Current Affairs: Every Panchayat to have a Bharat Nirman Rajiv Gandhi Sewa Kendra and Panchayat Ghar over

the next three years : Dr. C.P.Joshi All the Gram Panchayats across the country will have Panchayat Ghar and a Bharat Nirman Rajiv Gandhi Sewa Kendra over the next three years. This was announced by the Union Panchayati Raj Minister Dr. C.P.Joshi at a National Workshop on NREGA ,“ NREGA: A step towards Governance Reform, Transparency and Accountability” in Vigyan Bhawan here today organized by the Union Ministry Of Rural Development on the occasion of the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi . There are 2.52 lakh Gram Panchayats across the country. The proposed Panchayat Ghars have been envisaged as the mini secretariat as a forum for the rural people to meet , share and discuss their issues, to provide logistic support and as a record keeping facility center. The Bharat Nirman Rajiv Gandhi Sewa Kendra shall be a single window for providing the information on the NREGS and shall provide feedback on the quality of implementation of the program. The idea is to slowly move on the wage employment to self employment by providing skill development facilities to the rural people and in the process give a fillip to the rural economy. The proposed design of the Bharat Nirman Seawa Kendra at every Gram Panchayat was unveiled on this occasion by Shri Rahul Gandhi , the guest of honour of the workshop. In his address, Dr. Joshi underlined the need to ensure effective implementation of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act and its processes. Spelling out NREGA as the new model of E-Governance he stressed the need to integrate technology for the benefit of the rural people. He emphasized that the non negotiable elements of the act would remain as it is . The Minister called for timely payment of wages, to leverage the potential benefits of NREGA and to strengthen the role of Panchayats as the principal authorities for planning and implementation of the Act. He announced that a consensus has been arrived at on the following issues by the four working groups on decentralization , sustainable development, role of technology and public accountability : Every Panchayat to have a Panchayat Ghar and Bharat Nirman Rajeev Gandhi Sewa Kendra over the next three years;Ensuring 100 days of

work on demand;Timely payment of wages;Addressing the issue of uneven payments in different states;Enforcing the accountability more effectively;Involving Citizens in monitoring in the monitoring of NREGs by setting up a group of 100 eminent persons from media, law and social activists;Creation of a National Employment Guarantee Mission to provide technical support to NREGs;Replication of Andhra Pradesh Model of Social Audit on a larger scale andImplementing and learning from the best practice models. The issue of how to make effective use of Lok Sewaks to ensure transparency and accountability would be discussed and debated further before taking a final decision , the Minister added. Paying glowing tributes to the former Prime Minister Rajeev Gandhi for his vision of a decentralized governance in the panchayati raj ,Dr. Joshi announced that every year the progress of the program would be reviewed a day before his birth anniversary every year. The dignitary present in the workshop were Ministers of State for Rural Development Shri Pradip Jain Aditya, Shri Shishir Adhikari, Ms. Agatha Sangma, Minister of State for Finance Shri Namo Narayan Meena, Minister of State for Petroleum Shri Jitin Prasada, Chairman of the Unique Identification Authority Of India(UIADI) Chairman Shri Nandan Nilekani, Shri Mihir Shah, Member Planning Commission and the former Chairman of the National Knowledge Commission Sam Pitroda among others. Several MPs, social activists, officials from both the Central Governments and the States, and other key stakeholders who actively participated in the deliberations. Another highlight of the function was the announcement of a collaboration between Unique Identification Authority Of India (UIADI) and NREGA by Shri Nandan Nilekani , the Chairman of the Unique Identification Authority Of India (UIADI). While praising NREGA as a phenomenal program, he emphasized the need to connect the unique identification process with every job card holder under the NREGA Scheme. The linkages with UID is possible in job cards, muster roll and bank accounts of NREGA beneficiaries. The process would eliminate duplicate job cards, ghost beneficiaries while facilitating easy bank account opening, tracking the mobility of NREGA workers and ensuring a better monitoring of the system, he added.

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