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Submitted By dhanabalan
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The 200 backward districts where the NREGA is being implemented make the Act more desirable but at the same time less feasible. Their unique socio-economic and governance problems better be understood for the NREGA to be effective.

The 200 backward districts, identified by the Planning Commission (See box: Measuring Backwardness), will pose major challenges to the implementation of the NREGA because of their special problems. They are the least developed areas of the country comprising mostly marginal farmers and forest dwellers. In many of these districts poverty has increased despite consistent focus of several poverty eradication programmes. Governance has little or no presence in most of these districts.

The NREGA with the aim to reduce poverty is thus desirable for these districts. The NREGA can target development using huge demand for casual jobs. However, the absence of governance will make the implementation difficult. It is thus imperative to understand the complex socioeconomic and governance challenges of the backward districts. This will help implement the NREGA in an effective way. And for the NREGA, these districts will decide its overall success.


Widespread poverty is a major feature with all these districts. A large number of them are located in the arid and semi–arid regions with 94 districts covered under the Drought Prone Areas Programme (DPAP) and 8 districts covered under the Desert Development Programme (DDP) 1.The socio economic indicators of most of these districts are generally below the national average. Out of these 200 districts, 148 have literacy lower than the national average (63.58%) while the rate of female literacy in 154 districts is lower than the national average of 54.16%. Also, the proportion of SC/ST population in most of these areas is…...

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