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I have been associated with training of deputy collectors for organizing work for EGS since 1977-78.As a student of Prof Dandekar I had participated many such workshops and actual works together with my colleagues in labor movement. I have also been associated with many movements in Ahmednagar to take up specific works in PWD and irrigation projects that constituted 'shelf of projects'. (eg. Wambori Chari in Shreerampur taluka) Prof. Dandekar was the real architect of this scheme even though it was officially attributed to V.S. Page. (see Dandekar's Poverty in India 1969)All of these founders were seriously re-considering the alternative of form like land army due to several organisational difficulties faced in implementation of the scheme. These are fairly documented in the reports of Committee of legisaltive assembly and council.Many of the deficiencies reported in the recent studies by economists such as Martin Ravallion are mostly rediscovering the wheel well known in Maharashtra experiences. It needs to be recognized that lower level of administration such as gram-panchayat is even more feeble and ill-equipped to handle the schemes of such nature.It is therefore necessary to reconsider the generalized model as tried earlier in UPA regime including blanket budgetary provisioning. Maharashtra had tagged tax called 'professional tax' and it had to reconsidered and de-link it with working of EGS!! DUE TO EITHER ORGANISATIONAL INABILITY AS WELL AS APATHY\UNWILLINGNESS Maharashtra could not ever effectively use it as anti-poverty scheme. It remained an enlarged version of scarcity relief program and effective only in drought prone regions that too when ocal MLA was keen to mobilize the works and attendance. I am surprised that economists seem to ignore the way policy actually works with institutions on ground and keep preaching blindly as many votaries of MNRGEA have been!

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Pradeep Apte 13/11/2014 10:17:30

Disappointing piece, arguments poorly supported by studies and numbers, and then they lament "facile attacks uninformed by the facts"!! No really, chutzpah. Expected more from these big names... sad. For example, the study on the effects on education make the comparison with CCTs only by looking at benefits, not also the costs of the programs (which are likely extremely different). So how can you compare, really? Also, they call for "improving governance," blatantly ignoring that we have little idea how to do that, in practice, in India. Or at least without informing us of how to do it. I have no stake in this conversation, I'm just disappointed when I see bad scholarship.

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17/11/2014 19:52:34

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