Researchers and activists studying Mahatma Gandhi National
Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) data have disputed the argument
made in the Economic Survey for 2018-19 on the positive causal impact of
Aadhaar-linked payments (ALP) on the scheme.
The Survey used the rural jobs scheme as a case study to show
the benefits of the use of technology in improving targeting and efficiency in
welfare schemes. One of the strongest pieces of evidence cited dealt with
timeliness: the percentage of wage payments generated within 15 days improved
from 27% in 2014-15 to more than 90% by 2018-19.
RakshitaSwamy, a member of the People’s Action for Employment
Guarantee, said the state verified the work done and the muster roll and
generated a fund transfer order, and in the next stage, money was credited into
the worker’s bank account. Aadhaar could play a role only in the latter stage.
Another area of contention is the Survey’s comparison of MGNREGS
performance in drought-affected and regular districts before and after the
introduction of the ALP. In supply and demand for work as well as in worker
attendance, the scheme’s performance in drought-hit areas improved.
Rajendran Narayanan, Assistant Professor, AzimPremji University,
noted that around the same time that Aadhaar was introduced to the MGNREGS, a
Supreme Court ruling mandated special measures for the scheme in
drought-affected areas. Governments issued orders to comply with the ruling,
leading to interventions influencing the situation at the same time as Aadhaar.
The outlay for children in the Union Budget has shown a
marginal increase of 0.05%, going up from 3.24% in the last fiscal to 3.29%
in the current fiscal with a grant of Rs. 91,644.29 crore.
The share is less than the low share of 5% that the National
Plan of Action for Children, 2016, has recommended, notes the HAQ Centre for
A detailed analysis of the budgetary grant carried out by Child
Rights and You for four thematic areas of child rights, including education,
health, development and child protection, shows that the first two categories
have registered a decline while the money allocated for the ambitious plan for
nutritional development may be insufficient.
The share of education has increased marginally to 68.54% from
68.2%, but has declined by more than 10 percentage points from 79.02% in
2015-16. These include schemes such as SamagraShiksha, National Programme of Mid
Day Meal in Schools and NavodayaVidyalayaSamiti.
Health-related financial allocation as a share of the child
health budget has shown a decline of 0.39% — from 3.9% last fiscal to 3.51%.
The Anganwadi services and the PoshanAbhiyan (Nutrion Mission)
are among the most important government programmes aimed at reducing stunting,
under-weight, anaemia and low birth weight. While the former has registered an
increase of 19% and the latter of 14% in this latest Budget announcement,
experts have argued it is inadequate.
In a bid to save Mount Everest from trash, Nepal conducted a
month-long cleaning campaign and collected around 10,000 kg of rubbish from
For the mega clean-up drive, government and non-government
agencies, along with a dedicated Sherpa team, not only brought the litter down
but also removed four dead bodies from the roof of the world, Xinhua news agency
reported on Sunday.
Instead of sending the solid waste straight to the landfill near
Kathmandy, the items were segregated, processed and recycled as raw materials
for various products.
Besides recycling the waste, a team is also working with
municipalities, hospitals, hotels and different offices to maximise value from
waste by recycling, reducing the amount of waste sent to landfills and by
creating green jobs.
To make the campaign more effective, the company suggested
authorities to set up an initial processing unit in the mountain area itself, so
that waste can be segregated immediately and easily managed.
These products, which range from 350 Nepalese rupees to 2,000
Nepalese rupees ($3 to $18), are bacteria free as they are sterilized. These
glass items have also been a means of livelihood for local women who shape them
into trendy designs.