Employing India: guaranteeing jobs for the rural poor

India’s rural employment guarantee is a milestone in social policy and employment creation. The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act was mandated in 2005 to implement an ambitious, demand-driven employment-creation program to benefit the rural poor through projects that improve agricultural productivity and alleviate land degradation. Guaranteeing the right of rural households to 100 days of unskilled manual work, the program’s size sets a worldwide precedent. It has achieved impressive results, but the act continues to pose immense design and management challenges.

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