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Drones to monitor MGNREGA worksites

  • Category
    Science & Technology
  • Published
    25th Aug, 2023


Recently, the Ministry of Rural development has released a standard operating procedure (SOP) to increase its surveillance of worksites under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) scheme.


  • As, there are several complaints about corruption in MNREGS works that we receive regularly.
  • These vary from machines being used in place of the workers, many receiving wages without doing work, or works beyond the approved list being undertaken, and so on.
  • The idea to deploy drones will be especially helpful in such cases for real-time monitoring and for garnering evidence.
  • Last time on May 2022, the Union government made it mandatory to capture attendance at all worksites using a specially-developed mobile-based application.
  • These steps are taking MGNREAGA towards digitisation.

About the SOP:

    • According to the draft, now the drones will be used for four types of monitoring:
    • Surveying the on-going works,
    • Inspecting the completed works,
    • Impact assessment, and
    • Special inspection in case of complaints.
  • Administered by: The SOP stipulates that the drones will be used by the ombudsperson.
    • According to the MGNREG Act which governs the scheme, there should one ombudsperson per district that is responsible for registering suo moto complaints and disposing of them within 30 days.
  • Role of Ombudsperson:
    • For efficient monitoring and redressal of grievances, it is decided by the Ministry that the ombudsperson may use drone technology facilities for verification of the works virtually.
    • It has directed State governments to provide the facility to ombudspersons.
  • Fund allocation:
    • The States will not be provided with any extra funds to deploy these drones.
    • According to the guidelines, State governments are expected to draw the necessary funds from the administrative head, which is roughly 10% of a State’s MGNREGA budget.
  • Data management: The Ministry also proposes to form a centralized dashboard to store the videos and photos collected from the drones, for data analysis and reporting purposes.

What is e-governance?

  • e-Governance can be defined as the application of information and communication technology (ICT) for providing government services, exchange of information, transactions, integration of previously existing services and information portals.
  • Pillars of e-Governance:
    • People
    • Process
    • Technology
    • Resources
  • Types of Interaction in e-Governance
    • G2G i.e. Government to Government
    • G2C i.e. Government to Citizen
    • G2B i.e. Government to Business
    • G2E i.e. Government to Employees

Need of Technological interventions in Governance:

  • To promote Participative Democracy: Such Mechanism may help in strengthening Social audit. For example, citizens can directly give suggestions to the government on myGOV platform.
  • Implementing Good Governance: Information Technology has ensured that a policy decision taken by the government can be quickly executed and implemented at multiple locations, across the length and breadth of the country.
  • Achieving Sustainable Development Goals: Government has taken much of the e-governance initiatives for effective public service delivery. Also, when combined with emerging technologies, it can help in achieving sustainable development goals.

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