Workers, not tech, should be state’s priority

Syllabus: GS-III, Subject: Economy, Topic: Poverty, Issue: Government initiatives, measures, and programs

Context: Aadhaar-Based Payment System (ABPS) in Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS).

Issues in linking MGNREGA job card to ABPS

  • Internet connectivity, fingerprint recognition, and difficulties faced by the disabled.
  • Other issues – unrecorded working days, name duplication, lack of awareness, and errors in linking.
  • Approximately 34.8% of job cardholders are ineligible for ABPS.

The way ahead:

  • Core objectives of the scheme should not be overshadowed by technology.
  • Budgets should address technological challenges.
  • The state must prioritize workers’ livelihood security over technological solutions in addressing inequality and rural distress.
+1 advantage for mains(Reports/Study/Indices)

·         A study in has shown that employment generation scheme leads to

Ø  Higher nutritional intake in the households that participate in them,

Ø  Empower women and pay them on a par with men,

Ø  Serve as insurance substitutes,

Ø  Offer pronounced benefits to marginalized communities including Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and to households with disabled workers,

Ø  Contribute to ensuring political transparency.

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