The National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) is one of the major landmarks in the process of policy formulation, adopting the rights-based approach, in India. While the Act draws heavily on the Maharashtra Employment Guarantee Scheme, it has taken several steps forward that were necessary for the actual operationalisation of the rights-based approach on the ground. Notwithstanding these improvements, the NREGS has experienced a number of operational hurdles during the first two years of its implementation. Revisiting the experiences of the Maharashtra Employment Guarantee Scheme (MEGS) may, therefore assume special relevance at this stage. This article attempts to do this in the light of the existing literature and draws implications for introducing necessary reforms for opertionalisation of the NREGS. The idea is to feed into the ongoing processes of identifying operational issues and assessing the need for undertaking the necessary corrective measures.
Indian Journal of Labour Economics (2008) 51 (2)