In news: App-based attendance hits rural workers
- The Union government has made capturing of attendance through its app, National Mobile Monitoring System, compulsory at worksites where 20 or more workers are employed under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS).
- The decision comes despite many problems, including patchy Internet connectivity in rural areas and little or no technical support.
- The Rural Development Ministry had started the exercise on a pilot basis on May 21 last year. Initially, the utilisation of application was to be voluntary, but from May 16 this year, it has been made mandatory.
- The Ministry’s directive claims that the app, which requires two time-stamped and geotagged photographs of the workers in a day, encourages transparency and increases citizen oversight.
Women drop out
- Women employees, especially the supervisors or “work mates”, have faced the biggest setback from the move.
- In a majority of cases, the employees’ families are averse to giving phones to women, especially smartphones. Hence, many women have dropped out.
- In the past one year, the Union government has resolved some critical issues. Under the MGNREG Act, the workers can do time-bound or task-based work.
- The guidelines required uploading of geotagged and time-stamped photographs of the workers around 11 a.m. and another one after 2 p.m.
- For task-based work, the workers had to stay back after 2 p.m. even if they had completed their work in order to take the photograph to be eligible for the wages.
- The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, earlier known as the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act was passed in 2005 to augment employment generation and social security in India.
- The scheme is a demand-driven wage employment scheme, which functions under the Ministry of Rural Development.
- Every adult member of a household in a rural area with a job card is eligible for a job under the scheme.
- The scheme envisages providing 100 days of guaranteed wage employment in a financial year to adult member volunteers for unskilled manual work.
- There is also a provision for additional 50 days of unskilled wage employment in drought/natural calamity notified rural areas.
- As per Section 3(4) of the MGNREGA, the States may make provisions for providing additional days beyond the period guaranteed under the Act from their own funds.
- At least one-third of beneficiaries have to be women.
- Wages must be paid according to the statutory minimum wages specified for agricultural labourers in the state under the Minimum Wages Act, 1948.
Previous Year Questions (PYQs).
Q.1) With reference to Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana, consider the following statements: (2018)
- It is the flagship scheme of the Ministry of Labour and Employment.
- It, among other things will also impart training in soft skills, entrepreneurship, financial and digital literacy.
- It aims to align the competencies of the unregulated workforce of the country to the National Skill Qualification Framework.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
- 1 and 3 only
- 2 only
- 2 and 3 only
- 1, 2, and 3
Source: The Hindu
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