Biometric database of workers under MNREGA to check fudging

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Ministry and UIDAI in the presence of Rural Development Minister C P Joshi and UIDAI chairperson Nandan Nilekani for this.

While UIDAI will use the data in issuing unique identity number to NREGA workers, it will be used by the Ministry to bring transparency in the implementation of NREGA, especially maintenace of records, a ministry official said.

Joshi said the use of biometric database linked with other ICT (Information, Communication and Technology) tools will help check fudging of NREGA records.
"There are still instances of delay in payment of wages to MNREGA workers, duplication in entry of the names of the workers....we have taken a step forward (to bring more transparency in record maintenance of NREGA) by signing the MoU with UIDAI," he said.
The MoU was signed during a national workshop on 'ICT for People's Empowerment: One More Step Towards Governance Reforms and Trasparency' organised here by Rural Development Ministry on the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
Forest and Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh and Planning Commission Deputy Chairperson Montek Singh Ahluwalia, also attended the programme besides Ministers of State for Rural Development Agatha Sangma, Pradeep Jain Aditya and Sisir Adhikari.
Ahluwalia said linking of ICT with UID will bring "huge" transparency in implementation of MNREGA.

Nilekani said 'Adhar' model would help in identification, maintenance of attendance registration and payment of wages to MGNREGA beneficiaries. PTI PKU PAL 08201808
Joshi noted that about 70,000 panchayats do not have any building to function and said government will "partly" be able to address the problem by use of ICT tools.Construction of Panchayat Ghars and Bharat Nirman Rajiv Gandhi Sewa Kendras should be given a push by states, he suggested.

Joshi also noted that there is lack of dedicated staff in panchayts across the country.
"What is the structure of panchayats today? There is a gram sevak and an elected panchayat representative from whom we expect that our schemes are pushed. I don't think that we can achive our mission till the situation remains like this," he said.
The Minister said the proportion of population under panchayats was not uniform and suggested a delimitation commission be set up at national level to correct the situation by delimiting panchayats.

Ramesh said MNREGA has helped check distress migration to a great extent in many places."MNREGA is a sucessful programme. Many people say that it is not giving any result and only money is being spent. I think this (argument) is wrong...It is our responsibility to make the schme more effective," Ramesh said.

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