NREGA stands for National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA). This is an initiative by the Government of India to ensure compulsory employment opportunities are available across the country to all the citizens of India and is aimed for the welfare of the rural class in specific.
India is a country where majority of population reside in rural areas and for their development, the Government has to allocate funds and schemes. Thus, NREGA is an enactment specifically devised for ensuring the employment for all in the rural and backward regions of India.
The enactment was passed some time back by the Parliament but its implementation was delayed due to the inherent issues such as delay in payment of wages to the employees. The delay was observed to be for nine months to 1 year in cases reported from regions like Chattisgarh and Jharkhand. The delay was mainly due to poor monitoring system at the Government department. Also the bureaucracy in the Departments have strong foot hold coupled with the naxal affected areas that prevent the schemes of the government being reached to the ultimate user. The delay in payment of wages is the main problem as identified by the Ministers.
Though the amendment in the NREGA cannot be carried out instantly, it was considered that necessary rules will be modified to simplify the existing guidelines. The issues of fake job cards and muster rolls are also being considered.
The poverty seems to be prevalent in spite of the attempts of the Government to carry out the welfare activities for the rural and poverty stricken citizens of India. For the proper NREGA scheme implementation, the IT stalwart TCS was approached to develop a IT-led execution of the program that has the data of all the employees and the phase wise implementation of the scheme is a proper manner. This flagship program is aimed at combating the poverty and it guarantees the poor to have the employment. The implementation of the NREGA scheme needs a reliable and transparent mechanism that should have the information right from the grass root level to ensure success of the program. The NREGA scheme implementation thus required an Information combined Technology solution which was automated by the TCS exclusively for the use by Government of India in Andhra Pradesh state. This is a computer based data centre that aids in monitoring and review of the scheme on online basis. The real time stream of data is web based and has the following features:
1. Visibility and clarity in all the transaction by the stakeholders.
2. Accountability is increased as all the details of the concerned officials and individuals are available.
3. The fraud as to fake employment card is ruled out as the system identifies the employees through biometric system.
4. Fraud is restricted as every information requires access through a secured HTTPS model.
5. The administrative costs associated with manual maintenance of data is reduced.
6. The biometric authentication of the employees ensures that the wages are disbursed timely.
7. The generation of reports at periodical intervals aid in effective monitoring and review.