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One crore assets geotagged under GeoMGNREGA initiative

MGNREGA has reached a major milestone by geotagging one crore assets created under it. The geotagged assets have been put in public domain. The scale of assets created under MGNREGA is massive and is estimated to be about 2.82 crore assets since the financial year 2006-07. On an average, it works out to a creation of 30 lakh assets annually.

The type of assets created under MGNREGA includes water harvesting structures, plantations, rural infrastructure, flood control measures, individual assets for sustainable livelihood, community infrastructure etc. As per the Ministry of Rural Affairs, all assets created under MGNREGA will be geotagged and special focus would be given to geotagging of Natural Resource Management works primarily the water-related works.

The geotagging exercise is expected to usher in greater transparency and accountability at field level.

Background

Geotagging of assets created under MGNREGA was started after Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphasised the need for online recording and monitoring of assets to check leakages. Subsequently, on June 24, 2016, the Ministry of Rural development signed a MoU with National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), ISRO and National Informatics Centre to geotag MGNREGA assets created under each village panchayats.

The geotagging exercise commenced from 1st September 2016. Gram Rozgar Sahayak or a junior engineer uploads the photos of assets on the Bhuvan web portal run by ISRO’s National Remote Sensing Centre via a mobile app. The time and location of the asset get automatically encrypted at the time of upload of the photos. In this way, within a span of seven months, one crore assets have been geotagged and shared in public domain.

In January 2017, Kangra district (Himachal Pradesh) became the first district in the country to geotag all the assets created under MGNREGA.

Geotagging is a process of adding geographical identification in the form of metadata to various media like websites, SMS, QR codes, RSS feeds, geotagged photographs etc. The data usually consists of parameters like latitude, longitude, altitude, distance, place names etc. It can help to find a range of location specific information from a device.

 

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Government launches programme for capacity building of Elected Women Representatives (EWRs) of Panchayats

The Ministry of Women and Child Development in collaboration with the Ministry of Panchayati Raj has launched a nationwide programme for capacity building of Elected Women Representatives (EWRs) of Panchayats and a training program for Trainers of women panchayat leaders at Ranchi, Jharkhand.

The Ministry of Women and Child Development has launched the programme representatives at the grassroots level in various fields like engineering (building of roads, drains, latrines etc.), finance, social development, education, health, and environment among others. In the first phase of the training, 40 master trainers of Jharkhand will be trained at the State institute of Rural Development, Ranchi. In the second phase, around 3000 Elected Women Representatives (EWRs) will be imparted training by the master trainers at the districts of Simdega, Pakur and Chatra of Jharkhand. In subsequent phases, similar training modules will be organised in different states throughout the country with the help of National Institute of Rural Development, State Institutes of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Departments of the States. At present, there are around 13 lakhs EWRs in panchayats throughout the country.

In the first phase of the training, 40 master trainers of Jharkhand will be trained at the State institute of Rural Development, Ranchi. In the second phase, around 3000 Elected Women Representatives (EWRs) will be imparted training by the master trainers at the districts of Simdega, Pakur and Chatra of Jharkhand. In subsequent phases, similar training modules will be organised in different states throughout the country with the help of National Institute of Rural Development, State Institutes of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Departments of the States. At present, there are around 13 lakhs EWRs in panchayats throughout the country.

In subsequent phases, similar training modules will be organised in different states throughout the country with the help of National Institute of Rural Development, State Institutes of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Departments of the States. At present, there are around 13 lakhs EWRs in panchayats throughout the country.

Need

The initiative is aimed at empowering EWRs by enhancing their capacity, capability and skill in governance and administration of villages as the EWRs lack appropriate knowledge and skill to administer the village.

The women sarpanches can be helpful in taking several new schemes of the government to the common man especially those in distress and the underprivileged. Women sarpanches can also play a vital role in ensuring the safety of women, education of the girl child, health of women, creation of assets under MGNREGA, immunisation and other important issues at the grassroots level.

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Government covers 14 SC, ST, OBC and DNT scholarship schemes under Digital Payments

The Government has stated that 14 scholarship schemes for Scheduled Castes and Other Backward Classes (OBCs) / Denotified, Nomadic and Semi-nomadic Tribes (DNTs) students come under Digital Payments Initiatives. This is expected to benefit 3.54 crore students across the country. As per the modalities of this initiative, all scholarship amount will be deposited in the bank accounts of the students.

Schemes for SCs

There will be a 60% Aadhaar seeding in SC student bank account. Educational Empowerment is carried out by virtue of scholarships, hostels for students, coaching facilities, capital for creation/upgradation of premises, institution etc. Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment spends 54 % of its Budget on scholarships for Scheduled castes. In addition, the government has tasked each branch of public sector banks to handhold at least one SC/ST youth, as an entrepreneur, to generate more employment among the members of the community.

Scholarships

Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment is the nodal ministry for the implementation of seven different types of scholarships:

  • Post and Pre-Matric Scholarships;
  • Top Class Scholarship;
  • National Overseas Scholarships;
  • National Fellowship for Scheduled Castes administered by the UGC;
  • Pre-Matric Scholarship for Children of those engaged in unclean occupations;
  • Free Coaching for Scheduled Castes and OBCs (70: 30 ratio); and
  • Upgradation of merit.

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