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Abstract

The paper assesses the effectiveness of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) in generating employment for disadvantaged groups like SCs, STs and women, creation of durable assets, improving the agricultural and non-agricultural wage rates, enhancing the level of food security and controlling the out migration in rural Rajasthan. The study has also assessed the effects of MNREGA in terms of creation of durable assets, improvement in the agricultural and non-agricultural wage rates and containing out migration in rural Rajasthan which have potential positive impacts on vulnerable groups. The paper also analyses the perceptions of MNREGA workers about its role in improving the food security and the socio-economic conditions of participating households. Based on secondary level data analysis and the survey covering 200 participants and 50 non-participants from 10 villages of 5 districts, the study finds that the scheme has positively affected the agricultural and nonagricultural wage rates, reduced the extent of food insecurity and controlled to some extent the level of out migration in rural Rajasthan. Overall, it has promoted financial inclusion in the region. However, there is a declining trend in extent of participation of the SCs and the STs in MNREGA works during the reference years 2008-09 to 2010-11. But there has been slight improvement in participation of women in MNREGA works in Rajasthan.

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