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Nikhil Dey, social activist and founding member of Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan, interviewed by Civil Society News (

-Civil Society News As people pour into villages from cities in a desperate effort to get back home, the only work they can hope to get is under MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act). The rural employment scheme was designed to help people in distressful situations like a flood or drought so that they had something to fall back on when there was nothing else. Will it be able to...

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Jean Drèze, development economist and social activist, interviewed by Shreehari Paliath ( Bengaluru: Global economic output is expected to contract by 4.9% in 2020 owing to the COVID-19 lockdown. India announced a lockdown on March 24, 2020, which was extended over two months, and continues in pockets of states depending on the spread of the disease, which has now infected more than half a million people in the country. The lockdown impacted millions of inter-state migrant workers who form the bulwark of India’s...

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Modi government should embrace NREGA without trying to defend the indefensible -Debmalya Nandy & Rajendran Narayanan The government subjected the rural job scheme to systemic shocks but must now scale it up to 200 days of work to combat lockdown losses. The impact of the Modi government’s unilateral decision to impose a two-month-long nationwide lockdown has amplified the crisis faced by India’s 50-crore strong unorganised workforce. A potent option at present to cushion some of the blow is the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act. The law, which was...

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Of UP govt’s 1.25 crore jobs, over 1 crore went to MGNREGA and MSME sectors -Maulshree Seth

-The Indian Express Nearly 5 lakh workers have been given employment under self-help groups (SHGs), which includes a large number of women workers. Lucknow: Of the 1.25 crore jobs allocated by the Uttar Pradesh government in a single day under different schemes and programmes, approximately 60 lakh jobs have been provided under the Rural Development Panchayati Raj Department, majority of which are under MGNREGA, and another nearly 50 lakh in MSME units...

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Govt’s rural focus could hit urban economy -Aunindyo Chakravarty

-The Tribune This is a crucial moment for Modinomics. Till now, government schemes have been used to help the poorest of the poor survive, even when they do not have any regular source of income. The middle class has continued to back the PM, hoping his policies will yield dividends. The industrial recession has shaken that belief. It could well be the beginning of their disenchantment with the PM. IN 2014, journalist...

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