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MGNREGA schemes implementation in Assam disappointing!

Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) is a revolutionary Act of the Government of India with tremendous potentiality of eradicating unemployment situation in the country. On February 2, 2006 first phase of NREGA implementation was started in 200 districts of the country in which seven districts of Assam were also incorporated. In the year 2007, the second phase of NREGA had started where five districts of Assam were also included. The third phase started on April 1,2008 where remaining 14 districts of Assam came under the purview of the Act. Hence, at present all the districts of Assam are implementing the provisions of MGNREGA.


On March 31, 2012 Assam completed sixth year of MGNREGA implementation. Under this Act any rural family is guaranteed to provide at least 100 days unskilled employment at minimum wage in a financial year. A survey by the North East Social Trust (NEST) and a few other voluntary organizations of Assam monitoring the impact of this Act and implementation during last couple of years has found the result very disappointing. For the financial year 2011-12 NEST carried out an intensive research on the basis of the Governments Data to find out the implications of the Act in the state.


It was found that 43,69,372 households in the state were provided job cards, whereas 17,98,372 households only were able to get job in the year 2011-12. It means, 58.84 percent households with job cards did not have any opportunity of working in this scheme during this period. Out of those who worked under this scheme 73 percent of them got employment for less than 30 days in the whole year. During the whole year Assam could provide 100 days employment to only 1.04 percent job card holders.


Total number of house hold provided 100 days employment in the year was 45,490. Kokrajhar district could provide highest number of 100 days employment to 23,216 households, whereas in North Cachar Hills district not even a single household could complete 100 days employment.


Nagaon district recorded second lowest 100 days employment provider by providing only 115 households (0.05 percent job card holders) with 100 days employment.


No registration have taken place In 12 panchayats of Assam across seven blocks of five districts. Twelve panchayats of Chirang districts have no demand of work. These panchayats are spread in two blocks of the districts, namely Manikpur and Borobazar.


To meet with the current requirement of job card holders 47 panchayats of Assam do not have any ongoing work across 15 blocks of three districts. Assam’s 33 blocks have violated the norms of Labor material ratio. And 591 numbers of works in these blocks have spent 41 to 60 percent as material cost. 106 number of works have spent 61 -80 percent of the fund on materials and 26 numbers of other works have spent 81 -100 percent of the project cost on materials only.


In the year 2011-12, Assam could complete 9,970 numbers of projects by creating equal numbers of Rural Assets. Sonitpur district could complete highest 2,163 numbers of work , whereas Chirang and Nalbari districts bottomed the list by completing 1 and 7 works respectively in the whole year.


Out of ten categories of works approved in the MGNREGA , 62 percent of works were competed only under Rural connectivity and drought proofing types. Only 19 works of Rajiv Gandhi Seva Kendra was completed in Assam.
In Assam, 51,964 number of works are running behind schedule, out of which 48,013 number of works are delayed by more than three months. 3,094 number of registered households in Assam are not given job cards even. Besides,2,443 job card holders have not been paid the unemployment allowances.


The programme officer in 207blocks of the state are not doing enough to prepare Shelf of Projects (SoP) and get them duly approved. As a result 1,622 number of panchayats out of total 2,645 do not have any approved work under MGNREGA schemes.


Based on the last three years research NEST has suggested to keep Shelf of Projects approved and ready for implementation in each and every panchayat of Assam and appoint full time programme officers in each block of the state solely to take care of MGNEREGA activities in respective blocks.


It has suggested to provide due unemployment allowances immediately and also make sure that the job cards are received by the registered households of the state. The job demand placing procedure should be citizen friendly, preferably, job card holders should be able to place job demands through SMS also and it should be directly reflected in the MGNREGA online MIS. More emphasis should be given on categories of work like flood control, irrigation canals and providing irrigation facilities to SC/ST/IAY/LR. In each Gaon panchayat, Anchalik Panchayat and Zila Parishad level immediately projects on Rajiv Gandhi Seva Kendra construction proposals prepared and implemented, the NEST suggested.
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Daya Nath Singh's picture

Journalist; Guwahati Press Club office Secretary

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Baishya demands modernized ferry services in Assam

3 May 2012 - 12:55am | editor


Rajya Sabha member Birendra Prasad Baishya on Wednesday sought Centre’s assistance help to modernize ferries in Assam two days after around 250 people were believed to have met watery grave when an overloaded boat capsized on the river Brahmaputra in Dhubri.


Raising the issue in the zero hour session of parliament, Baishya expressed grief over the accident. He called it one of the worst disastes in the country. He said that there was an urgent need to modernise these ferries.


He said that the ill-fated boat had sold 350 tickets and around 400 passengers were expected to be on board when it was struck by a storm in the Brahmaputra river.


Barack Obama’s victory: A global awakening for young people today

13 Nov 2008 - 1:53am | editor
Americans picked the right man not because he is qualified and soulful, which he is and not because he is committed and brilliant, which he is, but because he knows how to create a phenomenal whole -out of a thousand little pieces. Passionate politicians, big arguments and the willingness to make the case for radical change: these are the ingredients which have reconnected politics to the public in America.

No young American politician since Kennedy has created such a surge of excitement and optimism. It is a mood that has spread around the world. The scene was a poignant remainder of assassinated civil rights hero Dr. Martin Luther King’s historic “ I have a dream” speech in 1963. King told supporters of his hopes that white and black American could one day live together. Today his vision close to reality than ever.

As a college student, I still remember the day at the Cotton girls common room when we heard the tragic news of the assassination of John F. Kennedy tears came to our eyes as a handsome, young promising president taking the world stage and his wife: Jackie Kennedy were loved by all of us. The assassination of Bobby Kennedy, Dr. Martin Luther King, we thought America is not a place to live in peace and harmony black and white.

America is changing now. This country tainted so long by racism, has elected its first Black President: Barack Obama. A washed – up discredited government had been consigned to oblivion.

The son of an African goatherd is today the most powerful man in the world. He is the first truly global leader of our times, appealing to all ages and creeds with his unifying message of hope. Devoted Michelle Obama, Barack’s one time mentor at a law firm worked tirelessly behind the scenes during her husband’s presidential campaign. Just four generations ago her family were slaves. Now she is preparing to move as America’s First Lady!

It is the story of Obama’s multiracial intercultural, working class, ivy league, community organising life. He’s been doing it since day one. His simple compelling message of ‘change’ had helped him assemble an historic, all conquering coalition – white, black, young old liberal conservative. He fought a brilliant campaign showing intelligence, dignity and still under fire. To the joy of the world, America has not let him down.

It was a new dawn. His was a young country, whose time had come. Politics would never be the same again. Things can only get better. He would have won even he had been white. It is well-known the American capacity for innovation and reinvention. To me, race was never as big an issue in this election as some have tried to make out. Colin Powell would almost certainly had been elected President eight years ago, had he been able to choose between offers from both the Republicans and Democrats to be their candidate. Another powerful name is Condoleezza Rice.

It is about time, Britain’s limp political class should take note.

There are many similarities with the way Tony Blair swept to victory in 1997. “A new dawn has broken has it not?” said Tony Blair on May 2nd , 1997. The Blair victory was a triumph for the most modern political campaign ever seen any where in the world. Like Obama he was young and elected on a wave of euphoria with a huge parliamentary majority and a largely uncritical media cheering him on. That success represented a change in mood in Britain.He too offered “hope and change” and unlike Obama had the advantage of inheriting sound, blooming economy, not a basket case.

And he blew it. Those of us who were part of the new labour party organising team at our local council find our excitement at Obama’s victory tinged with poignant memories and a desire to warn one of the perils at sky high expectations. We already know Obama is very special and America is a different country to the UK. But what are the lessons to heed. Blair is now as big a hate figure on the Left as George W. Bush. We must all pray that America’s first black president doesn’t turn out to be this generation’s Tony Blair.

Two remarkable men have last week shown the way to end the scourge of today’s Broken Britain: Barack Obama & Lewis Hamilton. Hamilton seize the leadership of the racing world becoming the youngest ever Formula one racing champion. Hamilton is the toast of Britain and a shoo-in for BBC sports personality of the year.

They have a lot in common they both started life without much material wealth, each has a black father, they both come from broken homes. It was his grandmother who nurtured and encouraged Obama in the value of education. Sadly she died just hours before seeing her dream come true. In the case of young Hamilton it was his father who spotted his genius behind the wheel and sacrificed so much.

They have proved that literally Anything is possible with enthusiasm and dedication. Now we can explain to the next generation that race as a set of ideas, nothing more and nothing less. It has only to do with intelligence and worth. Extraordinary leadership supported by an extraordinary basis, can change the world.

In Britain today, it is sad to see for thousands of young people that background alone is the excuse for their dead end lives, as they descend into a pathetic pseudo-macho world of gangs, guns and knives. But how many equally - gifted brains are rotting under their hoods from the effects of drugs and booze? It should be a lesson for other youngster both black and white who are left to behave like wild animals as they wallow in a world of crime, illegitimacy and the prospect of an early death.

True, both Obama & Hamilton are blessed with sharp intelligence. They have denied the youth of Broken Britain of their only excuses for choosing failure. Time has come for them to believe in miracles also to believe in themselves.

- Rini Kakati

KLNLF member held

30 Aug 2008 - 1:52pm | Dibya J Borthakur
Identified as Nakchon Teron,a hardcore KLNLF leader was apprehended at Baithalangso by the Baithalangso police on August 28 night.