Thứ Sáu, Tháng Sáu 2, 2023
HomeBusinessDoes the MGNREGA app make a difference?

Does the MGNREGA app make a difference?

Give MGNREGA workers at KG Kandigai in Tiruvallur district in Tamil Nadu, this routine takes place the same for 100 days a year. They will finish the household chores in the morning, drop their children off at school, and arrive at the work site at 9:30 a.m., where the spouse or supervisor of the National Rural Employment Security Act Mahatma Gandhi marks the end of the day. their presence. They would work in the morning, take a lunch break, and start their work again, only to finish and leave in the evening.

But they say their habits have changed since early 2023. “The supervisor asked us to arrive at the site by 7:30 a.m. to mark our arrival,” said Yaagavalli, a worker. .

MGNREGA workers in KG Kandigai digging a pond

MGNREGA workers in KG Kandigai digging a pond

Since the beginning of January 2023, the Ministry of Rural Development has mandated that they score attendance through the National Mobile Monitoring System (NMMS) Application. The purpose of the application is to open up greater transparency and eliminate alleged misconduct related to the process regarding the participation of real beneficiaries under MGNREGA.

Visits to MGNREGA’s sites business revealed that response to the app was mixed nationally with some teething problems seen in the first few months.

NMMS . Application

The operation of the application, as explained by Roopa, a website monitor, is quite simple. Supervisors had to download the app to their smartphones and had to take photos of geotagged workers twice a day – in the morning and afternoon and upload them to a server. Attendance is marked based on app-based photos.

NMMS application used for grading

NMMS application used for grading

While this may seem simple on paper, the workers and site supervisors have a different story to tell. “In the past, me and the workers had to go to the construction site at 9 am. While they get to work, I’ll fill the set reels. But now, we have to take a bunch of pictures and that is quite time consuming. So we all try to get to the venue between 7 and 7:30 am. “We send workers home late because they’ll miss the roll call for the day anyway,” says Roopa.

“It took us a while to upload all these images together due to poor network connectivity. Also, my phone hangs most of the time.” The network connection in the village remained quite poor throughout that day. Roopa and two other supervisors say they only bought smartphones around the time the app was introduced, after borrowing money from self-help groups.

What data shows

Data from the MGNREGA portal from April 6, 2023 shows that only 56.3% of the total grams of panchayat in the country are currently using the app to mark the presence of workers. This trend is different from state to state. While in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, 97 and 92% of total panchayat have started using this app to mark attendance, nobody in Goa uses it. In West Bengal, only 8 out of 3,339 panchayat use it.

Bengal’s woes

This app is just one of the problems for Eastern State MGNREGA workers. This program has proven to be a lifesaver for hundreds of men and women, especially in districts like Purulia, where agriculture can be difficult due to terrain and water shortages. But the villagers say that the last time they managed to get some work was in 2021, but they have yet to receive any payment since the Central government stopped disbursing under Section 27 MGNREGA to the State for embezzlement and other violations. As of March 2023, the Center’s payroll liability for West Bengal alone is ₹2,763 crore.

The news of the app’s introduction made a lot of West Bengal MGNREGA workers concerned. “Under the current plan, there was a time when we lost money because the supervisor said quality standards were not being followed. I don’t know what will happen if our photos are not uploaded properly,” said Apurbo Mahato, a laborer from the village of Lalpur.

Purulia, West Bengal, Purulia MGNREGS Workers talk to Businessline about their nonpayment.  Photo Debasish Bhaduri

Purulia, West Bengal, Purulia MGNREGS Workers talk to Businessline about their nonpayment. Photo Debasish Bhaduri | Image credit: Debasish Bhaduri

A few random images uploaded via the NMMS app business The counter looks pretty blurry. Only some of them have clear images of workers. In fact, some of the images show tiled floors, concreted roads, and no human faces at all.

An NMMS application image was accessed from the website

An NMMS application image was accessed from the website

Salim Aroosa, a supervisor in Khairipihira village, shares another worry. “Sometimes it can happen that a worker feels sick or unwell midway through work and may have to go home. In such cases, we usually mark them present so they don’t lose their pay. However, under this new system, this may not be possible,” he said. Roopa also noted this.

Status across states

But not all workers are unhappy with the application. For example, workers in Vadlakonda village in Telangana’s Janagaon district say the app doesn’t affect their habits at all. At the same time, D Lakpati, a supervisor in Kundaram village says that he sometimes faces delays in grading. “I hope this gets resolved,” he said.

Workers at Yana Cheruvu, outside Vadlakonda village, Janagaon district, Telangana

Workers at Yana Cheruvu, outside Vadlakonda village, Janagaon district, Telangana | Image credit: G Naga Sridhar

Authorities in Gujarat’s Mehsana district say that they have ensured that the application’s implementation is hassle-free and efficient. An official from the district Rural Development Authority said that the experience was generally smooth when it came to preventing cases of internet errors and technical glitches.

At the same time, Ashok Shrimali, a social activist from Ahmedabad pointed out a number of other problems. “The app causes friction between workers and supervisors. In other cases, supervisors are seen asking for money in exchange for regular attendance. Workers have no choice but to accept this,” he said.

What does the government say?

Issues that workers and supervisors share with business also consistent with the report of the parliament’s standing committee on rural development and the Panchayati Raj. “The whole process of taking two real-time photos in one day depends on several key factors such as smartphone availability, proper internet connection, and the presence of MGNREGA staff at both times. specified points to attend ‘in’ and ‘out’, the report said.

“Expecting MGNREGA employees to be proficient with the functionality and language of the app or for that matter, even depending on human intervention on the node can add to their woes. Furthermore, the flexible hours of the work site often cause workers to continue to wait there even after completing the job to take pictures,” it added.

However, it does note that the intent behind the app’s rollout is not malicious and is aimed at providing greater transparency, which can happen after some initial trouble.

Source link


Most Popular