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Overview

This working paper critically analyses the performance of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS), a very large rights-based social protection programme developed post-2005 for the entirety of India which promises ‘100 days guaranteed wage’. The analysis is based on primary field studies conducted by agencies across India as well as from secondary data sources. This statistical paper particularly analyses the working of the Act against the percentages of workers’ participation (both males and females), and the differences in patterns across India’s States between 2004 and 2009. Themes reviewed include: gender equality; women’s role in the work force; socio-cultural differences across India’s States; work migration; fair wages; and the quality of the work environment. The paper concludes with ‘Second Generation Issues’ and proposes improvements to deliver a smoother implementation of the programme in the future.

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