां पर समय पर वेतन नहीं मिलता था

ICT/Technological solutions have addressed the challenges in following manner:

ICT/Technology in improving Govt Schemes

JAM Trinity

  • 2015: Jan Dhan, Aadhaar and Mobile (JAM) Technology revolution started
  • Aadhar linked Payments (ALP): Biometric data, ghost accounts removed. फर्जी लाभार्थियों को हटा दिया गया है
  • 2016: MoRD’s National Electronic Fund Management System (NeFMS):
  • Here, ₹ ₹ wages directed credited to State Government bank account →  DBT to MGNREGA workers’ bank account. पैसों का प्रत्यक्ष लाभ हस्तांतरण बैंक अकाउंट द्वारा किया जाता है
  • Since Wages directly into MGNREGA workers’ bank accounts  → reducing scope for delays / leakage / corruption in payment.

E-governance modules to monitor scheme

  • NREGAsoft e-Governance system to capture all the activities under MGNREGA at Center/State/District/Block
  • GeoMGNREGA for keeping track of assets through mobile based photo geo-tagging

Mobile Apps to monitor scheme

  • JanMnREGA: an asset tracking + feedback app for MGNREGA assets.
  • Gram Samvaad Mobile App: Here citizens can find information about the money allotted to their village under various rural development schemes, It has initiated debate at the gram panchayat level why development is not happening despite the release of funds.

ES19: we can use Big Data Analytics to predict rural distress

In Economic Survey 2018-19 (ES19), Chief economic advisor (CEA) Subramanian K. suggested that

  • We should do Real time monitoring of demand for work under MGNREGA @district level
  • If more work demand by villagers = proof of farm / rural distress.
  • Then correlate with weather data etc.  then display flash alert on policymaker’s dashboard. So he can take corrective actions. e.g. Timely release of crop insurance claims, distribution of more loans, additional allocation of foodgrains in PDS Shops etc.

ES19: What else we can do to improve MGNREGA?

  • Deepening MGNREGA workers’ financial inclusion through microinsurance,  micropensions, microcredit schemes. वित्तीय समावेशन करना चाहिए
  • Upskilling the MGNREGS Workers: Convergence of MGNREGA with Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDUGKY). So, they can eventually find gainful employment, and don’t have to demand ‘unskilled’ MGNREGA work all the time. कौशल्य बढ़ाना चाहिए.

Conclusion: Yes ICT improves Govt Schemes

  • Thus, skillful use of technology increases effectiveness of government schemes, as evident from the MGNREGA.
  • Similar models need to be adopted in all the other centrally sponsored schemes for ensuring India’s rapid economic growth and human development. सभी केंद्रीय प्रायोजित योजनाओं में टेक्नोलॉजी का उपयोग करने से आर्थिक वृद्धि और मानव विकास में मदद मिल सकती है OR
  • Thus, use of technology has reduced delays and scope for corruption in MGNREGA, thereby increasing its efficacy in helping the rural people during the times of distress.